What if you decided to believe that your wants did not require justifications?
I’m going to share something with you that hit me like a ton of bricks* when I heard it yesterday**.
* Had I not been in a recliner with a cat on my lap I’m certain I would have fallen right out of my chair.
** Yep, just yesterday.
These two sentences shot a clarifying (and semi-painful) arrow right to the heart of something I’ve been deeply reflecting on in my own life…
…“The majority of really successful entrepreneurial women are as successful as they need to be. The majority of really successful entrepreneurial men are as successful as they want to be.”
This statement was spoken by Dan Sullivan, one of my favorite coaches who has spent the last 40 years transforming the lives and businesses of some of the world’s top entrepreneurs. Dan defines abundance as “the consistent feeling that you are creating a bigger and better future.” And he maintains that people do the things they do to create their futures because they want to. Why? Because they want to. But why? Because they want to.
Simple as that*.
* Stay with me…
He acknowledges that many folks believe there has to be a defined reason why someone wants what they want, “But,” he says, “from the moment someone starts telling a story about why they want something, they become a fiction writer,” because they are merely attempting to justify why they want what they want. Dan believes that wanting* is a inner creative act that you can’t psychoanalyze and which needs no rationalization.
* Like all concepts, the concept of “wanting” is neutral – in and of itself it is neither “good” nor “bad” (humans breathe, humans sleep, humans want). Like all concepts, it has a dark side (wanting applied to something destructive) and a light side (wanting applied to something positive).
When Dan gave a talk on this very topic at a business event, he said that afterward, about twenty entrepreneurs came up to him to tell him how liberating his talk was for them – and they were all female. Which didn’t surprise him.
He has noticed that women seem culturally programmed to unnecessarily justify their ambition, success, and desire to stand out as individuals – and to only attempt a level of success that fulfills their needs.
Good girls don’t ask for more than they need. Good girls don’t take more than their fair share. Good girls must explain (and be evaluated upon) why they want what they want (quite often so they can be talked out of wanting it).
Our (often subconscious) beliefs in these type of stories create huge energy leaks that the majority of our male counterparts don’t intrinsically have.
Establishing the equality we women are seeking will, in part, require each of us to plug our own energy leaks that are contributing to the imbalances in our lives, careers, and workplaces. It’s not our fault that these mental energy leaks were created in us, but it is vital to acknowledge that it is well within our power to plug them.
The act of identifying and plugging these leaks is how we begin to be the change we wish to see in the world.
If you’d like to hear more from Dan Sullivan, this is a great place to start.
I encourage you to experiment with allowing yourself to want what you want merely because you want it. And, if you’d like my help with identifying, examining, and plugging some of your mental energy leaks, we can certainly have a conversation about that.