If you don't know what you want, try this

When the path seems foggy ahead and your brain can't visualise what you want, it helps to focus on what you DON'T want as a starting point.

Like Comment

That turnaround from New Year SUCKED this year.  Like wading through treacle, energy not quite back yet, so much to do, the world racing off again before we were ready!

You feeling this too?

There's been a theme to the coaching conversations this week that I want to share with you.

The feeling that everything isn't quite PEACHY but feeling reluctant to look at it and resistant to IDEAS, POSSIBILITIES, SOLUTIONS.  A sort of stuck in the mud feeling.  Kinda "YEP I know this doesn't feel quite right but I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WANT!!"

I hear you.

And I'm here to share something that's worked for me.

Ask yourself the question:  What do you NOT WANT?

What are you absolutely clear that you don't want, that you're fed up of, that you'd like to never see again so long as you live?

When I was still a GP and I still wanted to be a GP (because I'd worked so hard to get to where I was) but I couldn't see how my life was sustainable, I remember thinking "I don't know what I want, and I don't know what to do, but I DON'T want to carry on like this, I absolutely DON'T want to die, I don't want to get sick and I don't want to be the Mum that was so stressed she was grumpy with her kids the whole time. 

I WAS pretty grumpy at the time.  And two friends were dying of cancer.  And I couldn't keep going like that.

Just KNOWING what I DIDN'T want helped me to get in touch with what was important to me.

Trying to visualise what I DID want was too foggy, too unknown, too scary.  But I could clearly see what I didn't want, so I started there.

I've been using the same technique since New Year - the road feels foggy, the world feels stressful, but I know what I DON'T want, so that helps me to remember my values and focus my energy on what's important.

Knowing I DON'T want to miss out on my kids' childhood helps me to prioritise my time.
Knowing I DON'T want to neglect the planet helps me to focus my efforts on making my business sustainable.
Knowing I DON'T want to spend my whole time looking at my phone helps me to have boundaries, to walk away from social media and focus on having meaningful conversations instead.
Knowing I DON'T want to be superficial and fear-based and trend-led helps me to stay in my lane and focus on deep work rather than worrying about chasing headlines.

If you're feeling foggy about what you want, or tired of looking for solutions, start by focusing on what you DON'T want, and see where it takes you.  Your values will come up to the surface, so writing it all down can help you unpick the path ahead.

Nicola Harker

Coach and Mentor (ex-doctor) and teacher of Self-Compassion, Nicola Harker Coaching

Using neuroscience, self-compassion techniques and coaching as well as high-performance techniques I help my clients free their potential and get back to their true selves so that they can thrive in life.