Where are you making assumptions?
In my Women’s Self Discovery Workshop: Find Your Spark Again, we talk about the different areas of the healing cycle where we can get stuck. One of the cogs in the wheel that gets jammed up is in taking action to get our needs met.
Before I go on, I should clarify what I mean by needs. All humans have needs to be met in order to feel fulfilled in life and to experience positive emotions such as love, joy and peace.
We have our basic physical survival needs such as water, food and shelter.
We also have intellectual, emotional, spiritual and relational needs, such as the need to be seen, heard, understood, loved and autonomous, to be able to choose our dreams, goals and values, to play and have fun, to learn and have understanding of the world around us, to have emotional safety, the ability to share your emotions without judgement or fear of rejection, physical touch, hugs and affection. The list goes on and on!
As you can see, living a fulfilled life is so much more than just physical survival!
The thing about needs is that as humans, we rely on each other to get these needs met. That is just a part of the human experience.
As children, we rely on our parents, family and community. The circle of opportunity for getting your needs met is not in your control when you are young. If for some reason your needs aren’t being met, that little, sweet and innocent mind of yours knows no better than to make the assumption that this is the reality of the whole world.
Maybe you learned it wasn’t ok to ask for your basic needs such as food, water or shelter. Or maybe you learned it wasn’t ok to laugh loudly or to express a full range of emotions, or to just be your true self. You could have learned it’s not worth asking for help or you may have been pushed away when reaching out for a hug, leading you to believe you don’t deserve physical affection. There are many, many, many scenarios I could cover here. All of these little things that seem so insignificant to your adult mind add up over time and create the basis for the reality you find yourself in today.
Living based on the assumption it’s not ok to ask to get your needs met may be a big part of why you feel stuck. And being stuck is hard! It feels extremely frustrating because you see what you want but don’t know why you aren’t able to get it.
The answer is both simple and complicated.
Simple because the reason you aren’t taking those steps is that there is a part of you that learned that asking for your needs to be met was either dangerous, futile or unsatisfying. So naturally, you adopt a pattern of not asking anymore.
OR - you are in the pattern of asking to get your needs met in all the wrong places . . . which only re-confirms again and again that the assumptions you have made are true.
Complicated because that fear is so deeply rooted in your subconscious (the part of your psyche that isn’t in your immediate awareness). So your mind rationally says one thing - I want to be happy, loved, healthy, fulfilled, vibrant, satisfied and living my best life.
But your body is telling you a different story.
Your body remembers all of the times in the past where you weren’t able to get your needs met. It is saying - you can’t have that, it’s not safe, you’re not worthy, it’s pointless to ask, it never works out or it’s not worth it.
Your body and subconscious mind at some point were wired to believe all these things are true, so much to the point, that it becomes your reality.
What I would like to offer you today is this . .
Consider that there is a reality that exists beyond your current awareness where all of your needs are met - physical, intellectual, emotional, relational AND spiritual.
The cool thing about being an adult is this - you get to re-wire your reality. It’s not easy! I say this all the time:
Once you set your sights on what you want to grow into, everything that isn’t aligned with your dreams will bubble up to the surface to be processed and cleared so the path forward can open up for you.
All of the assumptions you’ve learned were true in the past start to be questioned.
The beauty of this is that once these things come into your awareness, you have choice. You have the ability now to learn a new skill, whether that is speaking up for yourself, knowing your own worth, setting healthy boundaries, making time for fun and play, learning it’s ok to rest, or letting people get close to you again, you have choice.
When something isn’t in your awareness, you don’t have choice. It’s like a hamster running on a wheel in the back of your awareness. You keep repeating the same patterns over and over again not knowing why nothing is changing.
We all do this, so once again, please know you are not doing anything wrong. This is just how we have been designed.
When you approach your human-ness with mindfulness, curiosity and self compassion, you will develop the inner resilience to shift into a new cycle of your life where your needs are being fulfilled.
It takes courage to dip your toe out into uncharted waters. It can be scary to ask for something from someone else not knowing what the outcome is going to be. It takes a hell of a lot of vulnerability to show your heart to the world. There are no guarantees. You may ask for a need to be met and indeed you may get a “no”.
But consider this - what if that “no" had absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you are deserving of what you asked for? What if it’s not wrong that you simply asked?
In healthy relationship, needs and boundaries are negotiable. You may ask for a need to be met, but it may bump up against someone else’s boundaries. It may also bump up against someone else’s insecurities or they may just not have within them to give you what you are asking for. Remember - they are human too!
What if this was ok? What if that just meant that this isn’t the right person/place/environment/job/book/course - whatever it is - what if this just wasn’t the right place for you to be reaching out to for support? What if you believed that support is available out there, it’s just somewhere else. How would that change things for you?
Instead of taking the “no” as a sign of your own unworthiness, what if you just looked elsewhere?
It takes courage to keep looking. But I do know this without a doubt - you are deserving of living a fulfilled life. Every human on this planet is deserving of this. We are just still learning how to make this our reality!
So this is my invitation to you this week - instead of avoiding asking because you are assuming you’ll get a no - ask anyways.
It will be scary, you’re legs may be shaking underneath you, your voice may tremble, your heart may feel weak, but give it a try anyways. Make it an experiment. Get curious of what the result will be. Show yourself compassion as you play with this new part of you, the part of you that is building courage and taking steps towards the fulfillment you deserve.
The worst that can happen is that you’ll get a no. The worst that can happen is that no will trigger your own insecurities and old patterns of shame, judgement and unworthiness. But with your newfound awareness, now you know these are just signs that once again your needs aren’t being met. That all of these things are coming up to the surface so you can learn from them and clear a path forward for your own fulfillment. You know now you can start looking elsewhere.
The best that can happen is that you are pleasantly surprised. The best that can happen is that your assumption is busted and you end up getting a yes. The best that can happen is that your reality starts to open up into something new. The best that can happen is that you get unstuck.
Take an inventory this week . . .
Where are you making assumptions?