For most things in my life, I seek to really understand different perspectives and points of view and try to listen more than I speak, but I’ve come to realize there is an area in life and our culture that I cannot remain silent on any longer.
I don’t get on a soapbox often, but as a coach, I cannot tell you how fired up that I am that so many women come to me completely lacking confidence in who they are and what they want because they’re trying to source their identity around exactly what brilliant advertisers and patriarchal systems have taught us all: that you can’t trust yourself, you’re lacking, you need what we’re selling, and since you’re so uneducated, we’ll show you the light.
The truth behind my passion is that I was also a victim of those lies. At times, I can still fall prey to the incessant messaging that permeates so much of our digital world. Before I started specializing as a Mindset Coach, I’d never once asked myself what I truly desired from my life: how I wanted to spend my time, where I wanted to live, how much money I wanted to make. Well, actually, I had thought about those things, but whenever I did, I pushed them down and away because surely, I couldn’t really be, or do, or have anything I wanted… could I?
Then, I met Emily Williams. I met her through a Facebook ad. She was wearing a pink dress, standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, and her ad copy read, “I’m just a girl from Ohio with really big dreams.” I thought to myself, “Hey, I’m just a girl from Kentucky with really big dreams… who is Emily Williams? She sounds a lot like me.” I instantly devoured her content, and then I started joining her programs.
One of the very first exercises Emily told me to do was to get really clear on my desires by listing out at least 30-50 things that I physically wanted in my life. The word desire was a big pitfall for me. I grew up in the Baptist church and I was taught that our “desires” were something to avoid. Through the lens of religion, “desire” reeked of sin—and for some of you with a religious background, it might mean “of the flesh.” It took a complete reclaiming of the word “desire” to really begin breaking down the walls of what I really and truly wanted from my life.
The word “desire” in Latin literally means: of the Father. Over the last couple of years, I’ve come to believe that the desires of our hearts and minds are wired within us. Emily likes to say that our desires could be thought of as blueprints dropped into us.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ll really struggle with this at first. You see, for years I’d been listening to so many different opinions (media, advertising, religion) that I was drowning out the sound of my own voice. I’d gotten so used to looking around me to see how I was doing and what I should want, that I wasn’t quite sure how to navigate the internal workings and longings of my own heart.
Can you relate?
Can you tell me right now what it is you actually want from your life and what you’d love to accomplish?
If you’ve been in the coaching world this might come easier to you because you’ve had to stand up and claim what you want, but if you’re new around these parts, it can feel a little like you’re a fish out of water. It seems so simple to ask someone what they want from life and at the same time, it can feel deeply unsettling to realize that you don’t exactly know how to answer that question.
It’s okay if you don’t know.
For the majority of our lives, we’ve grown up in environments that ask us to study for a prescribed test, to function within established orders and systems that we had no hand in creating for ourselves. So when someone asks you to design something from your own creativity and personal thought, it can feel a little overwhelming. When you factor in all the messaging that you’ve received from the media and advertisements which were designed to make you doubt yourself, it makes even more sense that when you really start giving yourself a blank template to create, it can feel daunting.
What I want you to know and understand is that creating a life around what you desire is a skill.
Skills are things that we can learn and strengthen, they’re not things that we can ever be excluded from except within our own hearts and minds. I hope you understand how powerful this is. A lot of times we see other people having things we want, doing things we wish we could, or cultivating lives that we feel so far away from. We feel defeated and deflated and default to thinking that they must have something special that we don’t. But what I’ve learned is that not one single person on this planet is somewhere that you can’t be if you really desire to be there.
To that, you might say, “Well, Evelyn, I wanted to be Michael Jordan, but here we are.” And look, I get it. If you’re walking around looking for proof of all the reasons and ways that you can’t have what you want or be who you want to be, you’ll find it. The same is true for proof of why you can. It’s all about where you’re placing your beliefs and your focus.
It was also Emily who taught me that paying attention to my jealousy was actually a really good indicator of what I’m meant for. We’ve always been taught that jealousy is bad (and it can be if you’re letting it rob you of your joy), but what if you lean into it and get curious about it? If you made a list of all of the people you’re jealous of right now, I bet you’d find common threads running through them! It turns out that jealousy is really the deepest longings of your heart spurring you toward what you’re meant for: an expanded, fully expressed, and abundant life.
As I’ve begun to rewire and rewrite all of my beliefs around desires over the years, I’ve found that there’s also so much proof in scripture around this. An incredible line in the Bible where Jesus is speaking says, “…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
So here are a few questions for you, Lovely.
- What would your life look like if you gave yourself full permission to want the exact life that you wanted?
- What would it look like if you started trusting yourself more?
- What would it mean if all that separates you from abundance in every arena of your life was simply developing the skill of desire?
Seriously—take a moment to imagine and feel into that life.
Where are you living? Who are you living with? What kind of home do you live in? What clothes are you wearing? What kind of people do you spend your time with? What kind of work do you do?
And once you’ve done that, ask yourself whether there were things in that vision that felt scary to consider.
I hope so! I hope that you’re being challenged right now. I hope there’s a tension within that’s really grabbing your heart because the world needs fully expanded hearts, minds, visions, and initiatives. As we step forward into those expanded frontiers, we teach others how to do that for themselves. After all, each of us has an area of impact and influence.
I want you to picture one person who you love and cherish in your life. What if your example and your courage to step into your expansion meant that they would also elevate their life to an extraordinary place? I get chills just thinking about the collective energy that will impact life for generations when we really do the work of desire.
So tell me, Lovely. Where will your desires lead you? How will they change the world and generations to come? Comment below. I really want to know…
P.S. Click here to find out how to stop competing with and comparing yourself to others, and transform your jealousy into a force for positive change in your life.