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Over the years that I’ve been coaching, I’ve noticed a common theme around women who struggle with overwhelm and burnout. They don’t know what they really want, or need. As a result, they deplete their energy trying to fulfill everyone else’s needs.
Does that sound like you? Read on (or listen to the podcast) to find out how to stop this cycle and finally get your needs met.
Needs, Wants and Boundaries
These three elements are the secret to finding the clarity, focus and follow-through you need to reach your goals – no matter what they are. Whether you’re looking to change careers or shrink your dress size, the same rules apply.
Let’s start with needs…
Have you ever met someone who knows how to get their needs met? They are the ones who aren’t afraid to say what works for them and what doesn’t. They can say, with confidence, how they want to be treated at work, in relationships and with family. There’s something insanely attractive about someone who can get their needs met.
Our personal needs are unique to each of us. Some of it is shaped by our personality (nature) and some is shaped by our past (nurture). The important thing to know is that we need to have our core needs met in order to show up as our whole, best self.
Scroll down to take the needs assessment now.
Know What You Want (sort of)
The hard part about wants is that they are a moving target. Often, we can’t know what we want until we get it. It’s only then that we can say with confidence whether it’s the right thing for us or not. Knowing what you want takes life experience – full stop.
However, when you know what you need, and you know what you DON’T want, then you’re cooking with fire. You don’t have to have a crystalized vision, but if you have a direction, you can start down a path and make adjustments as needed.
The most important thing about knowing what you want (at least a little bit), is that it enables you to say no to everything else. This is essential to protecting your energy and focus. Without both of these, you won’t have the resources to go after what you do want. So the next time you’re asked to contribute to someone else’s wants, ask yourself – is this what I want, too? If it’s not, say no thank you.
Boundaries with a Capital B
Setting boundaries is a new phenomenon for a lot of women. Most girls are raised to be good. To be seen and not heard. As we grow up, we don’t expect our preferences to be a consideration, so what starts as “good girl” syndrome morphs into “I’m cool with whatever” (even though we’re not) by the time we’re in our 20s.
When our boundaries aren’t honored as children, we’re not to blame. However, when our lack of boundaries are still tripping us up in our 50s, that’s on us (I’m talking to myself here). As an adult, it’s our responsibility to voice our needs, wants and limits to the people we love. That way, our relationships can grow and flourish without resentment, bitterness or drama.
There’s so much I can say about boundaries, but the key thing to know is that we can’t create boundaries until we’re clear about our wants and needs. Since wants are based on life experience, that’s something only you can determine. However, our unique needs are based on our personalities, personal histories and the experiences we’ve had growing up.
To that end, I’ve created a needs assessment tool to help you reflect on your own personal needs inventory, and how to think about getting your needs met as an adult.
Are you game to try it out? Click here to get started.