Wanting is more powerful than needing. Standing in a place of wanting includes more choice, more active agency, and more personal power.
I was on a call with one of my favorite entrepreneurial friends. Whenever we chat it feels like we could chat for hours, days...weeks. She asked me how my business was going and as I updated her she asked if I was constantly working myself out of work. In other words, was I working myself out of my clients needing me? This was an interesting question that caused me to pause. As I paused, tuned in, and reflected on how the question landed with me, I lit up inside and said “yes actually...I am.”
For business-minded people reading this they may think, that’s horrible! You’re business is doomed. Here’s how I see it differently. A lot of people in the coaching, healing, and therapeutic industry create dependency. Patients become dependent on their therapists. Clients become dependent on their coaches. Visitors becomes dependent on their healers. This can be disempowering if manifested in an unhealthy way.
I’m interested in empowerment. This means, that what makes my heart beat most is for my clients to not need me, but rather, choose me. To want to work together. Most of the clients who come to me, find me in a feeling of need. They need help after a breakup, to transition out of a job, to uncover their purpose, to hear their inner voice. Eventually they realize they don’t need me. In some sense, they never did. If I’ve done the artistry of my work well, they uncover a deep well of wisdom inside of them that they previously forgot was there and I’ve skillfully taught them how to access it anytime, anywhere. Some clients end their work here. This can create important transformations like: clearing out old energy from past relationships, finding a path forward, or changing jobs.
However, clients that decide they want to work with me whether it’s from the beginning, or after an initial state of need, those are the clients that create massive change. They move from imaging to living their dreams like meeting their soulmate and getting married after a previously devastating break up, healing their marriage and having their first child, starting or closing down their business to align with their priorities on their own terms, becoming an unexpected leader in their field, a deep channel for the Universe to heal themselves and others, and heal deep old patterns that were once hard to let go of. These are not hypotheticals by the way, but rather real outcomes from my clients who dedicated themselves to a growth process from a starting point of “wanting.”
Excited about these outcomes? Me too! I’d love to co-create some big changes together in your life if we both agree we’re a strong match. Let’s schedule some time together for a free discovery session. Click HERE.
When we turn from need to want in our relationships we stand in our personal power.
Moving away from needing and choosing to want a relationship (of any kind) in our life is born from coming home to ourselves. An act of fortification of our energy, our love, our power, from the inside out. When we want, we recognize an infinite power source is inside of us and everything that comes to us in our life is an addition, icing on the cake, adornment, and treasure. Needs, however, are filling a gap, a hole, an essential, and can create dependence. Feel into that for a moment. Consider a relationship where you feel like you want them in your life versus need.
Let’s be clear. We all have needs in relationships. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m exploring the underlying motivation and starting point.
After many relationships motivated by need, I decided I’m not interested in dependence in my connections in the gap fill kinda way. I desire addition, expansion, also, too, and treasure.
It doesn’t mean I don’t fall back into the need motivation at times. I do. However, now I’m aware of when that happens and I know what it feels like to create from a motivation of want over need.
It wasn’t always this way for me. For a long time I felt I needed my spiritual teachers, healers, and my first coach. I was sure that I couldn’t move forward without them. In some sense this was true. I was not going to move forward or change anything unless I actively started living from a different place. The deeper part of me that wanted that ultimately pushed me to reach out for support because I knew our work together would quicken the process. However, in my mind, I was connected to a need motivation and perspective. This eventually led me to a place where I felt like I couldn’t make even the smallest decisions without seeking council outside of myself. Whether it was a friend, a teacher, or a book, outside is where I always sought the answers first. Always.
This reverse of energy flow also led to unhealthy dynamics in romantic relationships for me that felt draining rather than supportive. Codependent pushing and pulling where I attracted emotionally unavailable men, men who could benefit from my ability to always be there and who would reinforce not fulfilling me which always had me needing them more. From this place of needing I birthed toxic and abusive relationships of all different shades. I also created some friendships that seemed one-sided like me answering 3 am phone calls from the same friend in crisis who never was concerned about what happened in my life.
Eventually I got burned out from this dynamic and when I connected at the right time to the right support, they empowered me to see that what I needed was always inside of myself. I knew this theoretically, but I learned this in experience through relationships that modeled this. I stopped hiring people because I needed them and decided to hire my support system because I wanted them. When previously moving from need motivation before, I felt resentful for how much of my money was going towards my own healing and growth. When the switch turned from need to want, I started feeling grateful for the money I was spending on the people I hired. This is important to say. It’s not that I stopped working with a team of people on my own growth and healing. Rather, it’s that I started feeling like an active collaborator and this change was born entirely from a choice inside to shift how I was relating and how I showed up.
The needing dynamic in my romantic relationship realm switched when I became exhausted from the drama in my dating life and decided to become the best partner for myself. I got tired of waiting for a romantic man to show up in my life and became the romantic partner I desired. I bought myself flowers every single Thursday as a romantic gesture. I did this for an entire year! Those in my old Thursday night Dharma Yoga class could be sure to see me carrying a bouquet into class or walking next door to Trader Joe’s after class was over. I always wanted someone who romanced me like in the movies so I decided to start romancing myself. I took myself out to nice dinners, I bought myself weekends away, and I wrote myself love notes.
When we switch to motivations born of want versus need, our relationships become fulfilling. We stop needing people in our life to fill unreasonable, unmeetable, sometimes superhuman expectations that can never be met.
When we stop wanting others to fulfill us, we recognize that the fulfillment we desire has been inside ourselves all along.
If you currently are, or have been motivated by need, don’t fret. In many ways, when followed in support of something greater like our personal growth, our pursuit motivated by need can heal us. This motivation heals us when we do it under the right conditions to reveal that we are already whole...complete...powerful. A knowing we meet that is not theoretically, but deeply felt in our bones.
Denying a need motivation can hold us back. Ironically, it keep us stuck. Whether it is a felt need for healing support or a relationship, when we deny this need it just reinforces the gap rather than healing of it. If, instead, we follow this need mindfully, curiously, we may discover that on the other side of need is an invitation to want.
I previously tried to deny my own need of a relationship after I went through my divorce and remained single for several years. I talked myself out of this need many times, and yet, it kept surfacing. After I finally surrendered to it, I discovered what was underneath the fury. I experienced what need motivation energy could create (that was painful) and most of all, I learned through my contrasting experiences that no one would ever “fulfill” me in the way I expected. This led me to turn inside and partner myself. When my current love showed up on the scene, I had made a prayer that I wanted to partner with someone who could meet me in my wholeness. Someone I wanted, to choose in my life, not someone I need. This answered prayer has taught me what it truly feels like to want versus need a relationship.
For this week’s Joy Tip I’m inviting you to check in with your motivations in your relationships. Here’s how:
List the three most important relationships in your life right now. These are the human relationships you spend the most time in, thinking about, interacting with. Make sure to be honest. This is not your wishlist, this is the current three people you actually interact with the most. I know sometimes that doesn’t line up. Let’s put that aside for just now.
Be honest with yourself and ask are you motivated from want or need? In simplified terms, ask yourself does this feel like an addition or an essential relationship? Does this connection feel like a treasure or a requirement?
If you’ve discovered that you are motivated from a place of need and wish to shift it, ask yourself, what would be different if this relationship was not needed in my life, but rather chosen? How would I show up if this was the favorite icing on the cake rather than the bread to sustain me? Most of all, what needs have I put on this relationship that are my own to fill by none other than...myself?
The idea of not needing a relationship sounds yucky to people. Maybe even scary. I get it. I’m not saying we don’t need each other in the bigger sMcheme of supporting each other on planet earth. I’m saying, imagine a society where we no longer placed sticky expectations on each other that were not reachable. Imagine a world where romantic relationships were not born from filling a hole, but from a desire to support each other’s expansion. Imagine a support system that was designed to help you choose your growth rather than fix you.