Why “Not Wanting” is Not Useful

What I see happening in our world right now is a WHOLE BUNCH of NOT wanting.

  • We don’t want to wear a mask.  
  • We don’t want to be away from our families for the holidays.
  • We don’t want to do online college courses.
  • We don’t want to go back into a tighter quarantine.
  • We don’t want to have our missions reassigned.
  • We don’t want to come home before our 18-24 months.
Our Brain Will Find Proof

But, when we focus on what we DON’T WANT, our brains have no problem to solve… and our brains are problem solving machines.  So, when we only focus on what we don’t want… they just spin and scan and look more evidence and find EVEN MORE PROOF for why we don’t want… what we don’t want.  

Some Examples

I’ve seen this in my youngest daughter a little bit lately, too.  She’s been having a little bit of a struggle with the whole school situation.  At first, she didn’t want to do online learning.  Now, we are in an every other day situation, and she doesn’t want that either.  Finally, they announced that they would be slowly introducing the elementary school kids back to full time learning and she doesn’t want that.  Can you see it?  It’s the brain spin.  It’s the looking for evidence.

Sometimes I’ll try to help my middle school aged daughter what she is wearing.  But, no matter the shirt, or pair of jeans that I grab out of her closet, she doesn’t want it.  Her brain goes and goes NOT wanting, until we are completely out of options.

Not Wanting Puts Us in a Spin

Do you find yourself doing this in your everyday life?  No judgement here.  It’s just something that our brains like to do to keep us spinning and stuck.  

But, if we want to get out of this spin… the real question we should be asking ourselves is what do I actually, really WANT??   Do you wish you were a different version of yourself?? If so, I want you to read this article first. But, read on to find out what all humans REALLY want.

What We ALL Really Want

Most of the time when I ask people this question, they don’t even know the answer.  They haven’t taken time to consider what they truly want.  But, here’s a clue:  whether we understand this at first glance or not, what most of us really want is a FEELING. 

Everything humans do or don’t do is because of a way they think it will make them feel.  They spend time going around avoiding feelings and seeking out feelings.  So, let’s break it down.

Want to Feel Valuable?… Do This.

Let’s say you really wants to feel valuable.  You likely believe that the feeling of value comes from what you are doing.  But, value comes from what you are thinking.  

So, knowing this… we then get to decide… “Ok.  I just want to feel valuable.  Now… how can I do that right now?”  And bam. There is an actual problem for our brains to solve.

Give Your Brain a Problem to Solve

Our brains get to work solving that problem.  In other words, it starts to look for ways to create value.  This is one of my favorite questions to ask my clients and myself:

“What is the one feeling that is missing in this situation, that I am wanting to create?”

When I ask it this way… I get unstuck.  I stop spinning.  I get to work creating the emotion I want to create, with the way that I am thinking.

It’s pretty powerful work.  Life changing work, actually.  So, when your brain tries to focus on what you DON’T want, change it up and look for the FEELING that you want.

You’ll be propelled forward in no time!

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Hey! I'm Jennie - The LDS Mission Coach.

Preparing for, serving and coming home from an LDS Mission can present countless changes and transitions. I’ve seen these changes put missionaries at the mercy of their emotions and questioning their abilities. With the tools I teach, young adults empower themselves to navigate every moment of the mission experience with epic, unwavering confidence.

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