What do you really want?

What do you really want?
What do you really want?

To make your most cherished wish come true, you need to imagine it as vividly and clearly as possible.

What do you really want?

One of the most common pieces of advice in the psychological literature is as follows: "In order for the most cherished desire to come true, you need to imagine it as vividly and distinctly as possible." However, many people, when answering the question: “What do you really want?” - fall into a real stupor. They can tell what they don't want, what they should and what they can't do. But they are not able to hear their desires. Psychologist Natalia Fomicheva talks about how to understand the causes of such a problem and find possible ways to solve it

Where do desires come from?

Out of needs. Conventionally, all needs can be divided into two groups: physiological and psychological. A child is born into the world already with a set of needs and declares his desires loudly and demandingly. True, these desires are mainly related to physiology (although some psychological needs are present even in an infant). But the child grows with desires. And at some point, he clearly declares to his mother: “I want to.” Mom's reaction may be different. She can satisfy a desire, she can say: “You can’t do this,” or she can say: “No, you don’t want to” or “No, you can’t want this.” The last two options are a time bomb for the child's psyche. Due to the fact that the child is very attached to his mother, loves her very much, he does not completely separate himself from her and feels like a single whole with his mother. When a mother says: “You don’t want this,” confusion sets in in the child’s mind: on the one hand, there is a desire and the child feels it. On the other hand, mom says that there is no desire. Growing up, such a child cannot be aware of his desires, he always doubts them. If the mother forbids the child to want, then with age he gets the feeling that wanting something is bad and dangerous. Subsequently, it will be easier for the psyche of such a person to block desires than to listen to them, since all desires are a priori frightening and indecent. Such people often have serious violations in the sexual sphere, since almost all desires in this area are not censored by consciousness.

Another reason a person doesn't know what they want is alexithymia. Psychologists call this difficult word difficulties in defining and describing their emotions and the emotions of other people. Quite often, alexithymia develops in children of dominant parents who suppress the child, bring him up in an atmosphere of severity. As a rule, this disorder affects men who were forbidden to cry, be offended or angry in childhood. Since desire consists of two components (emotion and will), a person who does not hear his feelings and is not able to recognize them will be deaf to his desires.

Sometimes the reason that a person cannot formulate what he wants is inconsistent parental upbringing. A mother brings up a child, based not on his needs, but on her mood: when she feels good, everything is allowed for the child, when she feels bad, everything is forbidden for the child, including what was possible yesterday. In such a person, the so-called. “learned helplessness” is the feeling of one’s powerlessness and impossibility to change the world around. Such a person has desires, but the responsibility for their fulfillment is transferred to other people. And then the woman will want her husband to stop drinking, and the child to be capricious, completely not feeling his responsibility for what is happening in her life.

However, the inability to hear one's desires is not always formed in childhood. Throughout his life, a person goes through a series of age-related crises. During these periods, there is a restructuring of values, a search for a new meaning of life. If the crisis is not resolved to the end, a person cannot decide on his desires. After all, if there is no meaning to life, then it is not clear what to want. One of the most significant crises is the midlife crisis, when a person sums up the intermediate results of his life and sets himself new goals. If the lived years do not cause a feeling of satisfaction, then desires disappear.

Some people give up their desires after experiencing some kind of psychological trauma, such as divorce or the betrayal of a close friend. A person decides that desires make him vulnerable, therefore, in order to look strong, it is better not to want anything. Other people decide that if they never desire again, then no one can reject or disappoint them.

Whatever the reason for the lack of desires, in adulthood, as a rule, such a person is faced with a sense of the meaninglessness of his own life, begins to feel like a robot acting according to a given scheme, and the word “I want” disappears from his lexicon altogether, replaced by “should”, “must” and “necessary”.


What to do for those who do not hear their desires and do not understand what they want? It is important to remember that recognizing a problem is already a step towards solving it. There are a number of exercises that can be done to access blocked feelings and become aware of your desires.

Exercise "12 wishes"

This exercise should be done daily, and the first effect can be felt in a week.

So, every morning you choose a time and write down 12 or more wishes in a specially designed notebook - what you want to do at the moment or during the day. Desires can be both “big” (for example, to visit grandfather, buy curtains), and “small” (for example, scratch your nose or drink water). If nothing comes to mind, you need to wait until another desire comes from within. You don’t have to come up with desires on purpose, just to complete the exercise, for example: “You might want to call your friend again, you promised her anyway.” Write down only those desires that you feel are real.

Then, throughout the day, you fulfill these desires (or maybe not, put aside some, while being aware of your feelings) and observe what happens to you when you do what you really want, and when do something else.

Exercise Stop

Set an alarm to ring once or twice an hour. And at the time of the call, address yourself with the question: “What do I want now?”

You may find yourself doing something you don't really want to do, and what's more, you don't even have to do it! Or you will note some little things, the change of which will make your life much more comfortable.

Exercise "Follow the language"

In Russian, there are a lot of constructions for describing desires. And along with the simple and understandable “I want”, there are such expressions as “it would be nice”, “want” and “would like”. The difference between these expressions and “I want” is that they do not contain energy to achieve the goal. The phrase "it would be nice to lose 10 kilograms" means that there is an attractive image of a slender woman in the head, but there is no willingness to spend energy on changing one's own lifestyle.

The exercise is that you begin to pay attention to the formulations in which you enclose your desires. And, when particles “would” or an impersonal “want” appear in your speech, feel free to replace these phrases with “I want”. Those sensations that arise in this case, it is desirable to write down. After a while, you will get used to listening to yourself and understanding exactly what happens to you when you really want something.

Rubber Doll Exercise

Proponents of body-oriented psychotherapy believe that the fastest way to realize your desires is to work with the body. A person who wants nothing suffers from reduced muscle tone. He is lethargic, hypotonic and unnecessarily relaxed. In order to achieve inner harmony, he needs to learn to tense up and relax at will, and most importantly, learn to distinguish between a toned state and a relaxed one.

This exercise can be done alone or with a partner. One participant imagines himself as a huge rubber doll, the second depicts a pump. The “doll” lies on the floor and tries to feel as if all the air has been completely let out of it and it has turned into a lifeless rubber rag. The "pump" settles down nearby and literally begins to inflate the doll, that is, to make movements that people usually do when using a pump. "Doll" should respond to "pumping", with each

smoke by the movement of the pump gradually and evenly filled with air and power. The main point of this exercise is to learn how to increase the overall muscle tone, which is necessary for the implementation of any life goals.

When your "doll" reaches its maximum volume, the "pump" is disconnected and the "doll" is gradually deflated to its original state. It is recommended to repeat this exercise until the “doll” learns to regulate its muscle tone by itself.

The path to yourself through the realization of your desires is not easy and slow. But, as the existential psychologist Rollo May wrote: “The desire to become oneself is the true vocation of man.” Perhaps that is why, despite all the difficulties, this path brings joy and happiness.

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