I Want an Omelet without Eggs; 3 Steps to Reframing What You Do Want
I was at a networking lunch the other day and someone was telling a story about a friend who was at a restaurant ordering breakfast. She looked at the menu and stated “I want an omelet without eggs.” When she said this, we all looked around the table a bit confused and began to laugh, trying to figure out what she really wanted.
Thanks to a great waitress who had the customer focus on what she did want; she discovered she wanted all the other elements in the omelet and the skillet breakfast was the want. Which by the way, was on the menu.
As she was telling the story, I realized how much I hear this today. How many people look at what they don’t want, to decided what they truly want. By doing this they miss so much. It is important to understand what one does not want to help set boundaries. However, a good starting place is to decide on what you do want.
What are the disadvantages of starting with what you do not want?
- It is time consuming. Much time is spent focusing on the don’t haves, don’t wants, without, not exactly. The story above took a while to finalize what was wanted.
- It has been proven that focusing on negative words actually will bring your energy level down, your posture will slump and productivity also goes down. So if a decision is needed to be made, you want to be at your peak, not when you energy is low. Also when telling others what you don’t want, they will leave confused wondering what you truly want.
- You may not get a full picture. You may be missing out on what is truly wanted and desired. An example: If you know you don’t want to be in a culture that does not promote their employees, yet further exploration you find that you want recognition, a reward program, training opportunities, ability to move up and around in the company and so on. Exploration, clarity, and specifics will open the door to more.
So how can you reframe?
- Ask yourself, what is it I truly want? If you are struggling to find a starting point, then start with what you know and how it makes you feel. Identify and understand what you would like to keep and maintain. If something comes up that makes you feel angry, frustrated, disappointed or sad, then it may not make the list.
- Explore each item on your list. Be very specific and notice the feelings you have once you identify different words. Follow the above bullet to see if it makes the list. Be careful here. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, stay with it to see what is driving this discomfort – it could be an area of stretching and testing the boundaries (possible growth opportunity).
- Examine your supportive structure and build upon it. Notice if you have individuals who are supportive in a positive way, individuals that can give an objective point of view. Identify people who you admire and who are loyal, add them to your support structure. Struggling with your reframing? Run it by your supportive structure. You will want a good supportive foundation as you explore and branch out.
Summary, start with what you want. Explore for clarity and specifics and finally, build your supportive structure as you branch out.
If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never find it. If you don’t know what you deserve, you’ll always settle for less. You will wander aimlessly, uncomfortably numb in your comfort zone, wondering how life has ended up here. Life starts now, live, love, laugh and let your light shine! Rob Liano