I’ve been speaking and writing about desire lately because I believe that understanding and opening to desire is so central to living a fulfilled life. If you missed my call last week, “Claim Your Sexual Power: 5 Steps to Stop Fearing Your Desire and Start Living It,” I want to share my observations on the 5 most common fears that I have seen stop people in their tracks when it comes to desire!
What kind of desire am I talking about? I mean that feeling you get when you really want something—a kind of joy that opens up within you as you dream bigger, you desire more and open up courageously. It might be a desire for a sexual experience; it might be a vision for the relationship(s) or community you most long for; it might be a dream of the kind of fulfilling work and professional life that would most excite you. It might be creating the ideal family you want, or living in your dream home, or creating the art you know you were meant to make.
Here are the 5 most common fears that I see stop people in their tracks around desire:
1. The first fear is the fear of wanting at all—and that is because you think it’s bad to want. Make no mistake, women are heavily socialized to not seem pushy, needy or unladylike. You’ve got to realize that desire is sacred and good—and it doesn’t mean every desire you have needs to be acted on. But you aren’t living when you do not allow that pull to be bigger, live deeper and shine brighter to guide you to your true north.
2. “What if my desire offends someone else?” When you want MORE, you run the risk of shaking things up and upsetting the people around you who don’t understand why you aren’t happy with the status quo. It may seem safer to please others around what they want, than to stand in your own wants and trust they will be met. And yet squashing your desire for someone else’s sake is actually a form of people pleasing.
It’s good to have new desires and to discover new things. That is what makes life worth living. Desire changes over time. The desires you have now are not the same desires you’ll have 5 or 10 years from now! Desire is dynamic and it births new desires all the time.
Make play happen…
3. “What if I get rejected? I’d just rather not go for it then go through that.” When you really go after a certain desire, you run the risk of being shut down. Sometimes that fear of rejection down the road can be so insidious that it will stymie you from taking the next step. It’s true; someone might tell you they can’t satisfy a desire. They might say “no”. But so what? Fulfilling desire is only a fun shared activity when everyone wants to be there. That’s what makes the co-creation come alive, flirtation fly, seduction work, and play happen.
If you never ask for what you want, you’ll never get it, and others will never be able to play with you and your desire, whether it’s for some kind of hot sex, a big creative project, taking a fantastic trip, or creating a friendship. So learn to let go a little more—to not take yourself so seriously, to laugh at yourself, not take things as personally and to know that when someone else says “no”, it’s about them, not you.
4. “What if my desire isn’t achievable?” If you are living in doubt all the time that you can’t have what you really want, then you’ll never get it. Remember how energy multiplies itself? If you spend enough time thinking you can’t get what you want, you definitely won’t! So ask yourself, “Why am I choosing to spend my life telling myself everything I can’t do rather than what I can do?” We all have that capability and no one is more capable than anyone else. We all have it or none of us have it.
5. “What will people think of me if I go for my desires?” There is so much shame about desire. You think you shouldn’t have it or that people will label you as over-sexual, as greedy, as needy, as demanding, as selfish or something else. Anyone who ever achieved anything great in their life experienced two things: 1. They were told they were crazy for wanting to do that great thing or for even thinking they could—but they did it anyway; and 2. They DID NOT CARE about what others thought of them or about whether they failed—they kept their eye on the prize and they went for it.
So ask yourself what is keeping you from really acknowledging and going for your own desires. And when you don’t go for them, where do they go? How do you end up feeling? If you aren’t letting your desire out, you are not fully living, because you are only showing up halfway. Are you going to let your fears run you, or will you continue to open to your desires courageously?