In this episode, I’ll uncover why we are afraid to want and why it feels safer to avoid wanting. I’ll teach you what avoiding this question is costing you. You’ll come away with some strategies to use to tap into your own desires and wants, along with a strong reason “why” for pursuing the answer to that question.
I’m Andrea Giles. And you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast,
episode number 65, Why we are afraid to want.
Hello and welcome to the Heal from Infidelity podcast for courageous women.
Learn not only to heal from their spouse’s betrayal, but to become the
boldest, truest, most decisive and confident versions of themselves ever.
If you know there’s more for you than the life you’re currently living but
don’t quite know how to get there, you are in the right place. Stick around
to learn how to create a life that will knock your own socks off. Is it
possible? It is. And I’m here to show you how. I’m your host, Andrea Giles.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Hi everybody. Okay. So you might notice right out the gate that my sound is
a little different than it usually is. That is because I am not home. I am
traveling and I’m recording from air pods. I am at an event for coaches.
It’s been amazing. And I have learned so much and always love being around
my fellow coaches, but I also love getting this podcast out to you. And so
I am stepping away and getting this recorded and doing it in a little bit
different than I usually do. So I hope that the sound is okay for you to
listen and learn, and I’m going to dive in. Okay.
So today we are going to talk about being afraid to want. Okay. So I work
with a lot of people, and I can’t tell you how many times I have heard
people discount what they want, or not have a clue what they want, or
negotiate with what they want. And so today we’re going to talk a little
bit about that. We’re going to talk about why we do that and what we can do
about it. Okay. So you’re going to hear me interchange the word want and
desire a lot throughout this podcast. Okay. So let’s talk about desire. We
are born with desire. We’re born with it. It is part of being a human.
First is children. Okay. Think about children. Children have no shame in
asking for what they want. Right? And sometimes they demand what they want.
They have no shame around it. They have no qualifications of what makes
them worthy to have the things that they want. They just want what they
want and they will let you know. Okay. And then as children grow, they
start to categorize, what is good to want, what is bad to want based on
socialization, based on the upbringing they have. Right? They learn from
their homes. They learn from their communities. They learn from their
families. They learn from their religion and society at large, what is
acceptable to want.
And as children, we internalize these judgements and we learn to follow
them. We learn to pay attention to them. So I want you to think about your
childhood. Do you have any memories of what you were told is acceptable or
unacceptable to want? Do you have any memory of that? I do. I remember as a
kid if I had something that I wanted or something that I wanted to talk
about or air my feelings about, I remember being told that I was ungrateful
and that I was not being grateful for the things that I had, to want more.
Okay. And so it made it, I was very uncomfortable speaking up for what I
wanted or what I wanted to be different.
So even now at 44, when I want something, I notice my brain going back to
when I was a child, “Andrea, you are being ungrateful. You don’t know how
good you have it,” that kind of thing. Right. And I have to talk to myself
and remind myself that I am not a child. I’m an adult. And I get to decide
what I want. I get to decide what is worthy for myself of wanting. And I’m
going to tell you a little bit more about how to do that. Okay. Another
huge reason why it’s hard to want is because our primal brains are
programmed to not rock the boat. Our primal brains are programmed to keep
safe, play it safe, don’t risk getting kicked out of the tribe, be
reasonable. So when we think about desire and wanting, our brains are
really, really quick to shut it down. Our brains are like, “Oh no, that’s
risky.” Oh no, that’s all kinds of messages of why we shouldn’t have it.
But the thing is, it’s our higher brain or our prefrontal cortex where want
and desire live and are nurtured. But often our primal lower brain winds
out. So to learn to want, we have to learn to override our primal brain and
tune into something more. So today I want to teach you how to do that.
Okay. When I first start working with a new client, we do a lot of work
around wanting and desire. After all, they had to want it to schedule a
call with me, to talk to me, to be willing to share with me the stuff that
is personal to them. And then ultimately, to be willing to make the
commitment and time and money and energy, all the things, to have a one on
one spot with me. Right?
Their higher brain made that decision. Their higher brain said, “I want
this enough that I’m willing to put myself out there and talk to this
person and pay this money and whatever,” all the things. Right? They want a
desired result more than they want the comfort of staying stuck, of staying
where they are. If they’re just listening to their lower brain, their lower
brain will try to convince them all the reasons why they can’t move
forward, why they can’t commit to time, why it’s too expensive, why it’s on
and on and on. Okay. That comes from the lower brain.
And our higher brain advocates for the things that will help us to move
forward and helps us to find solutions to the problems presented instead of
just like, well, can’t have that and talking ourselves right out of it.
Okay. So another thing that I see a lot in my clients, something I see a
lot is that, many of them often have no clue what they want. They draw a
blank when I ask them questions about the future. For many of them, they
have been in survival mode for such a long time, that looking anywhere past
that feels really difficult and even scary. Because to actually say out
loud that they want more than where they are means they may need to do some
things that scare them. And who just gets really excited about that? Not
many people. Right?
And so often they have learned to mute their own desire. They have learned
to live for other people, putting out fires, helping everybody else, making
sure everybody else is comfortable. But often it has come at a cost to
their own comfort. Right? Sometimes, and this is one that I hear a lot, my
clients will tell me, “I just want peace. I just want peace.” And after
their lives have been quite unpeaceful for a while, I understand it. But
you know what? There’s something more that they want than just peace. Okay.
There’s more. I promise you there’s more.
Peace is a feeling. Okay. Peace is a feeling and our feelings are good to
follow. Like I just want to feel this way. But here’s where it gets really
interesting, is where we actually take the time to define what that looks
like in real, living, breathing terms. Okay. So it looks like, I want to
wake up in the morning and feel calm, and feel ready for the day, and take
time to nurture myself every morning by journaling, by reading, connecting
with myself, I want to have beautiful scenery to look at, really getting
specific. Okay. And I promise you, we all have these things in us. We all
We all have greatness inside us. We all have majesty and really big,
amazing, powerful things inside us. But we, like I said, have gotten so
used to muting it that we just have forgotten or just muted it on purpose
because it’s like too painful to look at because our brains have convinced
us that we can’t have it. Okay. But for my clients, when they do this work
and really just listen, sometimes it’s, they want a place to entertain
guests, somewhat order in their home, somewhat relationships where they
feel really fully seen and loved and cherished. Okay.
I have my things that I want. If you’ve listened to past episodes, I want
more time at the ocean because I just love it there. I just love it. So how
do we identify those things and then step into making them happen? Okay.
First of all, I want you to imagine a box. A box, okay. Inside the box are
all the shoulds. The shoulds of what you should want, what you should not
want, what a worthy or unworthy desire is. Guilt, shame, restrictions, and
rules around what you can have. Okay. The thing about wanting and desire is
that desire transcends that box.
It is outside the box. It lives outside it. It is not bound by rules and
restrictions. It comes from our most wise self. And I want to tell you some
things about our wise selfs. We all, every one of you listening, have deep,
deep wells of wisdom to draw on. We just forget that it’s there or don’t
how to access it. Okay. But I want to offer you a way to think about
desire. Okay. I believe that desire and want service roadmaps or guides. So
I’m going to give you a little bit of an analogy. Okay? I want you to think
about going on a trip. You have the final destination marked out. You know
where you are going, but you don’t quite know just yet why you need to go
there. You don’t even know why. Like, I’m not quite sure why I’m going
You don’t know what you’re going to encounter on the way. But you put faith
in the destination and you know you want to go there. Okay? You put faith
in it. You trust that there’s a reason why it’s good for you, and the
person that you’re going to be when you arrive is going to be good and in
service of you. Okay. You put faith in that and you feel good when you
think about being there even if it brings up some fear about the journey.
Okay. Desire is that destination. When we open up to want and desire, we
get to feel ahead of time what it feels like to be there. We get to
And the more we picture and feel it, the more we commit to it. And we start
on our journey. And along the way is the growth that needs to happen for us
to comfortably hang out at that destination. Okay. So I’m going to tell you
something that, as you well know if you’ve been listening for a while, I am
not one to sugarcoat my own life and things that I’m experiencing. And
something that I’m working on right now is I’m really working on creating a
home that is more of a partnered home with everyone in the home. Okay. With
me and my husband, with the children, where there are clearer roles, there
are clearer boundaries, consequences, more equality in who does what, more
ownership of the spaces in our home, things like that. Okay.
And so I want that, but it’s like, okay, if I can just trust that I want
that, and because I want it, it’s something that I can have, who do I need
to become to make my way to that destination? Who am I becoming in that
process? Okay. So when I think about what I want and what it might feel
like to be there, I practice being her. I practice hanging out with her.
Like, what does she say? What does she not put up with? What does she
request? What does she ask for? What are her boundaries? What does she
sound like? What does she look like? What does she feel? What’s her energy
And the clear I get on why I want that, and that my growth is interesting,
that it’s a good and worthy desire even if it rocks the boat, it gives me
the courage to become her even if it is very uncomfortable at times. And
just like any good road trip, there’s going to be some missed exits, wrong
turns, but when we go back to the destination, reminding ourselves where
our destination is, like, this is where I’m going. But if we remember our,
why, we get back on track. And sometimes our why is not going to be like
really, really defined, but our why can be like, because I just really want
it. And I trust that because I want it it’s good for me. I trust it. Okay.
Now I want to tell you some rules about wants. Okay. This is an important
one. So with kids, okay. I want to be a basketball star. Okay. Let’s say we
have a kid that’s like five foot. Okay. A short kid that wants to be in the
NBA. Okay. My belief about desire is that we are not going to be given
desire that we are not capable of achieving. Okay. And we hear kids say,
“Oh, I want to be famous this, I want to be this and that.” That is not the
kind of desire I’m talking about. Okay. That is like trying to think about
what would it be like and things like that. I’m talking about things that
are very deep in our bones. It feels different.
Like, that’s just a fun thing to think about. Right? I’m talking about our
deepest desires of like who we want in our life, who we want to be, what we
want our lives to be like, where we want to live, all of those things. And
we will not be given those desires if it’s something we’re not capable of
achieving. Okay? Okay. Another rule about want. You can want it just
because you want it. Okay. I don’t have to have more time at the ocean. I
have a beautiful home. I live in a beautiful place. I don’t need it. But
yet I do. Why? Because I want it because it matters to me. I trust that
what I want matters. And I trust that by leaning into that and leaning to
what I want, that it will require growth of me that will be good for me.
From this space, I look for solutions. I’m problem solving. I’m using my
brain instead of minimizing it and talking myself out of it. I’m using my
brain to look for ways to make it happen and solutions. Okay. Next role.
Just because you identify a want does not mean you have to pursue it. Okay.
It doesn’t mean you have to pursue it. Sometimes it can be like, okay, this
is something that is clear to me that I want. And I’m willing to watch for
when the timing is correct. Okay. It doesn’t mean that you have to just
abandon everything right now and just like, “I have to go do this now.” You
get to decide. You can say no. Okay. You get to decide. But there is growth
and there’s delight to be found just in identifying and naming the things
that you want.
And you always have a choice. You always get to choose. It may be something
you want down the road that has never been on your radar before. And now
it’s suddenly in your line of sight. Right? It’s like back to the travel
analogy, like going to a destination. You’re not going to have at the end
of your trip a place you’ve never even heard of. Right? It’s not going to
be there. But if you start exploring destinations, like, “Oh my gosh,
there’s this place that I didn’t even know existed. And now that I know it
exists, I want to go there.” It’s kind of like that. It’s like, “Whoa, I
didn’t know that this was even an option.” Okay?
Okay. Next rule. If you can’t think of what you want, because you have been
so accustomed to watching out for the needs of others over and over, over
your own wants and needs. Okay? Or have felt unable to have what you want
and have just given up, I want you to ask yourself this question. If I did
know what I want, I did know, what would my answer be? Okay. Just listen,
write it down. If I did know what would I want? Because the other question
is, what do I want? I don’t know. No idea. Can’t have it anyway. Guess
what? Your brain’s going to shut that right down. It’s going to not be
looking at all for any answers. It’ll be like, “Oh, can’t have it. Forget
Whereas this other question, if I did know, what would I want? It opens you
up to curiosity. Okay. It opens you up to looking and seeking. Okay. Very
different. Okay. The last one here, desire is a form of self-expression.
When we lean into that, when we trust that, that the person that we will
become at the end of our destination is a higher form of who we already
are. Is it worth it to you? What if this journey of you claiming what you
want creates and opens you up to being your most genuine, true self? Sets
you free to be more of you, more of yourself. Are you willing? Okay. Now
let’s talk about marriage. Let’s talk about infidelity. Okay.
I understand that when we open ourselves up to want and desire, it can be
very uncomfortable because sometimes that looks like leaving a marriage,
sometimes it looks like committing to a marriage, and that can feel even
more scary. Because we’re like saying, “Okay, I guess I’m going all in.”
And it can feel very scary. Right? But what if you risking asking yourself
what you want, what your deepest desires are, and being willing to get on
that road to your destination is what’s going to open you up to learning
more about yourself, to clearing your path, to accessing your own wisdom.
It is in taking the steps forward that more and more clarity comes. It’s
when we don’t move at all that we are not opening ourselves up to wisdom,
to understanding, to growth.
It is in wanting and desire and taking steps forward that we are opening
ourselves up to learning more, to gaining more clarity, and on and on
you’ll go until you reach your destination. And your destination will
become more and more clear as you take those steps forward. Okay? So to
wrap this up, I want to say, you listening, you are worthy of good things.
You are worthy of joy. You are worthy of peace. You are worthy of pleasure.
You are worthy of anything good that you want. You are worthy of living a
life that you love living. You’re worthy of having people in your life that
you love being around. You’re worthy of all of it. And the way to make that
happen is by believing that you are and opening yourself up to desire.
You are given desire on purpose. It’s on purpose. It’s intentional. You are
given desire to show you what you are capable of and what is available to
you. I believe that want and desire is a God given gift to all of us
because we are meant to have good things. You are meant to experience joy
my friends. I hope you have found this episode useful. I hope that it gives
you the courage to do some more digging and looking around at what you want
and being willing to take a single step forward. All right, my friends, I
will see you next time. Bye-bye.
Thank you for listening to the Heal from Infidelity podcast. If you would
like to be kept in the know about upcoming free classes, new podcast
episodes, and other ways of working with me, go subscribe to my weekly
email. You can subscribe at andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. Again,
it’s andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. I will see you next time.