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The seed of a wish
Convert your frustrations into intentions
In every complaint, there is the seed of a wish.

Once you can 'hear' the wish at the heart of your frustration or complaint, you can start to take steps towards fulfilling your wish and making it come true.
To experience for yourself the power of transforming your frustrations into intentions, I invite you to apply what I'm about to say to something that is personally significant to you - otherwise the whole thing appears academic.

And so - take 5 seconds now to bring to mind the thing that is bugging you the most at the moment.

When I am working with clients on their goals, and they are listing all the reasons why they cannot accomplish/have Goal X that they long for, they tell me it's because there is an Obstacle Y and a Concern Z.

Yet all the while, I am hearing a different story.

At some point, I invite them to consider:
'If I'm hearing you right, if Obstacle Y were taken care of, and the way you go after your Goal X works just fine around your Concern Z, you'd be good to go?'
This shift in perspective is often referred to as re-framing.

What has appeared to you as concerns or misgivings can be seen as pointers, indicators of the shape of the future that would suit you.
At this point in our conversation, people are often looking at me startled, because suddenly I've described a version of their future that actually works for them.

Even though we haven't yet addressed the How, having spent so long feeling that there is no way forward, just the description of a way is often almost shocking to people.
Let me illustrate with an example from my own personal experience.

As I was building up my coaching practice, I realised that a contradiction had been troubling me - and slowing me down.

This realisation came on the back of my giving an interview for an article. I got asked what brought me into coaching. I replied that working in-depth with people was a major attraction for me.

It was the next day that the contradiction that had been bothering me came into focus: I had shifted into coaching to spend more of my working hours with people, and yet so many of the tasks related to building up my coaching practice had me sitting alone with my laptop.

No wonder I was only making slow progress!
The magic of transformation
That was the moment of transformation.

Hearing my own complaint, 'I am sitting alone with my computer instead of spending my time with people, which was the whole point!', I knew it could be converted into a wish.

So I made a new wish there and then:
'I wish to accomplish all the tasks related to building up my practice with people.'
My wish worked spectacularly well. I started spotting opportunities to incorporate interactions with actual humans at every turn.

Re-writing my website, which I had been dragging my heels away from for weeks, suddenly became an opportunity to create a new page - and then ask someone I knew to look at it with me. This became a great pretext to catch up with people I hadn't seen for a while, so working on the website, rather than being a drag, turned into a source of buzz. I even invented a new title of Website Reader that I offered to friends and colleagues who were willing to help out.

Discovering and inventing ways to include live time with people into tasks that I had previously found onerous became both a game and a joy.

The website you're reading right now is one result. :)
How to develop a Design Brief
Transform your frustrations into intentions

  • Hear your complaint clearly. This is easy to do: watch out for the next time you say 'Yes, but...' (or something along similar lines). Instead of nodding sadly/in frustration, put the essence of the complaint into words as clearly as you can. Even this step alone can be relevatory!

  • Try reversing the statement, and simply spend a few seconds contemplating this 'opposite' situation. "I don't have any support in building up my business" might become "I have support in building up my business". Before dismissing this new 'version', listen out for where it might be true, because any statement only captures a part of the truth, and paying attention to the part that had been left out can be hugely fruitful.

  • Alternatively, try completing a few Starter Sentences. To prompt your wish to be revealed, I have put together a few 'Magic Wish Sentence Starters' further down this post.

  • Go make it real. This is when wish becomes intention. Consider how the reality of the 'opposite' statement could be amplified, or gather together options for how you could make your wish come true. If all else fails, try simply "I intend to have X (e.g. support in building up my business)".

  • Ask for help. If you've managed to uncover the 'wish within' but are stimied attempting to figure how you could move towards it, those around you might be happy to offer ideas. This is now much easier for them to do, because you've taken the step to compile your Design Brief, and it's now only a question of How to get there.
I've illustrated how one concern/complaint can be converted. You may well have a bunch of them, of course.

In that case, you have two ways to proceed:

  • Gather up all the complaints in one go. This approach has two advantages: if your preoccupations are really front-of-mind, you may find it easiest to list everything that is in need of transforming first. The other advantage is that, once you've made the switch into spotting the 'wish-within' and giving it your approval, you can really pick up momentum. It can be tremendously exciting watching your complaints fall like dominos!

  • Convert your concers one at a time. This is often what happens with my clients when one concern dominates for them. It is only once it has been transformed that their horizons clear enough for them to say 'Well, I feel more at ease around X now, but this other thing Y is still concerning'. This is something to celebrate - one issue has moved on, the next one is soon to follow!
Scan through all the sentence openings I've listed - they are designed to resonate with a range of internal states. Try the one that appeals the most right now.

If one sentence starter doesn't work for you, keep moving till you find one that does!

  • If only...

  • I wish it were true that ...

  • I need [more of this] so that ...

  • I want to find a way to ...

  • I choose for [this] to happen.
Design Brief for your DREAM LIFE
On a grander scale, this process can be applied to bigger projects and making major changes in your life.

Each concern you feel points to an aspect that will need to be taken care of.

Just as they do in project management, the list of desirable outcomes can then be traslated into a list of steps that will accomplish the journey.

Let's tease out the Design Brief for the future of your dreams!
May your wishes blossom into a wonderful life ahead for you.

If you give any of these steps a go, I'd love to hear how it goes for you.
If you like the sound of using your imagination to tap into your greater potental, I'd be happy to help.
Photo by Saad Chaudhry on Unsplash
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Margarita Steinberg

I am a Leadership Coach with a specialism in Psychosynthesis psychology. I am the founder of ByHeart Coaching, and this blog grows out of my coaching work. I am also a qualified and experienced teacher, and draw on training in counselling skills.

I work with individuals and couples, as private clients; I also work with organisations through running leadership coaching programmes and group workshops.

A chapter on my innovative learning format using embodied learning appears in the book 'Disrupting traditional pedagogy: Active Learning in Practice' published by University of Sussex Press in June 2019.

In preparation: my first book 'One step at a time: how to thrive in a dynamic world'

Find out more about my work
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I write about my clients' stories, about coaching and psychology, current events and the human condition
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ByHeart Blog
I write about my clients' stories, about coaching and psychology, current events and the human condition
Subscribe to our mailing list to receive alerts about upcoming blog posts, offers and events
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