Machen MacDonald
Special to The Union

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December 16, 2013
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The power of IF

What you think you want is not what you really want. Most people are tripping themselves up on what they think they want, which can actually keep them from having what they truly do want.

In my practice I often hear clients saying things like —I want more success, more clients or more money. I want a promotion. I want to be a better leader. I want to be more organized or more productive.

What I find is that people don’t really want those things per se. They want what they think having those things will allow them to feel. It’s really a feeling we are looking to experience.

How many times have you acquired something you thought you wanted only to become bored or no longer intrigued with it after just a short period of time?

We may feel more successful once we acquire and drive the new car off the lot. It is not the car that dictates our success, it is our thoughts about ourselves in relation to the car that evokes the feeling of success. In order to evoke that feeling, the success has to already be within us, not in the car.

How can you bypass the acquisition of things and feel what you want to feel when you want to feel it? Use your imagination. I am not suggesting to not acquire what you want or need. I am only proposing to be mindful of what you really want and why. Chances are you can have what you want right now, if you simply think about it.

Realize you can’t want something if you already have it. You either have it or you want to have it. Look first inside for what you think you don’t have. There is a good chance that if you look hard enough, you will find you already have it and can thereby experience it.

An easy way to access what you want is to live in the question of “if.” Imagine you are wanting the new car because you think having it would cause you to feel more successful or perhaps more safe. Ask yourself, “If I were more successful, what would I do differently in this moment?” Do it and notice the shift. Ask, “if I were more safe, what would I believe to be true?” Find the evidence that it is true and notice the shift.

Try redirecting your thinking by asking yourself some “if” questions and notice you already have within you everything you need to experience what you think you want.

Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!

Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at and 530-273-8000.

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The Union Updated Jan 19, 2014 11:28PM Published Dec 16, 2013 12:22AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.