Sep 8 / Matt Saunders

The Secret to Getting What You Want

You already know what you want. But like most people, you're probably denying yourself access to it. Here's a two step process to get out of your own way.
Are there changes you want to make in your life or business, but for some reason just can't seem to make it happen? Perhaps you've tried all kinds of things that are supposed to help - coaching, taking courses, reading books, thinking and planning (lots of thinking and planning).

But it's just not happening. And now, you feel like giving up.

You think you'll never figure out your niche. You'll never earn as much as you think you're worth. You'll never get truly great clients. You'll never grow a team. You'll never work a 4 day week.

Whatever the "thing" is that you want, I'm going to share a two-step process to help you achieve it. If you really lean into this, I promise you it will work like magic, and your life will be transformed.

The secret to getting what you want

Woman walking in field toward sunburst
Before I go any further, allow me to qualify myself. I am a trained coach and I've seen thousands of hours of coaching in action.

I've been coached one-on-one.
I've coached others one-on-one.
I've been in group cohorts.
I've run group cohorts.

The biggest insight I have gained is that in every single one of us, there appears to be two versions of us existing at the same time.

There's the first version, let's call it the "inner self", and there's the second version, let's call that one the "outer self".

The inner self knows what's going on. It is able to feel and express its desires in an uninhibited and complete way.

The outer self, however, is more concerned with how it is perceived by the outside world. It feels exposed, and so it tends to listen to and conform to the expectations of others.

You can probably see where I am going with this: the secret to getting what you want is to listen to the inner self, not so much the outer self. And so we begin the two step process: 

Step 1: Tune in to what you really want

In order to get what we truly want in life, we must tune in to that deeper voice that knows what we want. There are lots of ways to do this, but here are two that have helped me in my own life.


Woman meditating on green hill
It is common knowledge that meditation is great for relaxation. But despite what you've been told, relaxation is not actually the end goal. Yes, it feels nice to unwind, but what happens during this unwinding process? You begin to let go. You create space. And in that space, where your mind is usually busying itself with mundane thoughts about when you next need to mow the grass or go shopping, more fundamental ideas can emerge.

When you consciously bring awareness to your physical body, you will give your mind enough of a break as to allow the inner self to make itself known. You'll tune in to what you really want.

Give it a try: set a timer for 10 minutes, sit up straight and feel the sensations of your breath and body. Each time your mind chatters, bring awareness back to the breath and body. Do not expect to have an epiphany right away, or even within the 10 minutes. But if you practice this daily, I promise your wisdom will begin to show itself.

Free writing

Fountain pen on blank notepad
I totally get that meditation can be a bit of a slog before you've established a practice. So another great way to access the unconscious is to write freely without discrimination. In other words, write down whatever comes to mind before the conscious mind can interrupt it.

Cast your eyes over the following questions. But before you begin to answer them, set a timer for 3 minutes and then begin writing. Follow your inspiration. Do not question "how" you might achieve what you're thinking, simply let it flow.

  • What idea feels impossible right now but would be the highest expression of yourself?
  • What would make you feel totally alive?
  • How would it feel to bring this impossible idea into reality?

What you uncover in meditation or through the act of free writing is a strong indication of your true desires. But you will undoubtedly discover that your mind begins to tell you things like "one day" or "I could never do that". This is the outer self making its presence known, and it's where step 2 comes into play.

Step 2: Allow it to happen

Text on the floor reading "passion led us here"
Conventional wisdom tells us to "make it happen". But what I have found is that forcefulness is often met with an equally powerful resistance. When this happens, nothing happens, because your will to change (coming from your inner self) is bumping up against your outer self; the one that wants you to conform and play the role you've always played.

Therefore, what we must do is allow it to happen by quietening the voice of our outer self.

Let me give you an example. Recently I launched a membership for my freelancer community. In just three weeks I went from having an idea, to booking three speakers, organising a launch event and enrolling 27 members (each paying £27/month).

My inner self expressed this idea in the form of inspiration and excitement, but my outer self had some concerns:

"What if you only get, like, 3 members? What if you can't book any speakers? What if you fuck up and look stupid?"

Or more charitably, "great idea Matt, but now's not the time"

I had to notice these thoughts and thank them. My outer self was trying to preserve its current state. It doesn't want change.

But for change to happen, you must acknowledge your fears and carry on regardless. Because the depressing truth is that we all have brilliant ideas, but we let our outer self control the response to them. This "voice of reason" that is so often given the overblown credit of being "realistic" completely drowns out the inner self, shrinking it into silence.

The risk is that when your outer self controls the narrative, you will ultimately create a predictable, unadventurous life where you never get what you really want.

Which version of your-self are you listening to?

How to listen to your inner self (and get what you truly want in life)

Woman with hands on heart
You manifest things in your life through conscious creation. I know that sounds a little out there so let me put it into context.

Had I not become aware of my outer self's voice, my unconscious mind would have kept me safe by denying me the opportunity to take the idea beyond what it was, an idea. The membership would have never seen the light of day because unconscious fear, or the outer self, would have been firmly in the driving seat. My conscious mind would be happily coasting along on autopilot, but with a deep sense of anxiety coming from my inner self that knows what's really going on.

Because you just know, don't you, when something doesn't feel right.

What I had to do instead was intentionally focus on the thoughts my inner self was offering up. These were inspirational and exciting, and so they guided my hand in the external world.

Consider this: every day in your business you are taking action. But is that action coming from a deeply positive, real place, or is it being guided by fear and anxiety? In other words: are your actions supporting what your inner self wants, or what your outer self is telling you?

Therein lies the path to getting what you really want.

Closing thoughts

This has been a bit of a whirlwind, hasn't it? If you've made it this far, thank you! I hope this piece has been of service to you. 

I wrote this article in under an hour because I was inspired to do so. It just flowed. That is because I've been immersed in this idea for some time now. Nothing here is my invention, just my own interpretation. If you're curious and would like to learn more, explore the works of Alan Watts, Susan Jeffers, Robin Sharma, Abraham Hicks and Eckhart Tolle. These people have been instrumental to what I've achieved in my life, and I hope their teachings can support you on your journey too.
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