What do you want in a given moment? Do you know? Do you consciously consider what you want on a moment-to-moment basis? Or do you just tell people what you don't want? This is a concept my son and I worked with for some time about 10-years ago.
Knowing what you want requires your prefrontal cortex to be available so you can imagine and dream. If you function from a state of fear/anxiety, your emotional alarm system tends to hijack your ability to stay regulated and present; you might easily get knocked off balance by the occurrence of things you don't want to happen.
I remember when my older son's family came over for a barbeque at our home to celebrate my birthday. This was during the time we were in the process of moving to the Spokane area. It was such fun to play with my grandchildren while my older son barbequed my favorite food, and to visit with my daughter-in-law. My most special gift was that Richard, my husband, was able to be here too.
When the weekend was ending and Richard was preparing to leave, Rylan started to squirm and hang on to his Dad. Suddenly he brightened with a smile and asked, "Hey, can I go back with Dad? My Uncle is there and can watch me when Dad's at work!"
I could see Richard was open to the possibility, so I asked Rylan, "You've truly missed Dad haven't you, and would really like time to hang out and have more guy-time to start your summer off?"
"Yep!" Rylan literally bounced on the couch with expectation.
"Sounds like a lot of fun, and I'm wondering what ideas you have how you might support yourself if you get upset when you are there with your uncle and Dad's at work and Mom's here, any ideas?"
"I won't yell or scream, or cuss, I promise!"
"Okay, I am hearing what you won't do..." I began, when Rylan sprang off the couch to land on the floor, and exclaimed, "I know, I know! What do I want!? Say what I want not what I don't want! I have been working on that for two years now and I am finally getting it! I'll just go to sleep outside in the warm tall grass or hug my dog. Or I'll curl up and breath deep, that's what I'll do, that will support me!"
"Wow, Rylan, high-five dude! That is so cool to hear you get that! Focusing on what you want gives your brain a map to work from and empowers you to succeed!” I was so excited that he was ready to take action like that. He got to go pack his bags and go spend that time with his dad.
No one needs to live their life in repeating patterns that keep them stuck. It is totally possible to live your life empowered by what lights you up, and, it is really deeply satisfying.