Why I’m Boycotting the Phrase “I Want”
It’s clear that I’m one of the many Gen Y women who want it all: a great career, financial independence and, eventually, few adorable munchkins of my own.
If you read my post about my love hate relationship with anxiety, you understand that I’m wired a bit differently than most.
My #1 goal for 2010 was to make Dave Ramsey proud and pay off my credit card debt. I’m down to my last card-yee haw!- but I will fully admit I’d be a lot farther along if I didn’t keep using the phrase “I want.”
I noticed it yesterday while getting off the El after work. I live in an artsy and eclectic neighborhood full of trendy boutiques and unique people. I looked at all the women walking around me and kept thinking things like, “oo I want those sandals,” “I want that dress!,” “I want to go into that store for a new (whatever)” or “I want that haircut this weekend!” I walked a little further and as I passed a slew of establishments I caught myself thinking, “I want 2 more kitchen chairs from that furniture store” and “I want to try that restaurant and that bar this weekend.”
I can tell you one thing for sure: saying “I want” all the time is no way to pay down debt and build a savings account.
3 reasons I think “I want” is a lame phrase
1. It puts one more thing on your mental “to do” list. (Who needs one more bill or one more thing to think about anyways?!)
2. It indicates that what you have is not good enough.
a. Which may be “true,” but Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs would argue that most of the things you are longing for are not necessities, nor are they getting you any closer to your financial and personal goals.
3. And most importantly, “I want” is not a definite statement.
a. A lot of us once said “I want to go to the gym” and we ended up eating cupcakes all night on our couch instead.
The phrase “I want” is really clouding up my busy schedule. It needs to go.
I’m going to break this habit by being conscious of my self-talk and replacing phrases such as, “I want,” “I need” and “I should” with phrases like “I am,” and “I want to be debt free and build my savings account.” Hmm. That last phrase sounded very long and unnatural.
The thing is, constantly thinking about material desires is only taking you farther away from growing your career for the right reasons, achieving financial freedom and focusing on what’s important at home.
I’ll let you know how this goes- it’s not going to be easy. Start praying.