What Do I Want?

A Model for Self Discovery

Are you facing change? Are you unhappy with your life the way it is? Are you dealing with a difficult life issue? Below is a process I call The Model. It can assist you to identify what you really want. For once that is clear and known, the action plans and decisions to support your goal can be readily identified, implemented, and attained.

The Model consists of eight fill-in-the-blank statements. You may start anywhere in the sequence. Allow this process to bring out your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, actions, and values. You are in charge. This is about promoting your wellness.

Examples are often helpful, so the answers of a woman recovering from trauma are shared. She was seeking to define her goal “to become well.”

1. What do I want?

I want to be well.

2. What am I willing to think/feel/believe/do to achieve this?

I am willing to learn to identify, experience, and express my feelings in a healthy way.

3. What am I not willing to do?

I am not willing to “stuff” my feelings anymore.

4. What is negotiable?

I am willing to learn to do this and try it out in a safe environment before I do this with my family. I am willing to trust the group. I am not willing to express all the details of my life story in a group, yet.

5. Up until now I used to believe…

There was something wrong with me for feeling anger or hatred or shame, and that I had no right to any happiness.

6. Now I know the truth and it is…

All feelings are valid and part of being a human. It is healthy to experience and express them.

7. I am willing to consider the possibility of feeling, thinking, believing and/or doing something different; making a different choice; having a different perspective and it is…

Maybe it is o.k. for me to have feelings. I am not bad because of them. I was a good person in a bad situation.

8. The next most loving step for me to take is…


The Model is a personal synthesis of many philosophies, i.e. cognitive-emotional, developmental, transpersonal, transformational. The sources are varied. Contributions have come from many authors, teachers, and empirical evidence, including feedback from people who have used the tool. It is offered here so that others may benefit.