Feeling lost? Unsure on your next step? What you’re even doing and what’s the purpose of it all? Yeah, I get you and we all feel the same way.
5 min read
Finding your why is a big thing at the moment (if you haven’t already, check out the amazing Simon Sinek). Finding your why helps us to identify what is important, what motivates us and why we do what we do – what our entire purpose is. As Sinek quotes, ‘everyone knows what they do, everyone knows how they do it, but does everyone know why they do it?’.
I started thinking about my why and I truly struggled. I’ve always had an ambitious streak (Capricorn through and through) and have always had a innate need to try my hardest and succeed, but I was always held back due to lack of confidence. I’d always think ‘someone else can do it better’, or ‘someone else knows more than me’ so I ultimately never pushed myself. This all changed when my Dad died unexpectedly and I was forced to see what was really important. I knew what and I was doing with my life, and I knew how I was doing it but why? Trying to destruct my why seemed to be a major challenge, I couldn’t identify exactly why I did what I did. Money? Security? (Funnily enough, after I had discovered my why I quit my corporate job and finally started my own business… I learnt that fulfillment, value and intentional living far outweighed the empty security of a weekly paycheck).
I want to point out that, on my journey to finding my why and my purpose, I found it much easier to break down my why nots. Whilst it is important we have a pull factor (something we want to achieve and why we want to achieve it) it’s also really important to have a push factor. We need to identify why we do not want the alternative. Sometimes this is greater than our why and can help to motivate us, because whilst fear can be damaging if perceived incorrectly, it can be a magnificent catalyst for propelling us towards our goals – it certainly was for me.
Here are 4 questions to help you with finding your why, and if you struggle to think of answers straight away (don’t worry, they will come), try and think of the exact opposite and use that as a starter.
1. What makes you come alive? What inspires you? What gives you that fire in your belly? What do you do to get that feeling of warmth all over your body and that smile on your face? That. Do more of that. For me it’s knowing that I’m helping people, it’s having friends round to my house and looking after them, it’s helping someone solve a problem that they’re struggling with.
Opposite: What do you hate to see? What makes you feel unearthed and uncomfortable? I hate to see people struggling, someone that is having a tough time and doesn’t know how to handle it.
2. What are your innate strengths? What are some things that you’re naturally good at and feel passionate about? A quality you have that makes you wonder why everyone else isn’t as good as you… Are you good at listening to people? Are you good at organizing? Are you good at seeing the bigger picture? Are you really good at working out what people need and helping them get to that point? To feel fulfilled, these have got to align with your passions, so whilst you might be really good at cleaning, unless you thrive from a good spring clean, maybe don’t write that down…
Opposite: What am I holding back from the world? What do I do daily that is so normal to me but different to others? What do I do in my life to make it easier on myself?
3. Where do you add the greatest value? Ask yourself, how can my skills and expertise add value to other people? Can my ability to communicate effectively enable me to train others? Can my confidence in confrontation help other people overcome their fears? Whatever your greatest strengths are, have a think about what problem you can solve that you’ll enjoy, and that is where you’ll start feeling fulfilled.
Opposite: How am I holding my strengths back? What do I wish people did less of?
4. What would little 90 year old you say? Let’s work backwards on this one. Imagine little old you, sat on a cosy chair overlooking a beautiful landscape. You’re all tucked up with your favourite drink and you have a sense of fulfillment, a sense of pride over what you have achieved. What did you do to get to that point? What would you tell yourself now to motivate yourself to feel like content old you? What can you do today that would make little old you proud?
Opposite: Imagine little old you, but this time imagine you’re discontent and bitter. What are you regretting? What do you wish you could have done but didn’t?
It took me a good year to find my why but my god it was worth it. Have patience with yourself, because once you have a good understanding of what you do, how you do it and why you do it, your motivation, your zest for life and your drive will completely blossom and thrive.
Go out and own your world by finding your why and finding your purpose. You are valued, loved and capable.
Here are my Whys and Why Nots:
My Whys? • I want to help other people from what I've learnt • I want to make my Dad proud • I want freedom to work from home, to choose my hours and focus on what Is important to me • I want a career with purpose • I want to be at home to look after my kids when I have them • I want to consistently challenge myself, scare myself and learn as much as I can from this world • I unapologetically want uncapped earnings! • And most importantly, I want to create something that is bigger than just little me My Why NOTS • I don't want to work for someone else and live someone else's dream • I don't want to miss out on what the world has to offer me • I don't want to work a 9-5 job and be away from my kids when I have them • I don't want to go through the motions and have a career just to earn money and nothing else • I don't want to get to the end of my days and have regrets