I read a lot, I listen to a lot of podcasts and it seems that once a month I hear how important “finding your why” is and it drives me insane. I’ve counseled and coached thousands of people and when this concept comes up clients get completely stuck while I bang my head against the wall. Why do they get stuck? Because they all already know “why” they want to do the things!
What You Already Know:
-You know why you want to get to the gym…to fit in your skinny jeans from 4yrs ago.
-You know why you want to forgive your mother…so you can have a better relationship.
-You know why you want to be promoted at work…to provide better care for your family and succeed in your career.
I just want to shout “We know why already! We’ve found it! You can stop telling us to find it now!”
But what are the driving forces behind our “whys?” Well, I will tell you, my dear friend…
In the Shadows of our “Why”:
Behind our “Why” is an emotion. We want to lose weight because fitting in those skinny jeans will again simply feel good. We want to succeed in our job to feel proud.
When we are asked about knowing our “why,” what is really being asked is our purpose and what we want to feel behind our reasons.
Feelings can propel us forward, hold us back, or lead us to new purposes.
They are that important.
Feelings can lead us to act in positive or negative ways. Like if you’re car gets keyed by an ex…I’m pretty sure their “why” wasn’t so they could get caught by the police and fined. Their “why” is most likely because they felt sad and hurt they were broken up with…see, feelings matter!
A Better Question:
As a Life Coach and when I was a therapist, I don’t ask the “Why?” question as it is unproductive and sounds parental.
“How?” is the most underrated question out there.
How will I lose the weight to fit in those jeans again? How will I get promoted at my job?
For example, my young daughter right now wants to “sing in the Super Bowl” when she grows up…ambitious I know. If I ask her “Why?” it will either
-a. upset her because I should already know how happy she is watching/mimicking Lady Gaga and Katie Perry on Youtube during their Super Bowl performances.
-b. it just plain sounds like I don’t care, as in, “Why would you want to do that?
I’m not in the business here of killing dreams, I’m in the business of helping people reach them. So instead, I ask “How do you think you can get to sing in the Super Bowl?” LIGHTBULB! Then we start getting somewhere…singing lessons, practicing, networking, performing, getting an agent, etc. Real things you can DO.
So go ahead and find you why first, then zone in on the more important “how?” and watch as you open doors that would’ve been nailed shut if you stopped at the, “why?”
1: What is the goal you want to accomplish this week?
2: How will you feel when you accomplish this goal?
3: How will you reach this goal?-What are the 3 steps you can take to reach it?
4: When can you do the steps?
5: Do the steps!
6: Reach your goal and feel____________!
You got this!