Find your why and how you can use it as motivation to overcome anything. Have you ever heard of the concept of “why” when it comes to motivation and success? I truly believe this small, common word has the potential to change your life. Your why is your reason for wanting the desired outcome, and it can drive you forward during tough times like nothing else can.

About Your Why

The idea of your why is one that is common to career and personal development, but it can be used in many circumstances. It’s particularly helpful during times of uncertainty, transition or crisis because it helps you to gain focus and clarity with regard to your purpose and your direction. Your why is the deep, meaningful impetus for your goals.

It shouldn’t be superficial, and it should always be personal. Let’s consider an example. If you should find yourself unemployed, finding a new job can be a time-consuming, disheartening and exhausting task. It’s easy to find yourself falling into despair, perhaps even depression. During such a time, your why can be used to push you along even when you feel like you can’t keep trying. Your why should go further than, “I need money to live,” although this is certainly true. Let’s explore ways to find and develop your why. 

How to Find It

Using the above example, you would think that survival and needing a job in order to live, would be sufficient reason to provide motivation to keep trying to find work. Unfortunately, this basic message can get distorted or lost. It’s too general and not personal enough. Everyone needs money to meet their basic needs. What is it you, in particular, desire with regard to finding a job? Ask yourself some more in-depth questions in order to discover a more compelling reason to keep going even in the darkest moments.

Take time to brainstorm and jot down some ideas to help guide you to your answer. One of the simplest ways I’ve learned to find my ultimate why is to just keep asking myself, “Why?” each time I add a new incentive for my goal. You do need a job in order to make money to live. But why? Because you want to take care of your family, for instance. Okay, why? Because you feel it’s your job to be a provider and that you have an obligation. Yes, but why is that? Because you want your loved ones to be proud of you and you want to feel like a productive citizen. Keep going until you feel you’ve sufficiently reached your unique and underlying catalyst for wanting to find a job.

Use Your Why to Motivate You

Once you’ve determined that reason, write it down in a cohesive statement. From our job example, your why might be, “I want to find a new job in order to support my family. It’s important to me that my loved ones know they can depend on me to take care of them. I feel like a productive citizen of the world with a meaningful contribution to give to society when I am gainfully employed.”

You may wish to create another why statement later that can help you to determine the kind of work you hope to find and why such a position matters to you, along with how it will make you feel to hold that type of job. However, for now, we’ll stick to the basics. You can pull out this comprehensive why statement whenever you’re feeling low or unmotivated when you think there’s no reason to keep trying. Being reminded of the deeply personal intention behind your goal is often just the kick in the pants you need to try again. 

This concept may seem rather simple, but I can tell you from personal experience that it’s one of the most powerful motivators I’ve encountered in my pursuits. Try taking some time to create your own why statement and practice using it when things seem impossible. You may just find this simple idea gets you through some pretty rough stuff, too. 

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Petra Monaco

Petra Monaco

Create the Life You Want + Make an Impact while you're at it!

Petra Monaco is a published author, coach, mom and breaks the status quo for fun. As a foster kid, she knows the challenges and excuses people make as she rewrote her own story and then worked her way through to become a Master's level therapist. However, after watching her son fight for his life due to a rare genetic disorder and three liver transplants, she now coaches creatives and multi-passionates to stop waiting for “one day” and the “perfect moments’. Petra helps you dive deeply into the heart of things in order to discover your next steps, inspires you to set up your own personal framework so you can break free from fear, doubt, and overwhelm so you can start creating the life you want now. Petra uses her personal story to inspire and motivate people into doing the work they need to do to create change because she believes that your excuses are just avoidance. You can have the cake and eat it too if you're willing to show up for it!
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