Tell me about your “Why”. Or, your “Why not”.

The word “Why” underlies lots of conversations and workshops I have with my clients. This is because “Why” is the spur that drives us to accomplish. You may think that you are spurred on by the end goal that you are focused on, but the reason you put effort into achieving that goal is the reason Why.

Start with the What, follow with the Why

It’s important to understand what underpins your decision-making, because by doing so you can become more intentional, productive and in tune with your true motivations.

When you are thinking about what you want to achieve, in the immediate future or further down the road, it’s natural to start with the tangible. Identifying material items you want, or places you want to be in, gives a focus and an end goal to head towards. However, once you have identified this goal, always make sure you explore the Whys behind it.

  • Why do you want this item/outcome?
  • Why is it important to you?
  • Why are you making this decision over another different one?

The reasons that you choose the goals you do are key to understanding what you are aiming for in life right now.

The Emotional Why

Very often, our reason Why is driven by emotion. Although we will rationalise our decisions logically later, we will usually only do that after we have had our first, gut reaction.

When you picture a new goal, in deciding whether to take it on, do you find yourself empathising with your future self? Do you imagine yourself at the other end, experiencing the feelings of having achieved what you set out to do?

It is that emotional empathy that ultimately becomes the strongest force in your moving forward. As much as logic and reason play a part, it is your emotional Whys which are your natural source of motivation. They are what pick you up when you encounter setbacks, and what push you to try again until you succeed.

Explore the Layers

We now know our purpose is often connected to our emotional motivations, but to understand ourselves further we need to explore the layers of these. Humans are complicated, and our Whys can be multifaceted.

Here’s an example of how the layers might play out:

What?  “I want to find a new job.”

Why? “I’ll earn more money.”

Why is that important? “I want to go on holiday/get a mortgage/pay the bills.”

Why will that help? “I will get to rest/upgrade my house/feel safer.”

Why is that important?

“I will feel more relaxed”

“I will get to spend more time with my family”

“I will be able to worry less”

“I will be able to express myself more”

Let your inner toddler come to the fore and allow yourself to keep asking Why. The more times you ask it, the more layers you will pull back and the better you will understand exactly what you are seeking.

Our reasons why often root into a perception of our identity and our lifestyle.

The Five Cs

When clients come to work with me, their reasons for doing so are usually one or more of these five Cs:

Confidence. Perhaps you want to learn speaking skills, to be able to do better with presentations at work.

Why do you want to do this? A lack of self-belief or nervousness.

The Why of this goal is rooted in building your confidence.

Clarity. Perhaps you want to form a plan, for work or for a personal goal.

Why do you want to do this? You don’t know what step to take next and it is stopping you from taking action.

The Why of this goal is rooted in building your clarity.

Choice. Perhaps you want to make a decision.

Why do you want to do this? You have multiple options which are taking you a lot of time to explore, and you are feeling overwhelmed.

The Why of this goal is rooted in owning your decisions and recognising your power.

Certainty. Perhaps you want to find a feeling of certainty.

Why do you want to do this? You are feeling overwhelmed by factors not in your control.

The Why of this goal is rooted in finding a feeling of security.

Control.  Perhaps you are wanting to gain control of a situation.

Why do you want to do this? Elements which are out of your control are making you feel unsettled.

The Why of this goal is rooted in relieving anxiety of the unknown.

When you heighten your self-awareness, and explore what underpins your decision-making, you find you are a lot less surprised by the unexpectedness of the world around you and feel a lot more settled.

Peace of Mind

In bringing together all of the Five Cs, if you were to ask yourself the even bigger Why that underpins the reason you want them, you would likely arrive at Peace of Mind.

The real reason my clients come to work with me is that they are ultimately seeking peace of mind.

Wild Empowerment is 15 years old this month, and over the decade and a half that I have been helping people, peace of mind has been the most common goal. It is the thread that runs through everything we do as human beings.

And why do I do what I do? Because I see the difference that giving people peace of mind makes.

What is your Why? Share it with me, as I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you are not sure of your Why yet, maybe you’d find a conversation helpful, to unlock the reasons behind your thinking. Get in touch and we can explore it together.