Psst… If you’re not in the place to read the blog, you can also listen to the podcast episode! The A Bit From Within Podcast: available wherever you listen!
If you find yourself going through a hard time, I want to encourage you to really carve out time to discover your why. It also takes considering your values and desires right now, which can be a little tricky, but knowing your why is key to getting inspiration and motivation in your life. Your why will bring focus, clear the path forward, and keep you grounded and secure in yourself along the way.
How do you find your why? Well I think there’s A LOT of ways to do that. It doesn’t have to be a retreat weekend, or a course you buy (although sure, you can invest in those things too!) but more than anything it’s about making time to get really honest with yourself.
If you’re really struggling with getting to your big why- I suggest you start with smaller why’s. Why do you park where you do at the grocery store? Why do you organize the dishwasher that way? Why did you pick that outfit color for your last family photo session? The answers often lead you to realizations that you may have forgotten about while going through the motions! This practice can lead you to bigger questions: why do I want to pursue a career like you are, or why why is fitness so important in your life, and so on.
Please keep in mind, depending on what you’re facing, and what you’re working through, this may not be an instant revelation. I know that’s hard to hear, but I promise that making space to understand your why (or whys) will ultimately be the best thing you can do for yourself moving forward.
If you’re not quite convinced, let me share what I feel are four major benefits to knowing your why- and how living with purpose changes your life for the better.
1: It Clears A Path Forward
When I was in the early years of starting my photography business, I found myself in a rather dark place because I felt like there were so many other photographers who were making a bigger name for themselves. They were posting all of these stunning couples in remote locations, and their posts constantly left me feeling like I was doing something wrong.
A few months of feeling really down about what I was doing made me realize I wasn’t really grounded in my own personal values. I was lacking my clarity on why I do what I do. When I got clear I realized that I LOVE telling genuine love stories, I love doing that for people who care about the marriage that follows the wedding, and my magic (and passion) is making others feel comfortable in front of the camera. As soon as I understood my why- suddenly a lotf the external noise, and things I was so hung up on, simply disappeared.
I no longer worried about curating my instagram feed, because I knew that wasn’t where my target audience was. I no longer beat myself up about not really wanting to travel deep into the mountains to shoot- because that wasn’t part of my why. (And actually, I really hate spending long days in the car, so shorter trips actually honored my process and allowed me to focus more on what does feel right to me.)
2: Keeps You Out Of Comparison
I love this one! You can see this clearly in my previous example too. It is SO easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves, our journey, or our goals with those of others. For example: your old high school buddy is now an influencer! They’re constantly in new (cute) outfits, traveling cool places, and you see all these comments blowing up how amazing they looks (read: is) and how awesome their life looks (again- is). Suddenly you find yourself saying to your partner “how come we never go anywhere?” or thinking you need more outfits, or looking for any and every moment in your life you can share online too.
It happens that fast. Instead of being in your life, being in control of the wheel, you’ve placed yourself into a whole different expectation! And not the expectations you choose for yourself, the ones you think work to bring validation (because that’s what it looked like to you for your friend).
Comparison is the thief of joy. It can leave you second guessing yourself, in decision paralysis, and vulnerability insecure.
But when you know your why- then you don’t really judge your friend’s life against your one. Now when you see their posts, you just feel happy for them. And you can feel that way because you know that your time/energy/money/passion is directed towards what you’re passionate about (your why). Anything you choose to do with your whole heart is so much more fulfilling than going through the motions of a life you didn’t choose.
3: It Grounds You When Things Get Tough & Keeps You Going
We all know that life is full of peaks and valleys. Sometimes things get really hard! Whether you hit a setback, loss, or just things not working out how you thought they would; it can be so discouraging to navigate these moments. But coming back to your why during these times, often helps you get back on the road a lot faster!
Here’s an example: Say you’ve been training for a marathon, when you roll your ankle and are out of commission for a bit. Instead of throwing in the towel and not running again the rest of the summer, you find yourself checking in on your ankle strength and progress as you heal. You begin with walking as you rehab it. And even time you would have been running you, you now direct energy towards researching techniques from professionals. You’re staying engaged with your project even while you’re ‘“out. You do this not because you felt you had to, or because you’re simply ‘just a runner’ or because ‘other people run’ – you’re able to do this because of your WHY that running a marathon is so important and exciting to you!
I love this example because it speaks to what can happen when we get off track. When we don’t really know our why, we get blown around in the metaphorical wind. Essentially you find yourself pursuing one thing for a week or two, and then another thing, and we’re just floating along doing what feels good and right, and moving around without purpose. While there is nothing wrong with this- it is safe to say it’s hard to feel like you’re rooted in purpose. It’s so much easier to stay focused and get back on track when you know your reasons why you’re pursuing what you’re putting your time into.
4: It LITERALLY Inspires and Motivates You
On that same note, a good why can literally breath life into your body! In fact, I feel like this is a really good indication of if you’ve been honest with yourself with your WHY. If you’ve settled on an intention or goal that doesn’t really speak to your heart, you’re: more apt to put it off, avoid doing it, and (honestly) only do the bare minimum. Contrastingly, when you’re why really matters to you- it literally brings it’s own motivation and suddenly you find the energy to pursue it.
I have found that when I am really rooted in my why, my motivation and inspiration goes from 5% to 100%. It’s such a big difference for me. When I know WHY I want something, suddenly I’m doing research, carving out time to create, trying new things, and really motivated to pursue daily what I’m working towards.
So there it is! Have I convinced you to spend some time figuring out your why? Feel free to listen to the sister episode of this blog on my podcast where I talk more in depth about the ups and downs of finding our why, and I expand on some of the examples above.
I do want you to know that there is nothing wrong with you if you’re in a period in life where you feel lost. Sometimes during big transitions in your life, the whys can actually support you with rest, recovery, and healing. These are as integral and valid moments in our lives as doing, achieving, or pursuing.
My overwhelming message is always: meet yourself with compassion! If you interact with any of my classes, guided meditations, tiktoks, or podcast episodes, I promise you’ll hear that message above all else! You deserve to meet yourself with gentleness and love today.
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