An Easy Formula for Knowing Your Why
If you’ve been a communicator or a small-business owner, you’ve likely heard time and again about the importance of knowing your why.
Your why is the reason behind why you dreamed the dream that got you where you are today. It seems simple enough but is sometimes it’s hard to put our fingers on the exact moment or thing that put us on our current path.
I’ve struggled with this for years!
When I was in middle school, Junior Achievement came and did a presentation. They asked everyone in the room to take a turn sharing what they wanted to be when they grew up. This was slightly panic-inducing for me because I had no clue! I listened to my peers spout off all kinds of career ideas and I could muster was a cold sweat.
Finally, it was time for the girl who sat in front of me to share, and she said she wanted to go into advertising. I remember thinking that was cool so when it was my turn, I replied, “Same.”
I became so committed to someone else’s dream that I even got a college degree in the field.
If you had asked me then why I chose that field, I would have had to make something up because saying, “I stole it from the girl who sat in front of me in middle school,” sounded dumb.
Don’t get me wrong! I absolutely love the field of branding, marketing, advertising, public relations, and communication. It’s my sweet spot for sure. It’s just that reaching deep into my soul to answer the question of why was a hazy process for me.
It’s taken me a very long time, multiple personality assessments, a bit of good Christian counseling to uncover the root of it all. The reason, or why I went into this field is now apparent to me.
I’m good at it.
Ok, ok, before you start thinking I’m an egomaniac, let me ask you a question. If you were sick and went to a doctor who (while trying to be humble) said he was just okay at his job, would you trust him or her? I want a doctor who tells me he’s great at what he does!
The second part of knowing your why has to do with who you are doing it for. Typically, this is somehow tied to your passion in life, which often comes from an injustice you experienced or witnessed in your life.
I experienced extreme bullying in my teen years that lead to reconstructive surgery (I’ll tell that story later.) The whole situation did a number on my self-esteem, and I had a hard time believing I was good at anything or valuable to anyone. It took a lot of years and a lot of Jesus to correct my thinking, and now I am passionate about helping other women who feel that way overcome those obstacles, too.
My natural marketing skills combined with my passion for helping women believe in themselves is the formula that equals my why.
I want to help women who struggle to believe in themselves grow their confidence, conquer their fears, and boldly & unapologetically pursue their dreams. This ‘why’ flows into all the areas of my life, too, not just my work. It’s how I approach almost everything I do, and it’s the fuel that keeps me motivated.
If you are struggling to find your ‘why,’ then I want to encourage you to spend some time jotting down a few things you are good at and a few things you are passionate about.
I tend to be passionate about a lot of things so here’s a tip if that describes you, too. Think about what makes you angry. What fires you up so much you wish you could do something about it?
My youngest daughter told me about a sweet girl at her school who was being picked on and bullied by her supposed friends. My heart broke for her, but more than that, I was angry. She should never be made to feel like she is less than or has less to offer than anyone else! Let me at ‘em! (Thus, my passion)
Okay, now you’ve got the formula for discovering your why.
What you are good at + What you are passionate about = Why you do what you do.
Knowing the reason you got into your line of work, started the ministry, wrote the book or anything else, will help you lead with your strengths instead of wasting time shoring up your weaknesses.
I struggled to figure this out for a long, long time, but I finally did, and you can, too.