People always focus on the how. How do we get there from here? How can we accomplish that, earn that, thwart that, teach and learn that? But we seem to forget, or we don’t realize, that without a good why, we aren’t going anywhere. We’ll find that our well intentioned train is dead and abandoned on those same tracks.
I taught a blogging workshop almost a year ago. I did it because a nice little old man asked, nay insisted I do it. I am awfully glad he did because otherwise I wouldn’t have. Doing it for the experience or the challenge just wasn’t my kinda why back then. I was too afraid of messing up.
The workshop’s theme? Your Why will tell you your How. Yet as much as I insisted during that workshop that they all needed to find a solid reason why they wanted to create a blog and then begin, most of them were just curious, hoping I would tell them their why.
We all do that. We roll around life hoping to catch a passing Why or we adopt other people’s Whys wanting them to fit. People’s whys for their career paths can sound a little less chosen and more assigned seating.
“Because it’s expected of me.”
“My family always did so I do too.”
“We’ve always done this so it’s easier this way.”
Loyalty as a why. Lack of risk, safety is a why. I think “I should” is great as long as nothing else is calling you to want something different. Because if something else is calling to you, you’ll never shake it. Concede to the call. Own your why.
I decided this year that Happiness and Fun are two really good Whys. Part of my New Year’s shift was that I was only going to pursue things that tweaked my interest and felt like I could learn and play and grow for doing them. Shoulds aren’t running the show. A huge fun Why needs to be looming above the should.
My Recent Why Shift
I had been putting off creating an Etsy store for several years now. I’d made it a should and there were plenty of why nots. Some of the Why Nots included
“I don’t care about the money.”
“I can’t get it perfect because I don’t understand the way Etsy works.”
And then I took the task out of my head and put it into my friend’s hands. I used my friend to hand over my accountability to. As in, “I’m doing this for her because I can’t stand the thought of seeing her again and telling her I still haven’t gone and made my shop yet.” She wouldn’t care but I’d be embarrassed. And then she went and said that I could use her any time I wanted to.
And so I opened that Etsy shop. See it here. I stopped making it about my lack of skill or knowledge or greed and made it an art resume. A show and tell place. I don’t want to care if people buy anything. I’d just assume give it all away. So I found a way to do this anyway and that’s so awesome. I adopted a new Why. Once I took the free will out of it and looked to the future of my Etsy shop as being a place to show my work, it was kinda fun sounding.
Struggling with resistance or a need to surrender to something? Try telling your truths about the whys. Are you afraid that if you do it then suddenly you’ll find yourself feeling like an impostor? Or that you won’t have enough time to commit to it once you’ve gotten there? Or are you afraid that the ones you love will not understand or won’t be supportive? All have valid fear structure yet if the heart still calls for fulfillment, than you need to acknowledge your fears, state your Why, and do it anyway or you’ll never feel at peace. “I’m sorry that you feel that way but I have to do this for me” is how I broke up with the boyfriend who wouldn’t leave. And a husband I suppose. This phrase could help with talking to the fears or the family.
Whether you need to write yourself a permission slip or perhaps download the homemade task vs. fear project planner document from above, PDF of My Project Planner , let there be a place where your process takes over and guides you to a better place to be besides let down, sad, and pining for an action you are afraid you may never take. Why? Because I like you.
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