Motivation: What is Your Why?
In this article, we’re going to be addressing what your bias is. What is the reason that you want to feel healthier or happier? Why do you want to feel better today than you did yesterday?
The ability to focus on why you would like to achieve self-improvement or betterment can help make your life feel more worth it.
Doing so allows you to refocus on why you wish to put in the work in the first place and can motivate us to stick around, to actually follow through with our goals and continue to pursue them.
One technique is to ask yourself the question, why multiple times, for example, if your reason is I want to get fit, ask yourself why again perhaps is to be healthy. Ask yourself why again, so, for example, I want to live longer. Ask why again, so that you can be around for your kids growth and development. Ask yourself why again, because you love your kids.
So this is a simple technique to go through a process in order to dig deep and really see what fuels your goals.
This helps becoming connected to our underlying beliefs and motivations and truly understanding why you have a goal is the first step to accomplishing it. So take a moment to reflect on what your why is.
A few answers to this question may be to love someone close to me, to be present for them or my family, to understand myself more, to feel confident in myself and my abilities, to be mindful with the way I nourish and move my body, to do something just for fun, with no end result in mind, to feel confident, to feel sane, valued or understood by someone or something, or having fulfilling work.
Next, you would like to look at the concept of resilience in relation to identifying what your why is. Take a moment to reflect on what resilience means to you.
ResilienceResilience is the ability to tolerate hard emotions or life events and how you move past them.
It does not mean that negative moments or events do not happen. It just refers to your ability to get up and move past them. Generally, our ability to be resilient is determined in childhood and in the world of addiction, perhaps prolonged exposure to adversity or the inability to handle negative emotions results in a prolonged act of numbing them.
As such, it can be possible that that person doesn’t learn how to deal with them and as a result doesn’t improve their resiliency. This can look like reaching for a drug or behaviour of choice to help numb the pain.
Having a resilient mindset also prompts the person to look and see where the negative thoughts may have originated from.
Generally, negative thoughts don’t start with you.
They’re a result of someone else telling you to be afraid or that your mind is not to be trusted, etc… For example, not feeling good enough is not what you thought from day one to make this concept easier to understand. Think about animals.
Humans have a unique ability to ruminate. Do you think a dolphin swims into an item in the sea and spends the rest of the day thinking how bad it was for running into it? Animals teach us how to be mindful in the moment and live in the now.
A possible way to understand your negative thoughts would be to complete the CBT journal looking at thoughts that precede the negative behaviours such as anger, using self-harm, etc… And identifying or flagging these thoughts can help us eliminate undesirable behaviours.
So, I encourage you to utilize the CBT journal handout and also feel free to explore more of the videos, such as understanding cognitive distortions or understanding habits to help you better understand what your why can be.