Understanding the root of why we do, or want to do, something is critical to knowing we are operating with intentionality.
Team Felicia likes to play this game with me often:
When I say I feel a certain way, or I want to do something, the person on the other side of me will ask, “why?”
And once I’ve answered that question, they’ll ask why again.
What my therapist (or whoever is asking me) is trying to get me to do is get to my root why.
Because once we can understand my fundamental motivation, we can assess if I’m operating from a healthy place. Or even from where I want to be.
Sometimes I find that I feel a certain way just because I think I’m supposed to feel a certain way. Or that I want to do something because I want to prove myself to people who don’t matter.
But sometimes, we uncover something magical. We find a piece of me I never knew existed. It’s like digging for treasure in bedrock sometimes.
A few weeks ago, my fitness coach asked me to do this same exercise to get to my why for my fitness goals. It took days but we finally got there.
Because I love the adrenaline rush that happens when I do something I didn’t know I could, and do it well. I love pushing myself beyond mediocre and into excellence. I love to accept the challenge, and prove I’m better than the challenge. I want to prove to myself and the world that diagnoses and prognoses are for chumps and overcoming obstacles is for champs. I want to inspire other people with the simple truth that they were created for so much more than the “good enough” life and my avenue to do that is to share my journey of finding confidence through fitness – that if I can do it, they can too.
Since then, I haven’t needed extrinsic motivation to do the things I know I need to do to build toward my goals. I haven’t even needed accountability. After a year of fighting to not do things I don’t particularly enjoy like strengthening exercises and stretching or sleeping enough, I actually look forward to doing those things every single day now. What changed? I got to my fundamental motivation, wrote it down and I wake up every single day, read it and can’t wait to follow the plan and build closer to doing the things I want to do.
While I was doing that exercise for Coach, I was also having the same conversation with my editor about the fundamental motivation for another dream on my heart. It didn’t take as long as the fitness goals process but I discovered a beautiful why for my goals of publishing NY Times bestsellers, speaking on huge stages and ministering to a broad audience.
We often fall in love with the idea of a goal, or the finish line of a goal. But we don’t really want that thing (for the right reasons anyway) if we don’t WANT the process.
I’m not saying we absolutely have to love the mundane of the process every single day, all the time. But what if we did? What if we loved the bricks and drywall of our homes as much as we loved the finished product?
What would that look like?
I can tell you what it looks like for me.
I’ve become a decision-maker and not just a problem-solver.
Problem solvers find the answer to what they need to do. Decision makers do it.
I was known as the personal branding ninja in college. I even almost went to work for a branding agency in St. Louis without even a degree. I have owned businesses in helping people market their businesses.
But I haven’t consistently done the things I know I need to do for myself in ten years. I’ve just been waiting on them to just happen because I just want to get to the finish line.
Unfortunately, we haven’t invented teleportation yet to get us from Point A to Point B without any time or effort. Similarly, we can’t just dream big dreams and then wonder why we aren’t seeing them get realized when we don’t put in the time and effort to get there.
So in the last few weeks, I have actually buckled down. I put together a branding strategy plan, which is fancy terminology for I made a list of what I’m going to do and when. That’s right. I told myself what I have to do, and I’m holding myself accountable to actually doing it.
See, God’s promise is I will help a lot of people through my story. He’s given me the dreams of books and conferences and a tribe of people who go to the ends of the earth to find more people to inspire.
But He won’t just give it to me. I have to put some faith in those promises.
In the same breath as the promise, He’s asked me to be bold. To trust Him. To steward what He has given me right now.
He won’t let me see my dream of a NY Times bestseller published until I can be faithful to just publish on the platform I have right now.
He won’t say yes to me speaking at Catalyst or 10x or Orange or Story or anywhere else until I can first speak to the people in my life right now.
He won’t bless my businistry (business & ministry) with millions until I can love the ONE right in front of me well.
But it’s hard to be faithful in the little things sometimes, right? We want to see results. Big ones. Now.
That’s not how it works.
Remember that why I talked about earlier? I had to sit down with that why and my actual calendar. I had to decide what my real goals are and if what i was spending my days doing was getting me closer to my goals.
The truth is they weren’t. Not really. So something had to change. Or several somethings, actually.
One of those things is I’m going to practice my skill everyday for two solid years. I’m going to work on becoming an expert in my craft by committing to publishing a blog every single day for 730 consecutive days.
I have zero expectations out of the next 730 (723 now) days and blog posts. All i want to do is get better at writing, blogging and being consistent.
If you know me, you know I struggle with consistency. It’s my biggest flaw in many areas of my life. I start off well. I finish well. I struggle in the middle. Why? Because I give up when it isn’t fun anymore. When people stop paying attention. When there’s nothing to celebrate.
But not this time. There might be days I write 300 words at 11:50pm, but it counts and I will still publish every single day.
And I’ll actually do it. Why? Because I know my why, and nobody can argue with that. Not even me.
Because my story changes lives. God gave me this story because He knew it would change family trees and rewrite legacies. He let me survive it all and redeemed the trauma so I could look someone else in the eyes one day and know I gave them hope to overcome whatever they are facing. My story is a mirror that reflects God’s truths about who we are as sons and daughters of a God who loves and treasures everything about us. I live to coach people into the light. I want to be the reason someone reads a book that stops them from giving up, or hears a talk that inspires them to take a proactive step into freedom. I want people to see my story and know that if I can do it, so can they.
Pick a goal. Find your why. And then ask why again. And again. And again. And again. Then take that information and solve the problem (if there is one) of figuring out what to do to get closer to your goal. Then develop a plan. Then MAKE A DECISION to follow than plan.
Dreams are nothing more than wishes unless backed by a willingness to invest and trust in the process.