As I write this, I’m reflecting on what feels like a month-long week. I feel like something has shifted for me in the last 72 hours, and it has to do with ‘Finding my “Why”‘.
How’s your diet?
I make a point of consuming books and online content which feeds my brain. Much like a healthy, nutritional diet basically comes down to what you choose to put in your mouth, I believe a healthy, beneficial brain diet comes down to what you choose to put into your head. Being an individual running my own business, I tend to follow the folks that talk about success, leadership & personal development.
After being on this brain diet for some years now, I’ve started to notice something about what these authors, experts and gurus are sharing.
There seems to be a set of common ideas. Whether it’s intentional or just because I follow a specific type of expert, there are definitely repeated themes that come through in their teachings, but each is shared in a unique and different way.
One of the common themes that comes through is about ‘Finding your Why’.
The most notable author to talk about this concept, in my opinion, is Simon Sinek who wrote Start With Why.
“Imagine a world where people wake up inspired to go to work”
It’s one of the first things you’ll read on his website.
Just imagine that world.
Imagine being one of those people.
What would that feel like?
The shift I experienced this week relates to finding my why.
I attended the Fine Women Networking breakfast this week and the guest speaker was Lauren Davis who is a Clinical and Consulting Psychologist with a focus on individual, team, leadership and organisational development.
She referenced Simon Sinek’s model and after a bit of the theory, she split us up into pairs and gave us a series of exercises.
The first part entailed us walking around to 3 tables that had various images laid out on them. We were to select the 3 images that jumped out at us.
Secondly, we had to sit with our respective partners and for 3 minutes tell the other person, uninterrupted, why we chose the images we had chosen and what they mean to us within the context of our life or our business. While we rambled for 3 minutes our partner was writing down keywords and key phrases from our monologue.
And lastly, we had to sit quietly, reflect on the words we had used to describe the images and we had to draw an image on a blank sheet to demonstrate the feelings that came up from the process.
Sounds fairly straight forward, right? That’s what I thought.
Finding My Why
So off I set, scouring the tables for my chosen images. Picking one up, swopping it out for another. Battling indecision and finally settling on my final 3. She said we had to trust our gut, so that’s what I did.
These are the 3 images I chose:
Next was the describing part.
We each get 3 minutes.
Phew, how am I going to fill 3 minutes?
I start off.
The pine trees and mountains. It represents my dream. My ultimate dream to live in a pine forest, their natural air-freshener filling my cute cottage. I do yoga among the trees every day and take the dog for long walks into the mountains and along fresh water streams. I work from home and the majority of my income doesn’t require my physical presence. I have a beautiful studio attached, a converted barn that’s rustic, white and airy. I go there and create for myself and for my clients. The word I use to describe my life in that forest is blissful. Peaceful. I see it, I smell it, I feel it, I believe it. I belong there.
The Pencils. They represent creativity and the act of creation. Bringing ideas to life, into tangible form. Finding ways to make whispers in my head and in my heart into something that can be experienced by others. Creating for the sake of creating. Because the process feeds my soul. Creating to know I exist. One day when I’m gone, all that I’ve created will forever exist in the world, either in physical form or in the memories of others. My legacy.
The heart. Love. In all it’s forms. Starting with self-love. Everything starts with the self. To know compassion, love and respect outwardly, we have to know it inwardly first. We are all connected in some way, and to be able to feed others, we have to feed ourselves first. How we feel and treat ourselves impacts not just us, but those around us. And how they feel about themselves, impacts not just them, but those around them too. To accept ourselves, to value ourselves, to appreciate ourselves, is to be the beacon for those who don’t know what that looks like. A positive sense of self is a service to you which is a service to others.
That got Deep. Quickly!
And this is where it got interesting.The profound realisation of the truth of this concept suddenly overwhelmed me and the tears came. I carried on, hoping to hold onto the knowing that I’d just tuned in to. We’re all connected. Like one organism. If we feed love, positivity, confidence, acceptance, respect, compassion into one cell, the other cells benefit. If we feed hatred, negativity, criticism, judgement, disrespect into a single cell, the other cells are impacted. It’s a system that’s either thriving or dying. And it starts with just one cell.
Next we had to draw a representation of what we were feeling. This was my doodle…
Connecting Women Through Confidence.
It suddenly came to me and I scribbled it down on the back of my drawing. This right here is my ‘Why’. The reason I do what I do. My purpose and my role in this system that’s bigger than me. My mechanism for Connecting Women Through Confidence is portrait photography & education. I create to make people feel better, to inspire, to transform & empower.
I was not expecting this kind of deep, philosophical experience on a Wednesday morning at a networking breakfast, I can tell you. But I’m so glad I did. For all the wonderful things I’ve had happen this week, this poignant moment has been my highlight. And although it’s relevance to my blog is negligible, I need to write it down to remember it, to remember how I felt. So forgive me if I’ve shared too much.
What’s your ‘Why’?
Have you ever had any shifting moments like this, for your life or your business? Were you’re suddenly struck by the enormity of a simple concept. Have you found your ‘Why’? I’d love to hear what it is in the comments below.