The Do It Scared™ Podcast with Ruth Soukup provides weekly motivation, inspiration, and practical instruction for anyone tired of settling for “good enough.” Each week we tackle topics like goal-setting, overcoming fear, finding the time, energy & know-how for accomplishing our dreams, and overcoming the obstacles that stand in our way. Don’t miss an episode; subscribe here.
There’s nothing worse than seeing your spouse be unhappy, and my husband Chuck was miserable.
Every day I would watch him come home a little more defeated, and a little more despondent from his job as an aerospace engineer. He hated every minute, and I hated that he hated it.
And so, soon after starting my blog in 2010, I set a goal to make enough money that Chuck could quit his job.
That was my WHY. It was the purpose that I needed. It drove me to wake up at 3am—and sometimes earlier—every single day for more than 3 years, to work while the kids were still asleep. It was that WHY that kept me going, even when it was hard and confusing and frustrating.
And it was that WHY that ultimately built my business.
When we clarify what our WHY is, it gives us the purpose and the motivation we need to stick to our goals and start creating a life we love.
Make no mistake—going after big goals and dreams is HARD. It’s scary and frustrating and sometimes even miserable. There will be so many times where you feel like giving up. And that’s exactly why you need to be SO clear about your why.
This was definitely true for Jennifer Marx, a single mom who was desperate to find a new way to work from home so that she could be there for her son.
And then there’s Caroline Vencil who unexpectedly became a teenage mom and wanted a chance to redeem herself and create a better life for her family.
Or Tasha Agruso, who you met in Episode 14 of The Do It Scared™ podcast- a super-stressed out corporate lawyer who wanted a way to stay home with her 3-year old twins.
Each of these women found their WHY. And, they used their why to drive them to succeed beyond their imaginations.
Within a year, Jennifer was earning more than $20,000 a month from her site and was able to pay off her debt and save her family in the process.
Caroline’s big why drove her to put everything she had into creating a course. Within months, the revenue she generated had surpassed her husband’s income. She single-handedly changed the trajectory of her family’s life.
And Tasha, spent every spare moment she had working on her home decorating website and within 16 months was making enough money to walk away from law forever.
In the end, Jennifer, Caroline, and Tasha succeeded in creating a successful businesses because their WHY was bigger than their fear.
The best way—maybe the only way—to motivate yourself to do hard things, to stretch outside your comfort zone and to persevere even when the going gets tough—is to get crystal clear about your why.
And so, when it comes to your goals, do you know your big why? Do you know what is driving you and bringing purpose to your life? Do you know what is worth fighting for? And how can you use that motivation to get you where you want to be?
Find your WHY, and the rest will fall into place.
Of course, that might be easier said than done, right?
Below is a quick recap of the three steps you can take to find a WHY that is bigger than yourself:
MANUFACTURE A CATALYST
Without fail, every single person who overcomes adversity or conquers a fear has a WHY – a reason that motivates them to take action in the first place.
The thing is, we have more control than we think we do when it comes to finding reasons that motivate us to push past our fear. Not all of us have the willpower or the drive to just “decide” to overcome our fear, but we can intentionally seek out inspiration and accountability, and better opportunities.
If you are having trouble connecting with your bigger why or finding the motivation to follow through, it can be helpful to start by putting some safeguards in place that will keep you connected to that sense of purpose.
CONNECT WITH A LARGER PURPOSE
I was deeply uncomfortable in my own skin and it was negatively impacting my life. For the first time ever, I realized that the way I felt about my physical self-was directly related to my bigger, far more important—and far more motivating—goals of having a great marriage and a successful business.
Once I connected my goal of losing weight and getting in better shape to a higher purpose, I was able to find the motivation to stick with it.
Whatever your goal is, connect it to a larger purpose.
KEEP YOUR WHY TOP OF MIND
Once you’ve connected to your higher purpose, it is critically important to keep your WHY top of mind.
Because it is easy to forget, especially when things get hard. And make no mistake—things will get hard! Because anytime you are pursuing a big goal or pushing past your comfort zone, or facing a fear or about to do something really important or really great, that is exactly when things start to get difficult and awkward and painful and very, very real.
Keeping your WHY at the forefront might mean writing out it in a place that you can refer back to frequently. Creating a vision board or writing your WHY on your bathroom mirror, can also be helpful tools to remind you of your WHY.
The point is to make sure you are doing everything in your power to continually connect to your why and keep that higher purpose top of mind. That way, when the going gets tough, you’ll find the motivation to keep moving forward, no matter what.