Four Ways to Reconnect With Your Why
Have you ever had a week or month where the same message keeps popping up? You know, your friend mentions this Bible verse and you think about it. And then you attend church a few days later and your pastor is using it in this sermon. And then you go to small group, and yet again that verse enters into conversation.
Is it a sign or a coincidence? Is it just happenstance or is God trying to get your attention?
If you're saying no to all my questions, please skip to the next blog post. But if you're like me, by the third time you're wondering why God went to all that trouble to get you consider that verse or read that book. You know the drill.
So for me, it's this book by Simon Sinek called, Start With Why. I first heard about it on a podcast I listened to. I thought is was interesting and the concept that we inspire others to action by knowing our own why made me pick up the book. I did and promptly put it on my over-crowded book shelf. Filed firmly under... to be read at a later date.
Flash forward two weeks and I'm at a grad party and a friend mentions Simon's TED talk. We were both talking about our own business ventures and life changes. Apparently it's famous and Simon is famous and who knew. As we're talking, I sense a growing need in me. Have I lost my why?
Another two weeks go by and my new shiny book is firmly filed in the same place...to be read later. But my pastor mentions it while he's preaching on Sunday and well, the third time is the charm.
In the midst of all this coincidence is the state of my heart. Stepping out in faith is hard. Running a small business is hard. And when I had that conversation with my friend a few weeks ago, I realized I had lost my why. Why am I stepping out in faith again instead of getting a job with a bigger paycheck and that covers insurance? Why did I open not one, but two different businesses? Why am I making the choices I'm making? And what does all that have to do with how I partner with God and serve in His kingdom?
So What Is A Why Anyway
To me, my why is wrapped up in my meaning for being here. It's a combination of my God-given gifts and talents and how I can uniquely contribute to God's plan and kingdom and the world around me.
I listened to this great podcast today on well being and whole health. It's one I've already recommended to you, Lead Stories. In this episode, they talk about the idea that our well being is made up of a variety of areas (Spiritual health, physical health, emotional health - there's 6 and i was driving while listening). Our sense of meaning is one of those 6. Believing we belong here and can contribute meaning affects our sense of well-being.
The other great thing discussed. Your sense of meaning and purpose. IT"S NOT ABOUT YOUR JOB OR VOCATION. I've been saying (mostly to myself) this very thing since I launched One Foot Coaching. Our meaning and life message can be lived out no matter what job you have or what your season of life. Meaning or your why is what you bring to the table not just at work, but at church, in your community, and to your family. It's the reason God made you just the way you are.
Why Do I Need to Reconnect With My Why
I don't know about you, but life gets in my way. Even when we are right where we are supposed to be, living gets hard. We can get discouraged, We are busy doing instead of being. And quite honestly, in the middle of life, we can forget our why. We can forget our sense of meaning. We can forget why we are made the way we are and the impact God wants to make through us.
For me, there are days when the bills are bigger than the clients. There are days when I wake up and realize I have no idea what I'm doing running a business or two. There are days when there is so much to do. And lately, there are just some days that I'm discouraged. I'm not sure I've lived up to what I wanted. And those are the days that I need to remember my why.
I haven't stepped out in faith and started two businesses just to have businesses. I started these business to help people. I took a step of faith because I knew that I had gifts that could help others. Other women. Other business owners. Other people just like me. I stepped out because I knew that God does His best work in me when I'm willing to use my gifts and talents for Him.
I know that's true for you too. Your gifts may be the same or different than mine. But you were created just as you are with skills and personality unique to you to make a difference. To contribute to the Kingdom of God. To help others. To shine a light on the power of God at work in you.
How Do I Reconnect With My Why
Such an interesting question, right? Life is busy. And if you're anything like me, sometimes you're just too tired to think about it. Let's turn on another episode of Property Brothers and dream about well, our dream home instead.
Reconnecting with your why takes effort, intention, and well, just work. But here are some ways I'm working on reconnecting with my why so my discouraging days don't become major detours.
1. Practice Sabbathing
I know it's not a word and if we're being honest I am horrible at this, but taking a day where we don't work, we don't strive and we spend time with God will go a long way to helping us reconnect with our why and the heart behind our why.
As a single adult with a dog, sometimes my sabbath gets away from me. Let's see there's church. Then a hefty lunch. Then napping. Then TV. Then 10 minutes walking the dog. Then there's the second nap. Then more TV. For those of you who are parents, add kids and activities and preparing meals and who has time to take do some sabbathing?
You get the drift. Relaxing by watching TV can fit the definition of doing nothing, but doesn't connect me with God or my why.
Take the time to cease striving and know that he's God.
2. Revisit Your Gifts And Talents
You were designed on purpose for a purpose. It's a quote I found when I attended this conference called the Business Boutique by Christy Wright recently. But I loved this sentence. You and I have gifts and talents and personalities on purpose. It's no accident that you are made and wired the way you are.
When I get busy, I forget about what makes me special. I forget about my gifts. I forget about my natural talents. I forget that I've been gifted gifts to be used for God's kingdom.
We need to press pause and embrace the gifts He's given us. Yes, you can use them in ministry at church. But you get to use them in your community. Sometimes at work. In your family, With your friends.
If you don't know what your gifts and talents are or maybe you've forgotten what makes them special, would you be willing to experiment with me this week? Ask your friends and loved ones. What gifts do you see in me? How has God used them in your life?
Your why is connected to these things and so often those we love see what sometimes we can't.
3. Take A Day
I'm an extroverted introvert. I recharge by being alone. On the flip side, I can't say no. If there's something social going on, I have some serious FOMO (fear of missing out) and always say yes.
But saying yes means I'm too busy for myself. Saying yes to being with others means I'm saying no to recharging myself.
A few years ago, when I was working in ministry, our new boss announced that we would each take a mandatory day away each quarter. A day to recharge. A day to connect with God. A day to work on God's plan for our ministry.
I'm not gonna lie. I didn't like the idea. How would I get any work done? What would I do for an entire day? Did I even really need a whole day?
The answer is yes. I unexpectedly found refreshment in saying no to my work, my to do lists, and to the people who I thought needed me so I could reconnect with God and my why for what I did day in and day out.
You don't need to have a job in ministry to need a day away. Plan a day where you and God can connect. Personally, doing it in my house didn't work. I needed to go somewhere. A park. A coffee shop. Wherever I wasn't interrupted and could get away from my routine.
I would spend the first part of the day praying and reading the Bible and just reconnecting with God personally. The second half was focused on my why and seeking His thoughts on next steps, my daily to-do list, or just something new.
If you take the time to get away, I promise God will meet you there.
4. Read Start With Why or Watch the TED Talk
I probably should have started with this one. I'm sure this is my longest blog post ever. And right now the concept of your why may be as clear as mud! Because I'm a learner, I will tell you that I think resources can't hurt.
Because of all the prompting I've had over the last month, I finally picked up the book. To be honest, more than the prompting is some discouragement because I don't always know where my businesses are going. There are days when I love it. And there are days where I ask why I'm actually doing this instead of reconnecting with my actual WHY.
The book is business-y at first. Slog through it. Get to the meat of it. And reconnect with you.
So, why is your WHY so important? (And maybe couldn't he think of a less common word than why). Your WHY is your motivation when all else seems lost. Your WHY contributed to the whole you - your well being and health. Your WHY helps you love who God has made you and helps you live out that love in the world around you. God uses your WHY to show others exactly who He is.
Your WHY is important...