When someone asks why, it is because they do not see the other person.
When we ask why, it is because we are fighting with something.
Looking at things for what they are instead of what we wish or hope them to be is a lot easier than it seems.
For what reason or purpose do we do anything in our life?
To satisfy or runaway from a need, request or goal.
What is the most important factor behind the need, request or goal?
What is the motivating factor that allows you to do what you do?
Think about it, we humans do not do a thing without a reason.
Which motivation are you using to fuel your emotions, fears or realities??
There are two factors that are Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Motivation.
Intrinsic motivation is a type of motivation in which an individual is being motivated by internal desires.
For example, let’s say an individual named Bob has set himself a goal to begin losing weight and becoming healthier.
Let’s also imagine that Bob’s reason to pursue this path of fitness and wellness is to improve his health overall and feel happier with his appearance.
Since Bob’s desire to change comes from within, his motivation is intrinsic.
Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is a type of motivation in which an individual is being motivated by external desires.
Rather than being motivated by the need to look better and feel healthier, let’s say that Bob was feeling pressure from his wife to slim down and improve his physique so that she would be more attracted to him.
Since this pressure comes from the outside, this is an example of extrinsic motivation.
Understanding what is the fuel that motivates your emotions, fears or reality allows you to address it more clearly.
It is easier to complete a task or goal that we create for ourselves because we will enjoy the process. When someone else requests something of us that we do not want to do our emotions or fears about that person enter into the mix. It becomes an action of pleasing another person over ourselves and that is where anxiety steps in. If left unchecked for a long period of time it may lead to depression.
It is important to ask a few simple questions when searching for a WHY, the reason or purpose behind an action is being applied for another person, place or thing and not ourselves.
Are you fueling an emotion or fear?
Where did it come from?
What are you going to do about it?
Before doing the exercise below it is important to release the stored up energy surrounding or fueling the emotion or fear. I recommend my clients perform a physical activity before sitting down and performing this task.
Researchers suggest physical activities such as walking, biking, dancing, yoga or tai kwan do can relieve stress, anxiety, depression and anger.
Now let’s begin!
You have several options:
Take a piece of paper and penciling out, writing these questions down and answering them is one way of solving why.
Another fun way to tackle a why is by using your creativity.
Do you use or have a creative outlet such as journaling, playing a musical instrument, painting, drawing, dancing, or screaming into a pillow?
I bet you are wondering how does screaming into a pillow fit in here?
One of my favorite clients is from the United States. She is in her mid 30’s. The first time we met, she spoke of tackling her confidence issues. Now, she is a beautiful woman with aPHD, thin, smart and who barely spoke above a whisper.
I thought it odd that someone like her would need my services.
As we progressed through a few sessions it felt as we were coming to an end. I knew there was something deeper that she was not ready to share until now.
So, I asked her a direct question. Why do you speak so softly?
What have you experienced in your life that prevents you from using your voice?
She openly began sobbing. I watched and listened as I saw this beautiful woman break down over a silence she has kept within her since she was a child.
She shared with me how her grandparents would physically beat her and her sisters into submission. Telling them repeatedly that they were doing this for their own good.
So they would remain good girls.
She continued to share that this type of discipline practice is normal in her culture. As we continued our coaching session she continuously said that her grandparents were good people.
I said, yes, they may be, however, you can still become angry with them because what they did to you and your sisters was wrong.
I recommended we begin there by addressing the rage she had within her.
We used a technique that allowed her to just scream into a pillow to access her hidden anger. For two minutes she screamed calmly into the pillow. When we repeated the exercise again, I asked her to tap into her anger and scream to it. It is the only way she will get to the why of her silence.
This time there was a distinct difference in her screams. It was raw. It was filled with pain. As we completed that exercise and her rage subsided.
She shared what her WHY was.
She learned that in order for her beatings to be short she must be extremely quiet. She developed a coping mechanism to navigate the duration and pain of those beatings. These experiences manifested into how she dealt with any situation that she was unhappy with. Instead of using her voice to express her dissatisfaction, anger or frustration she chose silence. It literally ate her up inside. She believed that speaking up for herself would increase the pain and duration of what she was experiencing. She physically and mentally shut down.
This silence gave her extreme anxiety and at times depression.
For her, understanding that by not acknowledging her inner pain it cost her years of unnecessary suffering. Yes, that is true.
The interesting thing about this example is that this client loves to paint. Once we completed that session she shared how several weeks before she could feel that something was bubbling up.
Which is what typically happens during a series of coaching sessions. One question leads to another, that leads to another kind of thing.
That she had an idea to paint something but the image was unreachable. After clearing out the old story she had created around her past, she was able to see clearly that the image was: her bound in silence.
She was physically silenced and yet she used painting oil on canvas as a way to express herself.
She then became angry!
After a few deep breaths we discussed how at that time, she did not have the tools to be able to address the hurts and pains of her past. It is pointless to be angry. It is better to focus on the tools she will be able to use from this point forward.
What she learned is even better.
Now that she has gained confidence in herself by using the techniques shared she is able to create the life she wants to live.
She has the power to use her voice for what she chooses. No one will ever silence her again.
Now to you my friends!
Will you discover that your emotions and fears are intrinsic or extrinsic?
Which physical activity will you use for 30 minutes: walking, running, swimming or pouring your energy into yoga sessions, before using your favorite creative outlet.
What happens when you use a creative outlet to give a voice to your emotions or fears?
Will you discover that using a drawing pencil is more satisfying than journaling?
Will you use pastel colors or bold paints to work out why you were disappointed with your parents, partner, colleague or friends?
Whichever tool you use, remember the objective here is to get to the WHY.