Be True to Yourself

In my last post I discussed what matters to us deep down, what’s fundamental to who we are. Many coaches use the term ‘core values’ to describe these drivers. At YourCoachApproach we use the term ‘motivators’ instead

If we don’t act in a way that is true to ourselves, then we are likely to be in conflict, unhappy, unfulfilled. Despite this, so often what we truly stand for, our motivators, is hidden from us

Where Our Motivators Come From

Our life experiences. The most common is our upbringing. This includes our faith, our culture, our family, our wealth, and other demographics. People we admire, from both public and our own life, role models if you like, can have a huge influence on us. And don’t underestimate the influence of social media! As we progress through life, other sources emerge: our chosen industry, coworkers, lovers, friends. Some sources are deeply personal; an accident or illness, something we witnessed, or how someone treated us

Why Our Motivators Are Often Hidden From Us?

The sources of our motivators are very normal. Obvious even. So why are our motivators so often hidden from us?

Maybe we haven’t felt the need, or had the time, to explore our motivators. Our need to understand ourselves better is often triggered by a life event: meeting someone special, starting a family. Or a period of unhappiness, feelings of being unfulfilled. When we’re not happy with our career. Despite what we’ve accomplished. When we’re yearning something new, different. Travel, a new job, setting up our own business

Or maybe it comes from our need to conform. To make others happy or proud. We want to our motivators to project us in a socially acceptable way. This is why when first asked what their motivators could be, people often respond with words that seem agreeable. Family, friendship, honesty. Often our behaviour doesn’t support our perceived motivators:

  • Family: yet we rarely get home before the kids go to bed. Working hard, striving for the company to get that next promotion
  • Friendship: duck out of a meet up with a friend at the last minute because someone you’re really interested in asks you out on a date
  • Honesty: we know the handful of coins that fell out of the vending machine aren’t ours. They should be handed in. Or put in a charity tin. Yet, often they end up in our pocket

These common behaviours don’t align with commonly expressed motivators. Nor do these behaviours make us bad people

It can very hard to explain to a partner that we place more emphasis on our career than seeing the kids before bed time. Is it because, deep down, we are motivated by security, by a need to provide? Gaining that promotion is how we fulfil that need?

Almost all of us search out intimacy, love. Is our apparent flippant approach to our friends driven by a deep desire to find a partner to share our lives with?

Honesty can be a relative term. It can be down to where we draw the line; is a few founds, coins good fortune The odd pen from work, expected. Keeping someone’s lost wallet or purse an absolute no-no?

Finding Our True Selves

There’s plenty of short quizzes available that promise to reveal our inner-selves. What motivates us deep down. Unfortunately, they’ll only reveal so much. As the information we plug in is influenced by our self-perception

To truly understand what motivates us deep down isn’t an easy, quick process. It takes an iterative, structured approach which develops self-awareness to unearth what’s truly important to us. Most importantly, we will need time to accept what we find. And often, that’s the hardest part of all

We Are Our Motivations

What motivates us, deep down, is fundamental to who we are. They drive our behaviour. Guide our choices, big and small. Yet our motivators are often hidden from us. Finding out what they are can be a long journey. But ultimately a very worthwhile one

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