The Journey to Financial Freedom: Find Your Inspirational “Why”
By Karen Neorr
Owner and Money Coach, The Savvy Finance Coach
Initiating change can be a formidable task. Clients often seek my financial coaching expertise because they recognize the need to transform or refine their money habits. However, despite this acknowledgment, implementing change remains a significant challenge even after enrolling in coaching services. I find it interesting that that even when we perceive a need for change, it doesn't automatically translate into seamless implementation. The underlying reason lies in our hardwired resistance to change. Our brain perceives change as a threat, triggering our fight or flight response. Conquering this natural and powerful negative response can be incredibly difficult but is entirely achievable.
The key is "WHY"
To navigate this hurdle and implement change to achieve financial success (as well as success in various aspects of life), it is crucial to develop a strong sense of purpose, what I like to call our "Why." Therein lies the key to overcoming fear and resistance and winning with money.
Our Why is what motivates us and provides us with direction. According to researcher William Damon, author of "The Path to Purpose," having a clear sense of purpose is the key to high engagement and productivity. A well-defined purpose keeps you focused on what truly matters while empowering you to detach from things that don’t serve your purpose. When faced with challenges and the natural resistance to change, your Why acts as a north star, providing you with direction and sustaining motivation.
If you find yourself grappling with unsuccessful attempts to change your financial life, it might be worth considering whether you've clearly defined your Why, the driving force that provides the necessary motivation and direction. Before embarking on financial change, take the time to articulate your purpose for seeking that change.
Do the Work
Here's an exercise to help more clearly define your Why:
Identify the most significant problem you face regarding your finances.
Now envision your ideal financial situation – if you could make everything perfect with a snap of your fingers, what would you do or have that feels unattainable now?
For each answer to the question above, examine your reasoning behind it. Why is it important to you?
Repeatedly (at least twice) ask yourself, "Why is this important?" to drill down to the core reasons.
Your final answer represents your Why – a compelling and inspiring reason to undergo this transformative journey.
Discovering your purpose may be challenging, requiring additional exercises such as journaling and visualization. Reflect on the following questions:
Why do you do what you do?
What is your life's purpose?
What inspires you?
What is the single most important thing to you and why?
Recall past achievements and consider what motivated you during those challenging times.
If you had limited time left, how would you spend it, and what would you regret not doing?
Emotional engagement with your answers is key. Are you prepared to fight for what you've written down?
Identifying your Why is a process, not an event. It may take several attempts and soul-searching, but once you've unearthed your Why, the "how" becomes more manageable.