Knowing Your Why - Does it Matter?

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Who You’re Becoming is Key

If you’ve done anything in the online space that’s connected to self-help, coaching, branding, or development (and probably a lot of other stuff too), you’ve likely run into materials that are all about finding your why, knowing your why, and developing your why.

And I get it: it’s an easy way to get us thinking beyond what we want (like losing weight, making more money, or traveling the world) and really internalizing WHY we want those things (maybe having more energy, paying off debt, or visiting your homeland).

You can often get this nailed down into one statement that’s easy to remember and highly motivating.

Examples of some WHY statements I’ve seen:

  • I’m eating right so I can be around to see my grandkids get married

  • I’m becoming debt free so I can have less stress and be able to travel more

  • I’m meditating daily so I can decrease anxiety and have a more peaceful day

Love all of those, and I definitely have my share of WHY statements posted here, there and everywhere to keep me motivated and inspired.


The thing that really speaks to my heart is connected to WHO - specifically, who am I, and how do my actions contribute to that?

Let me use one of my wellness goals from earlier this year, and we’ll look at the differences between knowing my WHY and considering my WHO.

  • GOAL: I’ll take time to mindfully meditate 4x per week

Notice that my goal is specific + measurable. That’s the best kind of goal!

  • WHY: I want to be more at peace and decrease anxiety and stress in my life

That’s a strong why because it addresses the reason behind the meditation. It’s not just to check it off my list (which isn’t enough to help me stick with it). Instead, it reminds my why meditating is going to make a difference in my life.

  • WHO: I am someone who experiences peace and inner calm because I am at ease with myself

This, for me, is the clincher.

It’s about the person I am 24 hours a day, and if I believe that this is truly who I am, of course I’ll meditate. In fact, I might mediate more often than my goal states, because I start to feel like the kind of person who meditates daily. 

Internalizing a deep sense of BEING the kind of person that does this contributes to more “spill over” as well; this peaceful person who is at ease with themselves feels differently about their body, dresses well, initiates conversations with others - when I focus on this process of using my meditation goal to truly BECOME, I change in much deeper ways.

I have nothing against WHY statements, but I would love to challenge you to consider digging just a little deeper.

Choose a goal you’re currently working on (go set one if you need to), develop your why as a first step, and then take it one step further and and ask yourself who it is you’re trying to be.

I’d love it if you wanted to share which one (Who or Why) resonates with you more!


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