Want To Change Your Life? Keep Asking Yourself This Question
People come to me when they want to change their lives. They feel stuck, frustrated—like something’s missing—but they don’t know which way to go.
This is what I tell them:
To break free of inertia and get on the path to your dreams you must first uncover your core drives.
Core drives inspire you to leap out of bed in the morning. They give you the guts and oomph to take risks and give your best to the world. Tapping into your core drives you give your life more meaning, texture and happiness.
Should be easy right?
What’s hard about figuring out what you want?
The dilemma is that many of us have spent so much time focused on achieving, mating, pleasing, or other external markers, that we haven’t connected with who we are. That deep place where you remain most YOU, with your unique genius and potential. Our core drives can get buried under our habitual notions of who we are and what we’re capable of.
The answer is to strip away the ingrained belief systems of what a successful life is “supposed to” look like so you can ascertain what matters most to you, your passion path and your non-negotiables.
What adds to the challenge is that the fear of the unknown can keep you invested in staying the same, even though it’s not working for you. Remember the saying better the devil you know than the devil you don’t? Often we’ll stick with what’s familiar just because it’s what we know and what we feel comfortable with. Fear can unconsciously defeat us before we’ve even begun: hiding what we most want from our critical, self-protective mind.
Understanding these challenges gives us the self-compassion and direction we need to break free.
The first step to accessing your core?
Get genuinely curious and ask yourself the following question:
What is it that I REALLY want out of life?
Try closing your eyes, taking a few deep breaths and asking yourself this question daily. Don’t filter or judge. Observe what images or thoughts arise in your mind with interest.
I know this sounds simplistic. But in practice, it can prove challenging to access core drives. Your unconscious beliefs are like the air you breathe—invisible and ever-present—therefore hard to spot if you don’t look.
Posing the question regularly sets your intention to self-discovery, and implicitly acknowledges that your “thinking mind” doesn’t hold the answers. You will observe what you speak about, what draws your interest, what you do with your time, and the clues will begin to illuminate aspects of you that were formerly hidden to your conscious mind.
Only through attending to yourself and allowing your answers to spontaneously emerge can you break free of the fears and “shoulds” that bind you.
As I've said before; getting to your core takes courage. It also takes patience; it isn’t easy stripping away the fabric that makes us feel safe and cozy. But most importantly, it takes practice and commitment.
Here’s a fundamental truth that I know from years of working with people: you already have the answers, even if they’re not obvious yet. I have never worked with someone who didn’t have a “breadcrumb trail” that points them in the direction of what matters to them.
Ask yourself this key question daily and be open to what unfolds.