If you have ever been a part of a multi-level marketing type business you will have heard the phrase "what is your why?" I have been part of one of these companies for over 16 years (see my renaecreates.blogspot.com to see some of my work). I love the company and I love the products, it helps me tap into my creative self. Over the years my "why" for doing this business has changed from time to time. At one time I lost my "why" altogether. It was at this time that I found myself at the annual company convention waiting in line to get a book from one of our speakers who inspired me.
By a series of interesting events I ended up having a long talk with this speaker. I told her how I was feeling and what had been going on in my life. She listened and was very supportive. Then she gave me an assignment to do that night in my hotel room and told me to return the next day to meet with her. I did what she asked and the next day she was generous enough to meet with me again. We talked for quite awhile as she tried to help me figure out my "why." Finally, she came to a conclusion and she said, "I think your 'why' is recognition, you want something to call your own, but doing it for yourself hasn't been enough to get you to do it." I was so shocked, I had to ask her to repeat herself. Not once had I ever considered that whatever my "why's" had been over the years, that I didn't feel it enough to do it for myself, that no matter what my "why" was, doing it for me wasn't motivating enough. I truly was shocked. No wonder I was struggling, but it wasn't only with my business, it was the same with all I was doing at that time in my life. I didn't believe in myself enough for any "why" to be effective.
Years later as I started therapy and working through my issues of co-dependency I could see why doing anything for myself wasn't enough to keep me motivated. I didn't think I deserved more of anything. It was really hard for me to work through those feelings of worthlessness. I could do things for other people, no problem. They were worth my time and efforts, but to do something that would some how benefit me seemed so wrong. I could also see how wanting recognition was just part of my overall desire to be seen, but yet I didn't dare make myself be seen. I just hoped that someone would notice me on their own, if I was seen without my having to draw attention to myself, then I would be worth something.
I have come to realize that the first person that needs to show recognition to me is me. I need to acknowledge my worth, that I have value, that I can do something for myself and it not be selfish or bad. I was waiting for everyone else to recognize me believing that somehow that would make me of worth, not realizing that the only person I needed to recognize me and give me my worth was myself. I needed to be my own "why."
What is my "why" in my business now? It is still recognition, but it has a different meaning. I recognize my customers when they come to my workshops, I love hearing about their lives, laughing and/or crying with them. I recognize how good I feel when they like the projects I have for them to make. I recognize that those few hours they spend with me and the friends they have made at my workshops brings joy to them. I recognize that when the workshop is over I am filled with joy too. I no longer need others to recognize me, I can do that for myself. I recognize that my business and creations are important to me because it brings me joy through those I share it with.
What is my "why" in life? Again, recognition, I can see myself in the mirror and I am finally liking who I see. I recognize the person I am now which is a culmination of years of challenges and triumphs. I can give myself credit for being a person who is worth something, who does have something to share, I have talents, I have knowledge, I have joy, I have love and I finally recognize it.