Deeper Layers “Why” You’re Doing Things

fear grief growth life balance perfectionism well-being Dec 05, 2022
The owl from the Charis Your Life logo, sitting on the top of an iceberg
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🎧 👉 Prefer audio? You can also listen to me share about this in podcast episode #031 here.

Here we are in the final month of the year, and what is often one of the busiest times of the year.

I want you to ask yourself:

Why are you doing all the things you are doing right now?

Initial obvious thoughts may come to mind…things like:

I have to make the holidays special for my family
I have to drive my kids around to their activities
I have to run my business and meet my goals
I have to manage this team to close out the year a certain way
I have to pay my mortgage
I have to take care of my kids
I said I would do all these things
I always do these things this time of year
It’s easier for me to do these things
I can do these things better than anyone else

Do any of those resonate with you?

Let’s go a few layers deeper.

Consider an example of paying the mortgage.

If you were to ask me, “Charis, why do you have to pay your mortgage?”
I would initially say, “Because I want to keep my house.”
Then if you were to respond with “Why?”
I’d say: “Because I like my house.”
“Why?”
“Because I like the wildlife, the views, and the sunrise”
And then, if we go another layer deeper and again, ask me again, “Why?”
I’d say: “Because it feels calm, peaceful, and safe here.”

When you really dig into deeper layers of the “why” behind what you’re doing, a few things may come to light:

There’s an opportunity to recognize that you’re ultimately getting (or trying to get) one or more of your core needs to be met in everything you do.
There’s an opportunity to feel deeper gratitude for what something truly brings you beyond the surface-level viewpoint that is how we often look at our lives day to day.
There’s an opportunity to acknowledge yourself for the time and effort you are putting into something so that you aren’t just continuing to function on autopilot.
There’s an opportunity to consider whether you want to continue doing something or not. For example, you may be doing something in an effort to get a core need met, and yet there may be a simpler way, a more enjoyable way, or a healthier way to get that need met.

As you finish out the year doing all the things you’ve committed yourself to, maybe consider the deeper “why” behind them and see what you come to learn about yourself and your obligations.

And see if there’s anything you want to reconsider. Sometimes it's actually a simple renegotiation with just ourselves. Sometimes it may mean a renegotiation involving others. Or maybe you don’t change a thing.

But don’t be afraid to ask yourself the question “Why?” multiple times to see what really is at the root of something.


“If you want to catch a little fish, you can stay in shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.”

– David Lynch


🎧 👉 Prefer audio? You can also listen to me share about this in podcast episode #031 here.


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