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Why Your Why is So Important

Living your truth is essential to reaching your financial dreams

Think back to when you were a child and adults asked what you wanted to be when you grew up. Perhaps you said a scientist, a chef, a professional athlete or a veterinarian. And do you remember their reactions? I highly doubt your parents or teachers ever scoffed and said your dream was silly or unachievable—you likely received encouraging nods and affirmations that you can be whatever you want someday if you study hard and apply yourself.

But somewhere along the way, many people forgot that. They got some message that their dreams weren’t attainable. Whether they experienced a setback, made a mistake, grew disenchanted or got bad advice, they shifted gears to something easier or something more traditional. And with that, their dreams went out the window. They took a desk job they hated, promising themselves it would only be temporary.

Then, life got in the way. As women, we get caught up in playing so many roles for so many people in our lives: wife, mother, daughter, employee, caregiver, and the list goes on. It’s easy to lose track of who we really are and what it is we want out of life. We follow some prescribed formula and wonder why we aren’t fulfilled. Why isn’t my corporate job satisfying? Why haven’t I grown closer to my financial goals? Why am I still in this rat race?

It’s Time To Be True To You

You’re not alone. Studies show 40% of women wish they had chased their childhood ambitions. But there’s no rule that says once you make your choices you have to stick to them. You can redirect your life at any moment—the first step is being honest with yourself about who you are at your core and the second step is honoring the “true you.” You must stay true to your values, dreams, talents, instincts, passion and everything that makes you, you.

Next, you must define your “why.” If you’re ready to make a change, it has to be for all the right reasons, all the things that matter to you. Reaching your dream, especially if you have taken a detour over the last decade or two, won’t be easy. In fact, it can be downright difficult at times. That’s why your “why” has to be crystal clear in your mind and you must feel it deep down in your heart and soul. Because these are the feelings you’ll cling to when the going gets tough.

Your “why” can’t just be about money because there are plenty of joyless ways to make money. It needs to be a stronger motivator, something that inspires you to keep pushing until you reach your goal.

My Why Lead Me To My Dream

I graduated from college with a degree in business and marketing, and immediately went out and got a job in the “real world.” I quickly discovered that being an employee wasn’t my dream—I wanted to build a business. So Robert and I left our jobs, and headed to California with $900 in our pocket and a dream to build our business. Within two weeks, that money was gone, and we were sleeping in a borrowed, beat-up brown Toyota. Yeah, we were homeless. Our friends and family couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t just “get jobs” like everyone else.

Now, if I didn’t have a strong “why” at this point of my life, do you think I could have persevered? Probably not. It was scary to lose every penny, but I kept reminding myself of my “why” over and over, picturing myself at a dead-end corporate job and knowing in my heart that following my dream was worth the short-term sacrifice and hardship. I knew that broke was temporary, but poor was eternal.

Being true to yourself is a must in reaching your financial dreams. Your drive and passion will get you through the rough patches, the doubts and the setbacks. This is your dream, so make it true to you.

Original publish date: June 14, 2017