Motivation is the fuel that propels us towards our goals, but sometimes we encounter unknown barriers that dampen our drive.
We might find ourselves having big dreams or small short term goals and still feeling unable to take the necessary steps to move forward. Stuck in place without a clue as to why.
Tapping into underlying beliefs and values can be eye-opening and help us get unstuck. Asking yourself "Why?" can be an extremely helpful technique but why stop there? Get it? No, alright let's talk about it further.
Here's the thing: If you ask yourself why only once, you will probably stay at the surface of what's going on. Analyzing your answer with another why and repeat that Question-Answer-Game a few times helps you to dig deeper and reveal an even more complex chain of causes and effects.
The 5-Why Method is therefore a powerful tool that can be used to uncover the true reasons behind our behavior.
Invented by Toyota founder Toyoda Sakichi, the 5-Why Method can be utilized to solve smaller day to day problems as well as support bigger change management processes.
By asking yourself "Why?" five times (or more if needed), you can get to the root of the situation you are dealing with.
Here's an example: Let's say, you dream of running your own design studio but find yourself constantly procrastinating on the preparations.
Why #1: "Why do I procrastinate on starting my studio?"
Answer: I feel overwhelmed by the thought of setting up my business.
Why #2: "Why does the idea of setting up the studio overwhelm me?"
Answer: I lack confidence in my entrepreneurial skills.
Why #3: "Why do I doubt my entrepreneurial skills?"
Answer: I have never run a business before and fear failure.
Why #4: "Why do I fear failure?"
Answer: My previous attempt at freelancing didn't go as planned, and I faced financial hardships.
Why #5: "Why did my freelancing attempt not go as planned?"
Answer: I hadn't properly assessed market demand and struggled with pricing my services competitively.
In this example, you have now uncovered the root of your procrastination using the 5-Why Method: it was a fear of failure due to past setbacks.
Armed with this understanding, you can now address your doubts directly and create a plan for how to move forward.
For example, with this new clarity, you can now reframe your past experiences as a learning process, boost your skills by taking a course, connect with other entrepreneurs to seek advice, set realistic goals, and break this big project down into smaller milestones.
By addressing the root causes head-on and implementing specific strategies, we can conquer our challenges and reclaim our motivation. And while the path to success may still have obstacles, with self-awareness and determination, it's more likely that we bring our dreams to life.