Finding Your Why
They say everything happens for a reason! Well, while sometimes I wish that wasn’t the case in this instance I am so darn glad it did. I was one of ten Pilates instructors up for PilatesAnytime.com’s “next Pilates instructor.” I wanted to win so badly (I mean who wouldn’t) and I lost. Lost by more than a few. But, I lost to this week’s guest blogger, and boy am I so glad I did! Julie Drivers bright light is magnetic and I think you’ll see why in her blog below. Also, you’ll see why I can’t wait to teach with her in London in September. Without further ado here is Julie’s guidance on finding your Why!
Last night I quietly crept in to kiss my son goodnight, as I bent over him and kissed his forehead he asked: “Mama, why are you here?”
I knew what he meant, but in that moment he captured a deeper meaning.
When I moved to London aged 19, my first job was working in a “New Age” shop. We sold Crystals, tarot cards, music, and books, many of which were self-help “Why are we here” books.
A friend has always had an interesting view on self-help books…
“read the title, throw it away…that’s all you need to do, ” and after 18 months of reading as many of them as possible, I felt the same way too. I didn’t touch one for more than a decade.
Why I Am a Pilates Teacher
I love my family, I love my job, and I love the way everything can fit together. However I had persistent nagging thoughts about my career, What DID I want to do next? Where did I see myself?
I’d lost my “Why.”
I pestered my husband for thoughts and ideas until he handed me one of his business psychology books. I devoured it; he recommended another book and another until I was scouring through his many marketing books on a regular basis.
To understand I had to look back at my original why.
Why am I a Pilates teacher?
My introduction to Pilates was at a gym ( yes, I know….) it was the only class available at 8 am on a Sunday morning while my husband played golf.
I fell in love with Pilates immediately and attended mat class 2 /3 times a week.
When my father died suddenly in 1999, I was left adrift. I had been working as a model/actress with some small success in the world of TV commercials. However, I was becoming more and more disillusioned with that work.
I had watched my father work in a job he disliked for decades. Every day going to an office knowing his heart wasn’t in it. My brothers and I were all in our late 20’s when we finally settled on careers that we are passionate about and that gives us a deep sense of fulfillment. I believe we took our time finding our chosen professions as a result of seeing our father in a job he disliked. He’d trained as a photographer in the Royal Air Force, but on leaving the RAF, he had chosen a “safe” well-paid job to support his family over following his heart into photography.
JOB SATISFACTION and FULFILMENT should be vital parts of anyone’s ‘why’ and if they’re not…why not?
My father’s death and changing circumstances made me reevaluate where I was in life and I decided what I wanted to do was be a Pilates teacher to take a leap of faith into an industry I knew little about but had a huge passion for.
One of my biggest breakthroughs was recognizing what I didn’t want to do. This may seem a negative approach, but it can be extremely freeing letting go of the things that bring you no satisfaction or sense of fulfillment.
What’s Your Why?
Many teachers come to me saying they are teaching classes/clients that bring them no joy. When you do not look forward to going to work, there is no pleasure, and you leave work feeling drained and de-motivated.
This is a point at which to review ‘Why’ are you continuing to teach that session. Sometimes we need to close a door for another one to open. Take a leap of faith, trust in your ability, say no, and stay true to your why.
Why am I so passionate about Pilates?
I do my job because I believe in Pilates. I believe it works. I love seeing the Human body move, and I want to understand more. I want to continue to develop a deeper understanding of Pilates as a system and the human body and how they work together.
I love to learn, and I love to share.
As my children say “Caring is sharing” and that’s the deepest essence of my “Why.”
However, more than a decade ago I’d had a Pilates dream, an idea, that through injury and other circumstances had been set aside.
I had continued teaching with a passion and belief in Pilates that had seen me become a senior teacher trainer in a Pilates School and the winner of an International teaching competition, but I realized that part of my journey and part of my ‘Why” was being neglected and I needed to revisit it.
I hadn’t ‘lost’ that part of my why, I had merely drifted away from it. The time had come to return to it, a rounder and more complete teacher than I had been when I had first envisaged it all those years ago.
Now I am in the luxurious position of being able to fully realize my “Why” and bring it to fruition.
This has also brought with it the realization that sometimes people will want to imitate your ‘WHY.’
Embrace it, imitation is a form of flattery, and although they may take you “How” they will never have truly have your “why” as it lies in our heart and not our head and that cannot be imitated or copied. It is priceless.
Do it for you, your belief, and you’re why. You cannot speak with the voice of another, and no one else can speak with your voice or from your heart.
What’s your why?
Suggested reading material: Simon Sinek -Start with why and Learned Optimism, Martin Seligman
I love what Julie said about no one being able to copy your Why. That is something we all need to remember!
Be sure to share your thoughts, love, and questions with Julie here in the comments.