What is driving you? – Aaron Montgomery
f you are driving something then you are guiding an object, controlling an object or directing an object towards a designated spot. We drive cars every day, carpenters drive nails, and if you are a golfer then when you hit the ball you are driving it towards a specific location. So now that we have defined what it means to drive something let us ask ourselves this question. “What drives me?”.
In the moment, you could be thinking about a deadline coming up in a few days or a problem that you are coming up against and thinking that this is what is driving you. Maybe today isn’t what’s on your mind but it’s the past that you have that is driving you. Some memories you have experienced in your past can be very painful to think about. If you aren’t careful then you could easily allow the fear of these memories to haunt you every day.
Truth be told, there are many emotions we feel, values we believe in, and circumstances that we face that can drive us. Some of the most common drives that people have today are trying to gain the approval of other people in their life or driven by the materialistic mindset to always get more. Other people are driven by their own guilt and shame they have experienced while some people are driven by their own fears. One of the hardest drives that people have and live with though is being driven by resentment and anger.
In the Alcoholics Anonymous program, there is a phrase often used by their members that says, “resentment, is the number one offender”. They asked themselves in the program, “why are we so angry”, and found that it is mostly credited to self-esteem issues, money, and personal relationships. A hard lesson many people have learned about their own resentments is the fact that the person most affected by the resentment is the one who is holding on to it. People that are driven by resentment or anger will often hold on to their hurts they have experienced and just will never get over them. They will rehearse their pain over and over again like a production play and never try to rehearse or practice forgiveness. People that are driven by resentments just tend to muzzle up and impute anger. It is time to let that resentment and anger go, because those people who have hurt you in the past cannot continue to hurt you unless you are just hanging on to that resentment. The best thing that you could do is to learn from it and then let it go.
A part of being human is wanting to have the approval of others, but are you driven by that? Do you demand it or obsess over gaining approval from people like your parents, your spouse, your children, your teachers, or your friends? More often than not the people that you are trying to get approval from just can’t be pleased and if you aren’t careful then you will allow the expectations of these people to take control of your life. A lesson that approval driven people need to learn is that one key to failure is trying to please everyone. So, do yourself a favor and try your best to refrain from the foolish assumption that approval will bring you self-worth, happiness and quality.
There is a myth out there that says, “If I get more then I will be more important.” Materialism can certainly give us a form of happiness. There can be a temporary thrill of buying something new, and that in return inflates our ego because we own it now. People that are driven by materialism use this kind of happiness to try and nullify or compensate for the unhappiness that’s actually inside them. They are always left with wanting more. It is like their desire to acquire becomes the only goal that they live their lives by. So, the question here is, “Is self-worth and net worth the same?” It is easy for us to answer no to this but if you look around, we have tied the two together. In reality, net worth is a formula of assets minus debt, while self-worth is a quality of esteem or respect. The lesson for people driven by materialism is that their value is not determined by their valuables and that self-worth edges out net worth all day.
We are the products of our past, but we don’t have to allow our past to keep us under a lock and key. People that remain a prisoner of their past often deal with guilt and are driven by that. The thing about guilt is that it is just an emotion that people experience because they have convinced themselves that they have caused harm in some way. If you are a person allowing guilt to drive your life, then more than likely you are exhausting much of your energy running from regrets and hiding your shame. The memories that you are attaching guilt to are manipulating you into allowing your past to control the bright future that you have before you. It is time to stop punishing yourself unconsciously because you are only sabotaging your own success.
The last drive that we are going to look at is about how some people are driven by fear. Fear is a high security prison in itself that people put themselves into. It completely keeps them from being the person that they are supposed to be. Being fear driven could be the result of some terrible traumatic experience that they may have faced when they were younger. It could be the result from trying to live up to expectations that are unrealistic or maybe they grew up in a home that had a highly controlled environment. Whatever caused it, people that are driven by fear always miss out on great opportunities because of their fear of moving out of their comfort zone.
It is important to know what drives your life because it will help you determine where your life is headed. Are you living a guided, controlled and directed lifestyle towards something that is bettering your life? Know where you are going and drive straight.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, contact an addiction specialist at 606.638.0938 or use our confidential chat function at www.arccenters.com. We are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.