What really drives you?

When you communicate at work or as a parent, are you connected to what drives you?

I grew up in a Military family. My Dad was an officer in the RAAF.

Dad had clear ideas of what was right/wrong and good/bad behaviour for us. We got a smack on the hand with the wooden spoon as a lesson if we chose poorly and chocolate treats on paydays if we’d been good.

“Dad’s rules” embedded a deep pattern of extrinsic motivation in me.

Extrinsic motivation meant anxiety and fear would drive me away from even healthy risk-taking or experimenting, to avoid being punished. I would constantly self-sacrifice and ‘perform’ well to ensure others could see how respectable and what “a good girl” I was being. Life wasn’t deeply engaging for me though.

When I learned Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication for the first time in my 30’s I was startled to experience feelings connected to my intrinsic reasons for doing things...naming and claiming the values and qualities that were important to me, like fairness or trustworthiness. I enjoyed getting connected to my genuine intentions hidden underneath the “good girl”.

Now I look for the values that drive me rather than being anxious about getting it right or wrong... can you tell me a value that is driving you today?

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