Energize Your Life by Understanding Drive vs. Passion

I have been talking a lot lately with women who are telling me that they are working hard, quite often achieving their goals, and yet still not feeling successful, accomplished, or good about what they are doing. A typical story goes like this:

You decide that you want to accomplish a big project, for example, writing your book. You work on it for six months. You create your action plan, you meet all of your mini-goals or milestones, and you finally finish your book. You have a completed manuscript! And yet, you don’t feel all that accomplished for putting the final edits on it. Instead, you start brainstorming how you are going to get your book published. So, you work hard to find an agent, and then to get your manuscript published…and all that happens! And yet, you still don’t feel satisfied. You still feel like you’ve got more to do, and you start thinking about working on your next book.

Know what I’m talking about?

It’s as if no matter what you do, no matter how small or how big, no matter what you complete, you are constantly thinking and maybe even stressing over the next big accomplishment, the next milestone. You find it hard to simply take pleasure in your process and in your achievement. You feel hungry for the next success all the time.

When enough never feels like “enough” – and you always feel like you need to be doing more and making more happen – you are being motivated by your Drive, not by your Passion.

The Difference Between Drive and Passion

There are different factors that can motivate or push you to move forward. When you are motivated by your Passion, you are connecting to your project or goal with your full heart and getting things accomplished because you are really inspired to see this vision become a reality. You truly feel the importance and weight of not only manifesting your goal, but of enjoying the path to making it happen.

When you are motivated by your Passion, you are able to take a step back and enjoy the fruits of your labor once you achieve your goal. You are able to pause and feel good about your efforts. Your heart feels satisfied with your accomplishment.

Now, being motivated by Drive may yield similar results to being motivated by Passion – you achieve your visions – however, it feels very different. If you complete goal after goal, and still feel like you haven’t accomplished enough, you are most likely being motivated by Drive. When you are motivated by Drive, you are being driven from a place of fear and scarcity. When you are being motivated by Drive, your desire for success, recognition or accumulation takes precedence over your connection to what you are doing and your desire to really see whatever it is manifest in the world. When you are motivated by Drive, you are actually disconnected from your Passion.

How to Know if Your Drive (Instead of Your Passion) Is Motivating You

  • It doesn’t matter how much money you make, you still feel like you need to make more.
  • You complete the goal you had been pursuing, and immediately start focusing on the next goal instead of enjoying the moment.
  • You have trouble resting or slowing down.
  • You spend more time working than you would like to.
  • You are often exhausted and overwhelmed and seem to be running on adrenaline.
  • You live with a sense of urgency.
  • You feel most comfortable when there is “too much.”
  • You often feel burnt out.
  • You often feel tense in your body.
  • You feel bad or ashamed about your “ambition.”

What to Do if Your Drive Is Motivating You

Once you recognize that it is Drive that is motivating you instead of Passion, it’s time to take a closer look at your fears and your limiting beliefs. Common limiting beliefs that lurk behind Drive are: “There is never enough”; “I’m not enough”; “I’ll never get anywhere, unless I work hard”; and “Nobody sees me”. Other fears that give rise to Drive are: “I’ll never be like my father/mother; he never amounted to anything” and “I will never be as successful as my father/mother.” Another frequent fear is, “Who will I become if I slow down?”

Take some time to identify the fear and limiting beliefs that are behind your Drive, and work with them. Next, take some time to get clear on what excites you. In other words, begin to connect to your Passion – about your job, your business, your family, your project – and begin to notice if you can move forward from that place of love and soul-centered desire to get things done.

You’ll find that moving from Passion helps you feel more excited, more energized, and more able to take appropriate pauses and rests to recharge your batteries and nourish yourself.

Join The Conversation


55 Highly Effective
Breakthrough Coaching Questions

You might also like

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Pingback: Quote of the Month – Topic: Passion « Unleash the Flying Monkeys!
  2. Pingback: Unleash the Flying Monkeys! » Quote of the Month – Topic: Passion