Motivational Maps – my journey back to ‘self’

Three months into lockdown.

COVID blues mixed with a cocktail of missing my Dad, health worries, increased workload, and back-to-back video calls. Broken routines from WFH whilst home-schooling three. I was fast losing purchase on day-to-day living.

And then some magic dropped into my inbox. From a trusted colleague and friend. The opportunity to engage with ‘Motivational Maps’ and some associated coaching support. The invitation glimmered with possibility, A means to gain fresh sight, to see through the haze of what had become, not so much a broken existence, but definitely, an unhealthy one.

Motivational Maps

I had no preconceptions or prior exposure to motivational map design, only familiar with personality competence, aptitude or EQ tests in coaching settings. With a long-distilled reputation for being highly focused, energised, and self-perpetuating, and an almost uninterrupted thirst for challenge and opportunity, I have never needed to question or review personal ‘motivation’. Yet, something niggled, some resonated. A suspicion of something more profound behind my melancholy. Something deeper than workload or COVID-context frustration.

I was intrigued to investigate my motivational drivers.

Getting started

The filling in of the online questionnaire was quick and easy. I answered with gut instinct. My appointment to talk through my ‘results’ was booked. A pang of guilt. This was a selfish, self-immersive exercise when all around me were weighed down with work or home demands.

My chat with Gwyn to review my ‘results’ fell on the second anniversary of my Dad’s passing, 4th June. I can make the emphasis now, as in hindsight, I believe it influenced in part, my interaction with the Motivational Maps questionnaire.

Almost immediately, I felt a powerful draining of pressure. To be gifted with evidence, that contributing frustration and anxiety within my head and heart was not a failing ability to cope. They were instead linked to the shape of the bundle of my commitments, and their motivating effects. A state of my ‘being’, which was out of kilter with, and interfering with personal expectations of meaningful work and life. There was no ‘shortcoming or issue’ with personality, competence or drive. Something linked to my ‘existential relevance’, an overarching ‘motivator’ deeply bonded to my sense of identity and purpose. This had been captured succinctly and weightily in my personalised Motivational Map. I saw clear ‘spikes’ in my profiling. Outliers in the general maps profiling, which I recognise reflect my character. It turns out I am a ‘Searcher’, someone who searches for meaning. I do things which are valuable for their own sake, or for what I believe in. Tightly tracked by a ‘Spirit’ motivator, a need for freedom or autonomy. A recipe for disillusionment even in a so called ‘normal non-COVID-context’. Furthermore, a distinct distaste for being a ‘Director’ highlighting a lack of interest to be in control of people or resources, bringing to the surface irritation towards those who highly value this, viewing it as a futile exercise in power.

And whilst this was no shock as revealed by my personality, career choices, and phenomenological research interest, I had not appreciated how much they dominated my day to day living and thinking. And the killer fact was that my map score revealed a low motivation level. Frank and intoxicatingly on point. Both a relief and a disappointing admission.

Next steps

I reviewed my workload, commitments and pressures through a lens of my ‘motivators’. I began to more coherently identify the non-core ‘pieces’ which did not fully meet with my deeper meaning goals linked to my ‘Searcher’ and ‘Spirit’ motivators.

This was so much more than saying ‘no’ to more or current work. I am not, or never have been, without will, power or agency to set myself challenging goals. Yet I had become somewhat lost, weary, and sad. Enveloped by an overconsuming or unchecked hunger to take every opportunity or walk through every open door, I had crowded out the space for my ‘spirit and searcher’ needs, and the ability to live a healthy balance.

I was quite frustrated on the first call back with Gwyn. I had been proactive in unpicking some commitments to free up the space needed to heal and focus. Yet, in spite of a lightened load, I felt more frustrated, possibly even resentful. Dropping things that did matter to me aggrieved my ‘Spirit’ motivator. However, Gwyn’s calm but deft coaching questions nudged me to self-identify that I did have better, even healthier options, and that the power was all within me.

In the space of time between digesting my report and the second call with Gwyn, I had begun to resurface. This had never been about just slowing down or dropping commitments, which was the most obvious or logical approach recommended by those about me. It was about embracing the power with myself to let go of worn-in habits and to review engrained personal wisdoms. Fear of ‘saying no’, the ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ or a prosperity to over-deliver, and their impact upon my professional reputation or future would be dissected; the extent and the cost of these addictions reflected upon.

Stronger self

This exercise has helped me digest and embrace what really does or does not matter, and what truly contributes to life and its meaning. And it will continue to take time. Lessons or discoveries sink deep into the psyche, permeating thoughts and the subconscious. The journey continues.

Motivational Maps, and the ‘feedback’ offered, has proven more constructive and depthful than any other self-assessment to date. It shone a light on my ‘being’. It focuses energy away from ‘changing or improving oneself’ to that of empowering oneself, to realign with one’s powerful interior indicators.

In summary, a mix of Gwyn’s skills and the invitation to meet with ‘motivations’ held has been a deeply satisfying and empowering exercise. I am here re-energized in the present, looking forward to the future.

You can find out more about Motivational Maps at

If you think that undertaking a Motivational Map could further support you to achieve your full potential then contact Gwyn who, as a Licensed Map Practitioner and accredited Map Coach, will be delighted to discuss how ‘Maps’ might work for you and support you on your ‘Maps’ insight discovery journey.

Gwyn can be contacted at or on 07791229399.

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