Ask yourself a better question

Have you ever considered how powerful your questions are?

What’s wrong with me?

Our brains are diligent in their efforts to answer whatever questions we fire at them. No matter what we ask, our brains return with an answer. The drive to provide a plausible answer is so strong that the brain will add, change and delete information in the process of answering our questions – and we use these answers to shape our choices and behaviour.

Knowing this, it’s easy to see how the quality of our questions might determine the usefulness of our thinking, beliefs and behaviour and how these might shape our future.

I’ve been struggling over the last couple of weeks. I set myself a series of big goals at the beginning of this year and, for a while, I was on track to achieve them. Back in May, things began to crumble.

I was writing my first book, learning from a fellow blogger about how to increase traffic and followers, writing my first online course and working on content for my YouTube channel. I was still blogging regularly and doing a host of other activities in my efforts to achieve this big goals (along with a whole host of other goals in my personal life).

Now it’s July and I’m not working on any of these things actively. I’m confused, overwhelmed and despondent – feelings that have even affected my motivation to achieve the personal challenges I was working on. My eating habits have been less disciplined. Exercise has become more sporadic, meditation less relaxed and I haven’t written in my journal for weeks. It all seems to be falling apart right now.

Or at least, I’m tempted to think that way.

Fortunately, I’m unwilling to accept this as a possible outcome so it’s time to change my thinking. To do that, I have to ask better questions.

What’s happening in me?

This morning, I started with this question.

Over the years, that “what’s wrong with me?” question oriented my thinking towards my shortcomings and caused me to give up in the face of such obvious inadequacy.  This question, however, turned my mind towards the confusion and overwhelm I’m experiencing.

It made me consider my behaviour with greater compassion and that compassion led to more questions.

What can I do differently to gain clarity?

How do I reduce feelings of overwhelm while I take on more challenging projects?

What stresses me most?

How do I manage that stress more productively?

What must I do differently if I’m to achieve my goals?

I have a great list of questions to work through. Each one offering the chance to provide answers I’ll need if I’m to succeed in my efforts.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with me except that I am human and I am learning.

What do your questions lead you to conclude?

Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash