Asking yourself "why" might be keeping you stuck
I met with a client today who felt discouraged about her actions the week before. Even though it was clear to me as her coach that she had made significant progress towards her goals, she was not feeling that way at all.
“Why did I only have three good days?”
“Why did I slide back into my old behavior?”
“What’s wrong with me?”
This is one of hundreds of similar conversations I’ve had with clients. So many of them believe they must understand their behavior in order to change. I get it, I used to believe this too.
But, the truth is that this approach to change is sure to keep us stuck, or at the very least slow us down.
Why do these questions land us in such an icky place? Well, try this out. Pick a couple of those questions that you ask yourself when you’re struggling and ANSWER THEM. (Your brain is doing this anyway, if only at a subconscious level.)
“Why can’t I figure this out?” → “I’m not smart enough or disciplined enough.”
“Why is this so hard for me?” → “I don’t have the right answer yet.” (the impact of our consumerism-based society) or “There is something wrong or malfunctioning in me.”
So let me plant some seeds about how we can point our brains in a more useful direction on purpose.
The questions we ask ourselves MATTER because our brains will always go to work answering them. Consider what answers would be more useful to you during a challenging change process.
Try asking yourself upleveled questions that lift you up rather than assume something is wrong with you.
What are all the ways this change is possible for me?
What would make moving towards the change I want more doable?
What did I do RIGHT today that aligns with the change I want?
How can I support myself by setting up conditions that make following through easier for Future Me?
Why do I want this change?
How can I make this change more fun?
Notice how your brain gets to work in a new direction.
It’s a powerful machine.
What if we could harness its amazing capacities and put it work FOR us rather than against us by asking ourselves FGQ’s (fucking. great. questions.) ESPECIALLY when life is hard.