Sometimes the questions we ask ourselves are the key to the quality of our lives. You see, the brain is a fantastic piece of kit that helps us in so many ways. Unfortunately, however, it has the habit of giving us answers to the questions we ask of it during self-reflection.
The Toxic Effects of Negative Self-Talk
I have lost count of the number of times I have asked my own brain a disempowering question over the years. For example:
- Why am I no good at do-it-yourself projects?
- Why can’t I get a girlfriend (when I was a much younger man obviously!)?
- Why can’t I get any money?
- Why do I never get any luck in my life?
You get the idea. The point is that the brain is programmed to give you an answer to any question that you ask of it. It might take a bit of time but, rest assured, it will. My brain used to give me answers that did my self-confidence no good at all; like “Because you’re a loser!” and so on.
So, be careful with the questions you ask yourself because you might not like the answer!
The Power of Self-Reflection
Which leads me neatly onto four questions that you might want to consider asking about this strange time that we are living through; and for which I am grateful to my LinkedIn connection Peter Anderton.
We all know that the pandemic has had some disastrous consequences, including the tragic loss of nearly 50,000 lives and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs to name but two. As Peter says,
“Think the world has changed forever? Think again!….
Yes, everything has been thrown up in the air but, however painful it’s been, I continually hear much of the change is for the better. But here’s the rub. Unless something else comes our way, most things will eventually settle down to the way they were before.
The question is … is that what you want?”
Like it or not, the current crisis has also been a powerful driver of positive change – a change that would normally take us decades to achieve. I believe the point that Peter makes is an important one: that instead of focusing on what is going wrong it is possible to reframe the situation through the questions you ask yourself.
Questions you should ask yourself during COVID-19
So the first question that you might want to consider asking is this:
“What’s worse as a result of the pandemic and what could I do to address it?”
Please note that even though the question might be regarded as ‘negative’, it contains a positive element to it in that it gets you to think about possible things that you could actually do.
The second question you might want to ask yourself is:
“What’s better now and what can I do to encourage it?”
Note how this question doesn’t just stop at “What’s better now?”
So, the third question is:
“What will I do differently to make the most of this opportunity and, crucially, how will I be different?
Again, please note the empowering element that lies within this question.
The last of the four questions is, in my opinion, a really interesting one to consider. It is:
“Why did it take the pandemic for this to happen?”
Now, that is an interesting question!
So, please remember that even in the most difficult of times it is possible to ask ‘better’ questions during self-reflection that will make you more resourceful.