If you aren’t feeling the WOW Factor in your life, maybe you need to change the questions you’re asking yourself in order to reveal the Brilliance Within you…
Life has its ups and downs for us all. I’ve not come across anyone who hasn’t had to cope with something that has felt disastrous or difficult at some point in their life and along life’s journey, I’ve certainly had those ‘lemons’ , thrown in, which have knocked me into life’s pressure cooker.
There have definitely been those moments where I’ve looked back on something that’s gone wrong and thought:
- “Why Me?”
- “Why does this keep happening”
- “If they’d been different, this would never have happened”
- “If that’d been different..”
What these questions do though, is to keep us focussed on the problem and shift responsibility to someone or something else.
Then because we feel it’s someone else’s fault or we think that we’re just the MOST unlucky person in the World, we start grumbling about what’s happened to us and go into the ‘Poor Me’ syndrome – yep I’m embarrassed to admit it but I’ve definitely been there, done that and worn the t-shirt!!
Maybe you’ve simply been programmed over the years to believe that you have to do something in a certain way and to please certain people in your life and we hold ourselves in a place we don’t like, because we don’t want to let someone else down. We live our lives feeling ‘discomfort’, for fear of being rejected if we don’t come up to someone else’s expectations…
How do you think spending our time and energy focussing and worrying about ‘the problem’, talking it through with the world is really going to help?
It RARELY DOES and more often it keeps us stuck in the past and stuck in the problem!
Shifting responsibility for the problem away from ourselves, also shifts responsibility for finding a solution away from ourselves too.
If we think someone has caused the problem, we’re much more likely to expect ‘someone’ to fix the problem, which may in reality never actually happen. So instead, we stay ‘stuck in the problem’ and we continue to repeat the questions ‘Why Me’ …..
Now I’m not minimising some issues here. There ate terrible and tragic things that happen – clearly someone who is raped, abused as a child etc. deserves to be able to talk about their problems. However, it’s still important to ask questions that move someone forward, rather than holding them stuck in a situation which can never be changed. As much as we want to, we can’t turn the clock back or wave a magic wand to change a tragic or horrific event. I accept thought that in these circumstances, those people may need professional help and support to help them move on.
However, for the vast majority of us, the classic eagles song, is probably what we need to listen to. I love The Eagles and they keep the solution simple with just 3 little words: “Get Over It”
I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s lingered too long in that pressure cooker, sitting comfortably uncomfortable, in life’s DISASTER PIT, for way too long – now be honest…. have you sat in that comfortably uncomfortable place too?
What Questions Are You Asking?
Yes – we can spend our time and energy bemoaning what’s happened or we can start to change the questions we ask ourselves and instead of the ‘Why Me’ type questions, we could try some questions that will start to change our perception and our perspective of the situation and help us become free from the pit that we’ve been wallowing in!
We can shift our emotional response through the power of the words we use and the questions we ask.
With the exception of those who we should direct to professional help as detailed previously, for the majority of our friends and family, who seem stuck in the unfairness of life, rather than simply listening and becoming their shoulder to cry on, we can help move them forward, by asking them better questions too.
So what questions can we ask that will help us to simply “GET OVER IT”?
Instead of asking: “Why is this always happening to me?” which simply focusses on continuing the problem,
Try asking “How can I deal with this?” or “what do I need to do to move forward?”
These questions focus on finding a solution and open the mind back up to the possibility that there is a way forward and out of the situation.
Have you ever felt that your problem is SO big that there is no way out? Maybe it’s a job that you hate or a relationship that has become toxic – and yet you’ve stayed in it because you felt there was NO CHOICE?
I certainly stayed in jobs I wasn’t happy in for far too long, defending myself to myself with statements like “I can’t leave because I’m the main income earner” or “We couldn’t manage if I had to reduce my income”.
Can you see that with these statements, I was simply giving myself excuses to stay in a situation that I was uncomfortably comfortable in?
In life however there are very few situations where we don’t have a ‘choice’. We can always choose to stay or choose to go and we can always choose how we think and choose the questions we ask ourselves. Very few situations in life are fixed in stone.
Even when men and women have faced terrible events in their lives, like the holocaust or being captured in the Vietnamese war and being left in cages for years etc. some people still managed to survive as a result of how they changed their thoughts.
For me, I discovered that when faced with one of life’s pressure cooker moments, if I asked myself different questions, I came up with better answers…
- “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” that I could then follow this with
- “IF the WORST happened, what choices would I have that could change the situation?” and
- “What solutions could I choose as an alternative to staying put?”
We often stay put in that pressure cooker because we FEAR the alternative. By facing up to the alternative and coming up with a solution for the worst case scenario, we can arrive at our Plan B. I found that having my Plan B gave me a feeling of strength. Let me give you an example.
A few years ago, I felt trapped in a job I didn’t enjoy. I was the main breadwinner and I’d worked and studied hard to develop my career and become a manager and yet I became increasingly unhappy. I was working long hours and spending less and less time with my family… but I was earning good money, which I believed we needed to pay our mortgage and to pay off the debts we’d run up during the 1990’s when our business had failed. …..
……… Until I had my ‘lightbulb moment’. The realisation that the shackles that were fixing me to a job I didn’t enjoy, were of my own making, because there were alternative things I could do.
The extreme nature of the pressure I experienced which caused me to become ill, also forced me to look at how I was thinking and about the choices I was making…. It forced me to come up with my Plan B!
How did I arrive at my Plan B?
When the pressure became extreme, I finally realised that I really wasn’t helping myself and I started asking myself different questions.
Instead of convincing myself that there was nothing I could do and that I had to put up with the situation, I started to ask myself:
- What would happen if I wasn’t earning so much?
- What different choices would I be able to make?
- How could I live my life differently?
- What would I want to do if I had freedom to choose? (which of course we all have but think we haven’t)
- What if ending this situation was the start of a whole new and exciting journey in my life?
- What will I regret or miss out on if I stay in this situation?
These questions opened my mind up to different possibilities. They quickly moved me from the pressure cooker in which I’d felt trapped, to having a list of alternative options. After considering and subsequently discarding a few of the alternatives as being too unpalatable, I arrived at my Plan B. Ao: different future scenari
If I left my job and didn’t have sufficient income to pay my mortgage, I could rent the house out, move into a static caravan on the banks of Keswick Lake in the Lake District, looking out onto beautiful mountains every morning. I could then find a part-time job to give me some regular income which would cover daily expenses and use the rental income from my house to pay the mortgage, so that I continued to own my asset, even if I wasn’t living in it. I could then use my spare time doing other things e.g. spend more quality time with my family and friends; write the book I’d started but hadn’t ‘had time’ to finish and re-build the friendships I’d let go along the way because I was ‘too busy working very long hours’
My plan B was established. I found a photograph of the caravan site I would choose to live on and I stuck it on the notice board in my office.
With an ‘alternative vision’ for my future, I began to not only feel that I had an ‘option’, but I began to feel excited at the prospect!
Over the next couple of months, looking at the photograph of my plan B every morning when I arrived into the office, I noticed a massive shift in my thought process. Suddenly, instead of feeling that I had to continue doing something I hated, I began to look forward to starting a new adventure in my life….
When I looked at my Plan B photo, I got that ‘tingling’ feel in my stomach. Instead of the dread and fear and thoughts of a change being impossible, I began to look forward to making a change and realising that I wasn’t ‘stuck’ – I could choose to live my life differently if I jumped off the hamsters wheel.
My mind was open to alternative solutions and although I didn’t jump straight to my Plan B, I did change jobs to something I enjoyed far more. I always kept my Plan B photograph on my notice board though as a reminder that there are few situations in life that we are trapped in…
Having my Plan B, continued to help me moving forward because it made me realise that very few situations are fixed in stone. I never felt ‘trapped’ again because whatever situation arose that I didn’t like, I always felt I had a choice. I could choose to stay or I could choose to move on…
Instead of passing on the responsibility for oue situation to someone else with thoughts of: “If they hadn’t treated me like that, I wouldn’t be in this situation now…” or feeling trapped by circumstances, which makes us feel like our lives are out of our control and that other people can determine our success or failure, we can take back responsibility by reminding ourselves with phrases and questions like:
“I have the power within me to make a choice. What would be the best choice for me to make, that will enhance my life?”
“What would choosing a different path make possible in my life?”
“What if this is the Law of Attraction at work – making me feel so uncomfortable, in order to push me into such discomfort that I choose to make the changes that will be better for me”
We Really Can Transform Our Lives and How We Feel
Changing the questions we ask ourselves, has the power to transform our lives and to overcome our fears which shackle us to a place we really don’t want to be.
With the realisation that my thoughts and questions can so significantly change how I feel and how I live my life, I gained a sense of FREEDOM that I’d not believed was possible previously. I now know that I always have the power within me to choose a different path when the path doesn’t feel right and isn’t leading me to where I would choose to be!
When something starts to feel really ‘bad’, I now start to feel the stirring of excitement, because I recognise that sometimes, I need to feel more extreme pressure in the pressure cooker of life, to explode me out of my uncomfortable comfort zone and onto a new path… the one I was meant to be on all along!
If you feel stuck and trapped in a situation, take some time to sit down and ask yourself some better questions. Write down your answers. These may not come to you immediately, but they will come. I have found that if I ask myself one of these questions at night before I go to bed, invariable I wake up with some alternative answers the next day…
I hope you enjoy coming up with your Plan B, to help you simply GET OVER IT! I’d love to hear your experiences – leave me a Comment below..
I came across this YouTube clip which also has some great questions we can ask ourselves to enhance our lives.. 9 Great Questions: