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Your brain is like an ATM.
If you insert a bank card with a negative balance. You get zero (or negative) money.
And if you insert negative questions into your brain, you get zero (or negative) answers.
Here are some examples:
Q: What’s wrong with me?
A: <Your brain comes up with the list of things that could be “wrong” with you>
Q: Why do I always keep making mistakes?
A: Because you’re not smart enough; strong enough; rich enough; extroverted enough…
Q: Why do bad things always happen to me
A: Because the world is against you
None of those questions gives your brain an opportunity to come up with anything helpful.
None of those questions shows you what you could do next or how you can move forward.
None of those questions offers anything you can learn.
None of those questions gives answers that help to energise and motivate you.
And the real problem with asking negative questions is that when you ask your brain a question, at that moment that it’s thinking about the answer, it cannot think about anything else. (One transaction at a time, like an ATM)
So while it’s coming up with all of the reasons why there’s something wrong, it cannot see any of the positive answers that might also be true.
So if instead, you train your brain to ask more positive questions, you will see the difference:
Q: Even though this isn’t what I wanted, what did I do well here?
A: You were committed to the end goal; you discovered a lot of ways that don’t work; you showed great leadership with your team
Q: What can I learn from this mistake?
A: To be more consistent
Q: Sometimes bad things happen to me, but let me think about what went well for me this week?
A: You found a parking space at the shopping mall 😉
Yes – there are times when you will want to discover “What went wrong here?” Or “What could go wrong here” – but…
Always aim for a higher percentage of positive questions overall, especially when you’re feeling stressed or frustrated about something.
- Notice if you tend to ask yourself (or others) negative questions
- See if there is a way for you to reframe the question into a more positive or neutral question (e.g. What are the benefits of this? How might this be perfect? What can I learn from this?)
- COACHING: If you find yourself focussing on the negative more often than the positive, then book a free consultation with me here.