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Arrow Tip #29: Ask Better Questions

What if it doesn't work out? What if it's the wrong decision? What if things get messed up? What if I don't get better? What if......what if.......WHAT IF?????!!

Have you ever been down this rabbit hole? Usually, we ask these questions when we're in a situation where we don't have control of the outcome or we don't KNOW how things will turn out. In other words, it's an UNKNOWN. That can be a scary place for some people so see Arrow Tip #6 for help with this type of fear. But, allowing your mind to fall into the "What If" abyss only magnifies anxiety of the unknown. It's hard to stop that from happening though because part of the rational mind's job is to help you solve problems. It's always seeking an answer. That's why it continues to ask questions. Your mind is looking for a solution. So, rather than asking questions that disempower and keep you in the cycle of worry and fear, start asking questions that fuel the emotions to help drive you forward rather than stopping you in your tracks.

One of the most common types of questions the mind asks is the "What If's" so that's probably a good place to start making changes. I remember years ago when I decided to re-start my practice on my own in a completely new location. I really didn't know anyone other than my family. My life had been turned upside down after a series of unfortunate events. So, I had no money, no friends, no credit, no equipment, no office, no staff, really NOTHING that one would need to start a new healthcare practice. I had me, myself, and I and that was it! Honestly, it seemed impossible. However, I knew that I could never have the life I wanted if I had to work for other people. My real desire was to have my own practice again as I had for many years in another state. I found myself asking these same "what if" questions. What if I couldn't get anyone to rent space to me? What if I didn't have the money to pay myself? What if I couldn't build a patient base? What if I couldn't get the necessary equipment? What if I couldn't pay the bills? What if the whole thing failed and I ended up in an even worse situation???!!! Gulp.

These questions and more kept rising within me. It's exactly this kind of thinking that keeps people trapped. I had a firm resolve that I needed to move forward so I pushed past my fears. But, I also didn't want to be a prisoner of my anxiety-ridden thoughts. So, I started to change my dead-end "what if" questions into better ones. Every time my mind said, "What if this doesn't work out?" I followed it up with "Well, what if somehow it does?" "What if someone DOES rent space to me and it's affordable?" What if in some way I DO get the necessary equipment?" And so forth. For every disempowering question, I rebutted with a more empowering one. And guess what? It all worked out. Every obstacle was overcome. Asking better questions allowed me to have hope that there were possibilities. In turn, it helped create a mindset that allowed me to see opportunities. It also provided room for doors to open rather than stay shut. It had to because when I let my mind know there might be SOME possibility (no matter how remote it seemed), by asking better questions, it had no choice but to do its job by seeking out evidence to validate this new belief. That's just how the brain is wired.

Take charge of your mind and change the fear-based questions you're asking yourself to questions that keep you moving forward.



  1. When you find yourself worried about a particular situation, remember to take a moment and just PAUSE so you can do the following steps:

  2. Pay attention to the questions your mind is asking about a particular situation.

  3. Decide whether those questions are creating hope and forward movement or worry and paralysis.

  4. Create new "what if" questions that allow for possibilities rather than defeat.

  5. Make these new mind-shifting questions a habit.



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