When things really suck, have you figured out a way to get back on track? Does asking questions like, “Why is this happening?” “What can I do to get a break?” “How come it seems so easy for them and it’s so hard for me to get traction?” give you the results you want?
Let’s say you’re like “Joanna.” Joanna has been with her company for three years. Same position, same office. Not much movement; even laterally. She’s the one in team meetings who doesn’t say much. She’s pretty much an introvert and observes unless she asks questions. Work completion is awesome. She gets great peer and employee reviews but never seems to be offered a more senior position of leadership.
Let’s face it, Joanna is a competent, thorough and reliable employee. Albeit, under-utilized and overlooked. Sadly, she feels a bit defeated and frustrated. After all, this was her dream job! She’s recently toyed with contacting recruiters to test a career move in her industry marketplace.
There’s a part of Joanna that’s scared to show herself in all her brilliance. She plays the corporate game but hides amidst the glitter of superstars in her midst. One thing she’s grown rather attached to, albeit obliviously, is in her unrelenting habit of asking questions that do not guide her in another direction of her career and life.
Are you like Joanna whose habit in asking questions that do nothing to shift outcomes into more satisfying results for herself?
Well I have to tell you, STOP IT RIGHT NOW! NO MORE!
Okay? Come on, if you’re not getting the results you want, then please, oh please, just STOP IT!
First of all, you’ve got to upgrade the way you view things. Yes, it begins there. Seem impossible? Well it’s really not. All you must do is take that rigid thinking point of view you’ve been carrying around with you all these years and shift into a more flexible thinking mindset.
Leave your ego and in some cases, meekness, at the door. Being afraid to shift out of status quo is NOT serving you in fulfilling your career (or life!) dreams!
“I’m not enough!” untruths are everywhere!
When I realized I had that going on too in more than one area, I was really curious to learn if I was alone in this or not. Well, there’s a crowd of us filling up that mindset. You’re not alone if you have that going on too!
Personally, I’ve challenged myself to become really mindful of when I start my own “I’m not good enough” party. That’s a deep black hole that gets harder to get out of after a while when your self-doubts creep in to impact your self-confidence. The “I’m not enough mindset” actually takes over your ability to learn new things. And to be truly valued for how you contribute to your team at work. Not to mention the overall negative spiral it puts you in personally.
Lifelong learning opens you up to new ideas, new ways of being and leads to a more fulfilled life overall. Having a “I’m not enough” self-esteem directly impacts your business culture by robbing the equity of high performance away from yourself and your teams.
It’s not worth continuing to ask questions like the above if the results you’re getting take away from your happiness or momentum for your business or teams. The cost is way too high!
When you find yourself continuing to ask questions like the ones above, it hurts you the most and separates you from your colleagues. If your attitude is negative and bleak, why would anyone feel comfortable and trusting that you can deliver at another level of leadership or job performance?
Vishen Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley, in his book “The Code of the Extraordinary Mind” evokes new ways of understanding in such areas as how you can live your life, make better decisions and essentially grow into your true greatness as a human being. And yes, some new ways of thinking are included for your consideration. He suggests that there are Three Most Important Questions to ask yourself if you want to shift the reality of your experience in business and in your overall life. Here they are:
- What experience do you want to have in this lifetime?
- How do you want to grow?
- How do you want to contribute?These questions will open up some new possibilities for you. You can expand each of these questions by including your purpose and what lights you up with enthusiasm as a vision for your future.
Here’s another set of Game-Changing Questions, many we use as practical application tools in each section of our book, “5 Steps to Thrive: Reveal Any Crisis as Opportunity,” (Highpoint Life, 2013) (https://amzn.to/2IpVn1t). Some highlights are listed in a bit for you to begin using and then you can check out the book for greater detail.
A few years ago, life started to hand me and my husband, Paul Benson, lemons when the rug was pulled out from under us financially. We determined that to continue asking questions, such as “Why is this happening?” was going to keep us exactly where we were. We decided not to be victims of our circumstances and designed some questions that have not only kept us on the path of business rebuild and success but also opened up many new opportunities for us we may have otherwise overlooked if we didn’t ask.
When you encounter some doubts or negative thoughts such as “I’m not enough” you can use the below shared questions as a way to reframe your mindsets when they intrude and maybe even overload you with negative, skeptical or worrying thoughts. They work especially great when you face an obstacle or hard situation. Have fun taking them for a walk into your work day-to-day adventure.
Here they are:
- What else is possible here?
- How can it get any better than this?
- What’s so right about this that maybe I’m not understanding right now?
- Is this true?
- Is this false?
Remember Joanna? Well when she got used to the idea and then tried out asking questions in a different way, guess what started to happen for her? Co-workers actually leaned in with interest when she spoke up at team meetings! She’d had some great insights and ideas in the past but her team members rarely even saw a glimpse of it!
One day, her division manager called her to a meeting in his office and she immediately went into fear and anxiety about it. She was quite surprised to learn that during the last meeting when she asked the question, “What else is possible for us to work together on this?” he noticed her as if for the first time. After some rudimentary questions, he told her that he was recommending Joanna for a position that was opening up in the company.
See? You never know what asking what seems to be a simple question can open opportunities up for you.
If you have a specific concern or question about what challenges you are having in your work life or to learn more about how to BE EXTRAORDINARY AT WORK and what else is possible for you, contact me at It Doesn’t Feel Like Work.