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Ask Yourself the RIGHT Question

Estimated reading time: 1 mins

If disaster or disappointment strikes, it’s normal to ask ourselves why. Why did I fail? Why didn’t I get the job? But these questions aren’t the RIGHT questions to ask. They’re not helpful!

I was just checking out Michael Hyatt‘s blog and found his post The Power of Asking the Right Question. Michael proposes that asking questions that reinforce the reasons for failure destroy hope. If you were to ask yourself Why didn’t I get that job? you might then answer yourself that you’re under-qualified, too arrogant, too old, unattractive, etc…

What help are those answers? None at all…

As Michael says, this is a good example of a bad question.

It’s pointless asking ourselves questions that further deepen our crisis and damage our self-esteem. It’s best not to ask these questions in the first place!

What Makes a RIGHT Question?

Firstly, here’s a clue. Avoid starting your question with WHY. ‘Why’ starts us down the negative route.

Much better: start your questions with HOW. ‘How’ puts us into a problem-solving mode. How is open ended, and lubricates the wheels of action.

For example:

  • How can I avoid these failures again?
  • How can I become a more suitable candidate?
  • How do I make my resume stand out?

These questions helps us think of the problem from a fresh perspective, and gives us hope. When I do this, I instantly feel the buzz of hope in the pit of my stomach. I feel energized.

So if you find yourself asking yourself WHY something didn’t happen, then reevaluate the question and ask yourself HOW you can change future opportunities.

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This post is part 5 of 15 in the series Coping with Defeat
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Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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