Here are some questions I hear frequently from clients: “Why is my house such a disaster?” “Why can’t my kids put things away when they’re done?” “Why is this all so overwhelming?”
Sound familiar? It’s far too easy to get stuck in a thought loop of negative questions. The problem is that negative questions produce negative answers, leading to a vicious cycle of negativity. If you want to create change in your life, your relationships, or your household, start by asking open-ended, positive questions.
Example: Instead of “Why is my house such a disaster?” (which will probably create a litany of complaints) try, “What kind of home do I want to create?” or “What small things could I do to feel better about my living spaces?” Substitute, “Why can’t my kids put things away when they’re done?” with “How can I make it easier for my kids to clean up?”
The human brain is a very efficient machine. It will look for evidence to prove whatever you are focusing on. If you focus on what a wreck your house (or your life) is, you will constantly find evidence to prove those thoughts true. The good news is if you start putting it to work on positive outcomes like the home of your dreams, it will get cracking. Try testing out this approach and see how it works for you. If you find yourself posing negative questions with dead-end answers, just slow down and reframe them.
Here are a few of my favorite helpful questions: How do I really want to feel? // What do I want to create? // What do I want my results to be? // How can I get closer to my vision? // What small thing can I do today that will help me realize my goals?
As simple as it sounds, shifting the questions you ask yourself can completely change your life. I spent the last several years lamenting how little I traveled now that I had kids. This past year I decided to ask different questions such as, “How can I find a way to travel more?” Shifting the narrative led me to find creative ways to fund two international trips! Before I knew it, I had planned a family trip to Europe and a solo trip to Japan. None of this felt possible when I kept asking myself on repeat why it was so hard and expensive to travel. So if you want new results in your life, try asking yourself new and better questions. Tokyo, here I come!