Finding Your Bravery Starts with Two Questions
Have you ever caught yourself talking out loud when you are alone? Like you are talking yourself through a procedure and stop to ask yourself what to do next?
Sometimes they would make us laugh, and other times they would make us hang out heads in discouragement for the future of the human race’s ability to think critically.
Some of the top ones we were asked (disclaimer: these are REAL questions I have been asked):
Q: Does everyone in this country drive like this?
A: I am not sure; there are over 10 million people in this country and I haven’t actually conducted a driving survey yet with the national government.
Q: Can people take a bus trip back to North America?
A: Well, since we are on an island in the Caribbean (that you had to fly over the ocean to get to) I don’t think there are many buses going directly to North America from here.
Q: If they don’t understand English, can we just talk slower and louder and they will get it?
A: I don’t think so but if you do it will help to entertain everyone in this village while we are waiting for the truck to come pick us up.
We all say and do things without thinking from time to time. In fact, we can live so much of our lives on default programming that we don’t even realize some of the things we do until it’s pointed out to us.
Especially when it comes to the quality of our questions.
Questions are the pathway to discovery; the way to create forward movement in our lives.
Great questions remind us that we are not victims stuck in time or happenstance.
We have all heard the term, “victim or victor”.
This is about what you choose to see. And choosing to see yourself as a victim in life is really easy to do.
We begin to see ourselves as not holding any influence or control in certain areas of our lives.
We find it too exhausting to push on, to hold our ground or to consider a different outcome than what we deem to be “inevitable”.
We can’t figure out how to get our life on track
The bad things always seem to find us
There is always a new fire to put out in our business or personal life
It’s always the fault of someone or something else
I can see this thinking a mile away.
Want to know why?
Because I used to give in to it. A lot. The reasons are long but not important anymore. However, I now see how the path was very clear that led me to that place.
Like everything in life, it started with questions.
But it was the wrong questions.
There are two particular questions that lead to dead ends in our lives and our ideas that we want to bring to the world.
1. Victim Question Number One: “Why do bad things always happen to me/us?”
This is a category of questions that takes on many forms such as “What did I ever do to deserve this?” “Why is life so unfair to us?” “Why can’t they stop doing/acting/saying that?”
When you fixate on this question you avoid taking responsibility for where you are right now. You look for someone else to blame for the results you are getting in life and this can quickly become a pattern. From fate and destiny to the financial markets to your childhood in the mean streets of small town Alberta, this question is always about looking over your shoulder and pointing a finger.
Ultimately, this steals the joy of discovery in life and creating anything new.
2. Victim Question Number Two: “What Next Bad Thing is Going to Happen to us/me?”
This type of question has a fear factor around it that causes us to keep on double-checking in our peripheral vision.
It’s like a thriller movie from the 80’s. Something is in the water and we don’t know where it will strike next. Just brace yourself, because it will be bad!
Asking what next bad thing can happen is focused on judging something to be “bad” before it even has the chance to transpire.
It causes you to shrink back and assume that, once again, life is out to get you.
Stop thinking you’re being singled out. We all get the chance to have things happen to us; we also get the chance to decide who we are going to be.
Which leads us to two fabulous questions that victors can use for finding bravery.
Victor Question #1: “Why am I Here?”
When we see ourselves as the authors of our lives and future, we have the bravery to ask why we are here – and the willingness to seek out some answers on how that can look.
When you believe you have a purpose as an individual or your idea/business/vision has a purpose to uncover for the world, life becomes an adventure to discover.
Challenges may frustrate, but when the “why” is clear the rest is just the details.
Victor Question #2: What’s next for me to create in the world?
This is not about blind hope.
It’s about intentionally deciding how to make tomorrow better than today.
Hope in and of itself is not a strategy.
Every. Single. Day.
What about you? Do you have any great questions you use on yourself when you need to change from victim to victor?
(Hypothetically speaking, if I was ever caught talking to myself, I would hope that it would be something more inspiring than the now famous youtube video of this little boy lamenting what he ate while on his potty behind a closed door.)
This article first appeared on Christal Earle’s website, www.yourbrillianceunlimited.com.
Christal Earle is a professional writer and speaker, helping leaders and social change makers understand how the stories they are telling can change the world. Her latest book is Resonate: We Can Change the Stories We Tell Ourselves.