Are we asking the right questions?
I don't always ask good questions. I ask obvious ones.
Like, "Why do I always procrastinate?"
When I ask myself a question like that, my brain comes up with answers like:
- Because I'm lazy
- Because I don't know where to start
- Because I have too much to do
And I start to believe it. Do you know how unhelpful that is? Because when we answer our own questions like that, we start to believe our own bullshit. We internalise it and begin to believe we're lazy, we don't know where to start, and we're overwhelmed.
So we live it and we stall.
Even just the thought of having too much to do makes me feel overwhelmed. Which is a bit of a ridiculous self-fulfilling prophecy.
Instead, I've started doing something pretty cool. Maybe it'll help you, too.
I reframe the question.
Instead of, "Why do I always procrastinate?" which is neither useful nor kind, I could ask, "How will I get this done?"
And my brain will invariably come up with a better answer.
Instead of, "Why can't I finish what I started?" which is a shame-loaded, finger-pointy question, I could ask, "What's stopping me from finishing this and shipping it?"
The second question forces me to look at what's really going on and figure out what the problem is and how to solve it.
The first question is basically me sitting under a blanket, complaining and wringing my hands.
Well, I'm done with hand-wringing (not with blankets though, I love a blanket) and I'm on a mission to ask myself better questions – and not shy away from finding the answers, no matter how uncomfortable they may be.
My challenge to you, today, is to do the same.
Ask yourself better questions. Seek better answers.
The more I do it, the more comfortable I feel with questioning everything. Humans don't like questions: they create uncertainty and that leads to anxiety and fear and all that bad stuff.
But the more comfortable we get with not knowing something, and the better we get at finding out, the more powerful we become.
Today, I'm asking myself: "How will I feel when I've finished doing this? And how will I feel if I finish today and it's not done?"
p.s. You can apply this to everything, but of course I'm going to apply it to writing books. If you want to write a book but you're not sure you can, stop asking yourself what's stopping you, and instead ask yourself, "How can I get this done?"
p.p.s. One way to get this done is with structure, guidance, and feedback every step of the way. I have a course for that: Blank Page to Book in 90 Days. The waiting list is open now and you can read all about it here.
Start Writing Your Book Today
If you want to learn more about how to write, self-publish, and market a book for your business, snaffle yourself a copy of How The Hell Do You Write A Book? Then check out the blog and podcast for more articles and guides. If you want a little (or a lot) more help, find out how you can work with me.
Vicky Fraser is the founder of Moxie Books and author of How The Hell Do You Write A Book and Business For Superheroes. She helps business owners write life-changing books, connect with readers and new customers, and grow their businesses. When she's not doing that, she's hanging from a trapeze by her feet.