What can I do?
A few years ago I learned the value in consciously choosing my thoughts and the words that I speak. I've come to deeply understand the power of thoughts and the power of the spoken word. I strongly believe that we can help set ourselves up for success by becoming more conscious of our thoughts and words.
So often we (unknowingly) keep ourselves stuck from moving forward or embracing something new. One of the most common ways we do this is with the 'how questions' we don't have answers for.
'How will I afford it?'
This is a big one. Yet, if you think back in your life, I'm sure you can remember at least one time when you didn't know how you would be able to afford something and you did it anyways. Right? We've all been there. Wanting that thing or experience so much that you weren't concerned with having a concrete answer for the question, 'How will I afford it?' In fact, you may have even answered it something like this, 'I don't know, I'll figure it out.' Or, 'I'm not sure, I'll make it work somehow.'
It didn't matter that you didn't know the answer. You were willing to risk the unknown and do whatever you needed to in order to make it work. You were willing to trust the process along the way.
There are countless how questions that can keep you from moving forward and not knowing the answers to these questions often keeps us on what I call, The How Treadmill. This is when one how question comes after another and not knowing the answers to these questions causes us to give up before even trying in the first place. Remaining stuck in the same place and in the same patterns that we've always been in. Without the answers, we can easily succumb to the false belief that we can't do it. We believe that we can't step off that treadmill and onto a new path. It's often not enough that we feel a desire for something new, the fact that our mind can't answer the how of this new thing, is enough to keep us stuck.
I know you've been stuck on The How Treadmill before, we've all been on that treadmill. Think about what it feels like when you're stuck in that place....what you want to do can seem impossible, or at the very least, way too hard. Those how questions can leave you with a feeling of despair. They can cause a sense of heaviness and constriction. They can also leave you feeling anxious.
This is because the how is most often fear based. It comes from the fear we feel from the unknown. Our inability to predict the outcome with any level of certainty is an ideal excuse to remain where we are. And remaining where we are keeps us feeling safe.
The reality is that we don't know the how of a lot of things that we do each day, yet we still do them trusting the process. For example, I haven't a clue how my car starts when I turn the key. The truth is, I've never been interested in learning how a car starts. I don't understand the mechanics of a vehicle and still I trust that when I turn the key, the car will start. I trust that when I shift into drive, the car will move. When I press on the brake pedal, the car will stop. Not understanding the how has never stopped me from driving and certainly didn't deter me from obtaining a driver's license.
When we really want something, we're willing to ignore not having a definite answer for how. When our inner compass points us in a direction that feels right and we want something badly enough, the chatter in our brain becomes quiet. We trust. We're willing to bypass not knowing the answers to all those how questions. Instead we move into action with, What can I do?
Asking, What can I do? shifts everything.
When I ask myself this question I feel a calm determination to move forward. This question feels like it opens up possibilities. It makes the thing or experience that I want, feel tangible. It helps to move me into making it a reality.
How can I afford it? Changes to, What can I do to make this work within my budget?
How will I ever find the time? Changes to, What can I do to fit this into my schedule?
Letting go of the how helps to remove the fear of the unknown, offering a productive way to move forward.
Of course, it's not impossible to move forward while stuck in the how's, however it does make everything much more difficult. So the next time you find yourself on The How Treadmill, do yourself a favor and stop.
Ask yourself, 'What is the how question really about? What am I afraid of?' Then start asking, 'What can I do?'
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