I asked myself the same question many of us ask ourselves when we’re not being productive:
“what’s wrong with me?”
The question simply rolled through my head, pretending to be a helpful inquiry into why I wasn’t getting enough done. But nothing good comes from that question.
I’m burned out.
Actually, I’m beyond burned out. I’m having one of those days where nothing looks good, nothing sounds good and just about nothing feels good.
Have you ever been there?
It’s a grand spot to be in, isn’t it?
It’s the spot where you just want to ‘sit in your sludge’ as Martha Beck says. No get-up-and-go-ness. No bright side to anything.
In fact, just trying to see a bright side annoys you.
Just a big picture of Blah with a red ‘X’ in the middle saying ‘you are here’.
As I sat there this afternoon, thinking about the gazillion things on my list that have to get done or I will just die, I uttered one of the worst things someone can utter to themselves.
Worse yet, I asked it thinking that if I could just find the answer, everything would be fine.
“Damn it, what’s WRONG with me?”
That was it.
Those words were my fairy godmother flying down and giving me a swift kick in the ass.
Because I know that question is one of the evilest things you can ask yourself.
You won’t get a long list of what’s awesome about yourself when you ask ‘what’s wrong with me’.
Instead, you get a nice inventory of issues. Let’s line all your faults all up and rate them according to their influence over your complete lack of progress this week.
That will never feel good.
The fact that I even asked myself that question got me thinking about how there are similar questions that frustrated yet well-meaning people ask themselves every day.
The seven deadly questions:
1. What’s wrong with me?
2. Why can’t I just do it?
3. Why is this so hard?
4. Why isn’t it happening for me?
5. Why can’t I say ‘no’?
6. Why can’t I lose the weight?
7. When am I going to learn?
The answers to these questions will never be a pep talk. They will never lead to you feeling uplifted and unstoppable. They’ll never let you see the beauty and strength in yourself.
These questions are, by design, going to lead to a spiral of negative thoughts about what you think is wrong with you.
It’s going to make you feel beaten down and unloved by everyone, including yourself.
There is no encouragement in these questions.
No soul-diving a-ha’s will be found here.
This is not constructive brainstorming about what is going on.
Since these show up as questions we ask ourselves, it’s easy to think that they aren’t actually our thoughts. But that’s exactly what they are. Thoughts about ourselves.
We think these questions will hold the answer and give us better results.
Not the case.
When you ask yourself a question about something you want to be changed, like ‘when am I going to lose the weight?’ it reveals your thoughts about where you are now. In that case, where you think you are now is ‘not losing weight’.
Take the question out of it and you’re left with how you see yourself currently:
“Why can’t I just do this?” is really “I can’t do this”
“Why isn’t it happening for me?” is really “This is not happening for me”
“When am I going to learn?” is really “I’m not going to learn”
“Why can’t I say ‘no’?” is really “I can’t say ‘no’”
When I sat there this afternoon, what I really thought was “Something is wrong with me”.
I was looking at my thoughts about not wanting to do anything, my thoughts about being tired and burned out. I wanted to be writing a masterpiece and instead was sitting in a lackluster state and wondering why I just wanted to hide.
The answer is in the problem.
I was telling myself that there was something wrong with me.
And anyway you slice that thought it feels awful.
No masterpiece will flow when you think something is wrong with you and you feel awful about it.
“What’s right with me?”
When we’re looking at a thought that stops one of my client’s in their tracks, we change it up. Make it a better feeling thought, and one that is often more believable than the original.
And we look for reasons that make it true.
Something is right with me because I know the value in how I feel.
Something is right with me because finding a better feeling thought is at the top of my list of a gazillion things to do.
No matter how tough things are, you can find something that is right with you.
You can find how you ARE doing this, all the times you CAN say ‘no’, and all the things that you HAVE learned, and learned quite well.
When we’re in that dark place where we think if nothing changes we will crawl out of our skin because things are so bad, we have to focus on what is good. Focus on what is working and on what is changing.
Focus on those and the list of how beautiful things are for you will grow. Exponentially. For as long as you hold your attention there.
Then the question will no longer be how can I change, it will be ‘how can I get more of what I already have?’
That is when things are very, very right.
I’d love to hear from you!
Have you ever asked yourself one of these questions?
Tell me what is right, what is working and what is beautiful with you.
I want to hear some brags! 🙂
Let me know in the comments below.
Like this? Then hit the button!
Good thoughts are worth sharing…