One question, made of 2 little words that together are so insidious, they can instantly put you into victim mode and keep you stuck there for as long as you keep asking it.
Chances are this little question has come into the corners of your mind when something challenging, disappointing or traumatic has happened and once it came sneaking in, it probably stayed a while and brought a load of pain with it.
Just two words and one question mark is all it takes.
Now, I haven’t forgotten that the whole point of these articles is to develop a habit of asking better questions, and I promise we’ll get there, but for just a brief moment if you can remember a time in your life that you actually did ask yourself the question “why me?” I think you’ll really get what I mean.
What event or situation led to you ask yourself “why me?”
How does your body feel even remembering that moment in your life?
When I recall asking that question at 13 years old as my dad was diagnosed with the illness he died of 9 months later, I instantly remember the sinking feeling in my belly, the heaviness, the hopelessness.
I didn’t know any better then, but I understand now that unlike a good question, “why me?” is not an opening at all. It’s a dead end. And that’s why I’m suggesting you drop it like kryptonite. It’s one of those questions (and there are more) that doesn’t have a real answer.
“Why me?” is a short road that leads right to shame and unworthiness. Even asking the question assumes there’s something inherently wrong with you, that you deserved that bad thing that happened. That you were somehow singled out for pain.
Once you notice yourself asking a less-than-great question, all it takes is replacing it with a better question and you can instantly access a new state of mind with new possibilities.
Try these questions instead:
Why not me?
What’s the gift in this experience?
What can I learn from this?
What do I want to create?
Here’s a simple way to engage with the power of questions. The Inquiry Card deck has dozens of better questions that can be used in those moments when you feel confused, discouraged, upset, frustrated or scared.