How many times have you done something that you could kick yourself for? Maybe it was something you said, the way you acted. You might have felt like it was a stupid mistake and beat yourself up over it.
Done that before? I am sure you have. We all have or still do.
How does this even make sense or help us? It doesn’t. We do not learn from beating ourselves up over what has already happened. But, we can learn from these experiences.
Start by asking yourself smart questions. Questions that challenge you to grow, to move forward…to learn from.
Question #1--What can I learn from this?
This is a great one to start with. The way in which we see a situation is going to determine how we feel and also how we respond. If we see a situation as if we have failed or messed up, then we will feel like a failure, disappointed, imperfect, etc. Imagine how you would then respond based on those feelings.
Our actions always flow from our feelings, therefore, we need to be more mindful of what we allow ourselves to feel. We do have the power to change our affect in a matter of seconds. When you ask yourself what can you learn from the situation, you are essentially changing what you focus your thoughts on, which in turn will affect your emotions and how you respond.
Grabbing the opportunity to learn and get feedback for your life and relationships is invaluable.
You can do this for yourself! You just need to ask yourself the right questions.
Question #2—What need was I trying to meet by doing or saying what I did?
We all have basic human needs that we need to meet daily. We find vehicles to meet these needs in both positive and negative forms. Stopping to ask yourself which need you were focused on will help you to one, understand which need you were trying to meet, and two, which need you want to meet.
We often have to dig a bit deeper, or peel away the layers to get to the core of what is going on, so go ahead…. peel away.
I know this can feel intimidating or even a bit uncomfortable. But, if we are not growing then we are stuck.
You don’t want to be stuck…do you?
I didn’t think so. It helps to begin with identifying the thought first. Thought leads to feeling, which leads to behavior…and it can go back the other way, behavior…feeling…thought. For the sake of keeping it simple, start with identifying the thought. The first thing that came to mind. Once you have the thought, you can begin to pinpoint the emotion.
Question #3 How did it make you feel?
Ahh…the dreaded question. Be your own therapist for a moment, I promise there is a reason for taking you down this path. Identify the feeling. You may start with anger, frustration, annoyance and these are a great start but peel a little more. What might be under those feelings?
Got it? This is the core emotion that we want to use to identify the emotional need. Are you hurt and needing certainty or love? Are you feeling unimportant and needing significance?
Question #4—What can I do to meet that need in a more positive way? How can I make that happen today?
So, this is a two-part question that leads you into identifying the actions needed and then committing to that action, again so that you are growing. Explore whether there are any new rituals you can build into your day, life or relationships to help you to achieve a better state.
Maybe you need a better plan and to be more prepared. Is it focus or grounding you may need?
You can continue to formulate new questions for yourself that challenge you to grow and learn so that you can be the best you and a leader among all those around you.