“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss
We often do things without really thinking about why we do them. And we have patterns in our life that we aren’t sure how we started. In fact, we often aren’t aware of basic information about ourselves.
There is a remedy to all of this. When you want to know something about you, simply ask “Why?”
As you listen for an answer, don’t force one to come. Pay attention to the first thought that comes to mind, but don’t try to pull it out of your brain. This is the answer you are looking for.
If that answer is still not satisfactory, ask “Why?” again. Keep going until you have hit the “root” of your question.
Here’s an example:
At a job I had a couple years back, I had sales duties. I did fairly well at this, but I always had a bit of anxiety when I approached people. When I asked myself “Why?” here’s what I got back:
Q: Why do I feel anxiety when I approach people?
A: I assume they will respond to me negatively.
Q: Why would someone respond to me negatively?
A: If I approach someone as “me” they will reject me.
Q: Why would someone reject me?
A: They probably wouldn’t, there is no reason to. I’m simply holding a belief that is not true.
In the end, I realized that my anxiety with approaching people had to do with a belief that I held about myself (one that was not real, but one that I believed nonetheless). But, I wouldn’t have connected the two had I not questioned myself.
Plus, I eventually did away with this belief that was holding me back. But, for a long time, I didn’t even know it was there. Asking “why” has allowed me to uncover things that I didn’t know were even a part of me. And that has made all the difference. 🙂
Self knowledge has depths that many of us never begin to explore. In fact, it’s probably impossible to know everything there is to know about you. If you lived forever you could infinitely keep questioning yourself. So get started right now:
Why do you do what you do?
What are some techniques you use to learn about yourself? Share your ideas in the comments!