This is SUCH a useful question when you’re stuck,
- when things haven’t been going well so you’re sliding down that hill of “I can’t ever do this …” ,
- for black and white thinking (ever/never; yes/no; success or failure);
- or if you’re in the “What if” cycle (usually filled with negative, anxiety producing thoughts).
Ask yourself: Well, what else might be going on? What else could be possible?
My first introduction to this thinking was a recommendation to read The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns, MD. I’ve referred to the book many times personally and in my work.
The “possibilities” question came from my coaching education and experience and. The question almost always opens up a little door we can tiptoe through to get unstuck or find the positive of what might be happening. This is a very common topic for people.
Is this the same thing as “focus on the positive.” No, it’s not.
It’s opening your mind just a little bit.
It’s to get out of your head … or out of the feelings/anxiety you’re having.
It’s asking yourself a question to engage your mind and move it away from thinking there is….
- only one solution
- only one, often negative possibility
- a failure on your part in some way.
It’s a great technique. Try it next time you’re stuck.
Here’s a great resource adapted from David Burns work, about other “cognitive distortions” or ways our thinking can twisted around sometimes and what to do.
PS Contact me if you think you’d benefit from working together: one month, 3 months or on your schedule.
You can see the headphones while I was giving a video. All videos are here.