How about instead …
There are so many ways the rest of that sentence can go. In fact as I worked on this post I wrote a lot of things at the end of that sentence that would end up being scratched off to the point I needed new paper in the process. Yes I still draft many of my posts with pen and paper because sometimes it feels good to write something down. I actually carry a little notebook in my handbag and will jot things down as ideas come up. Sometimes I will outline an entire series of posts and others it’s just a feeling, thought or idea. This time when I went to my notebook to write posts I saw this page with three words at the top and a long list of scratched off items below it.
How about instead…
These words stared back at me just waiting for my response almost like a mocking challenge. Dare you it said back at me.
Over the course of weeks I would look at those words and think how interesting they were together. It was like a different realm opened; one with possibility, challenges and twists that offered promise.
How about instead …what though?
See the challenge with these three words is you can’t just stop saying something. Once you see these words carefully placed together you realize you can’t stop at just how. You have to say a lot when you use these three words together. You have to go deeper and brush pass the surface level that can happen if you use just one or two of those words. How leads to a totally different response than how about instead. Instead asks you to compare and as I found in developing this post it literally calls out your own bs when you try to skate pass some lame excuse for why not. Yes we always have a good why not in our back pocket for when we don’t want to do something don’t we?
How do you …
How could you…
Asking just that type of question leaves something on the table. It leave the chance to make up a zillion excuses for why we cannot, won’t, haven’t and will never. It makes us feel like overwhelmed, guilty, shamed failures especially if we haven’t or we failed. Who wants more on their to-do list or something else to take care of in their day? How feels heavy and negative in so many ways. It feels like work to figure something out or an extra something I would rather not do.
As I look at my small business, my career, my home life I ask how many times asking how has limited me. How many times has that simple word became a barrier to myself or my customers? How has it prevented me from being all I am meant to be and do in this life? See what I mean it sounds heavy, burdensome and guilty to the point I can see all of my failures immediately. If I’m asking how then I must surely have more to do.
How about instead …
Yes there is a need for accountability. We are still adults you know and that sort of thing is what we are supposed to do. We’re supposed to know exactly what to do all the time and just do it and be happy about it. How has created a lot of burden for us adults. It’s like we’re walking about with everyone else thinking we know how everything is possible and are able to pull out just the right mix of how to do something at any given moment.
I don’t know about you but I don’t recall the last time I felt like I had all the answers. If someone asks me how I honestly have to say more often than not that I don’t know. I don’t know how I put on all the weight I did while I was supporting and doing all I needed to care for our family in the middle of multiple crisis happening at work and at home. I know I woke up one morning and realized my clothes weren’t fitting anymore. My body hurt and I didn’t feel good anymore.
Yes, I do really know how of course but answering that question truthfully is painful. I know exactly how it happened though but who wants to say that aloud to another person and feel more judged than what I feel by myself? None of the things that led to that problem are going change where I am right now. So by just asking how it happened it is going to do nothing but relive pain and promote guilt and shame today. How is that helpful?
Yet when you combine these three words I have found you are wide open for opportunity, change, getting out of your own way of making up excuses and challenging yourself to have courage in stepping forward out of it. So how about instead of how am I going to lose 50 pounds I can ask how about instead of hating my body for being fatter why don’t I do something about it? How about instead I make a choice to stop letting it be in my way and act on it? How about instead of beating myself up for not having more control when I was emotionally eating my way through a horrible asshole boss situation while in a crisis situation at home well… how about instead I find out how to heal and move forward? How about instead I deal with where I am right now and find things that actually support true healing and health? How about instead I accept that I am human after all?
How about instead I try something new and be open to the possibilities of what that could look like? (try it here: dragonspitapothecary.com/how-about-instead-kit )
Yikes! There truly is nothing like calling yourself out in a loving constructive way and realizing you do really have the power to do all you need to care for yourself. You can change your perspective, taking charge of the situation and move in the direction that feels right for you. How about instead we do that this year? Instead of joining gyms we will fail at using regularly how about we actually apply strategies that work for our health? How about instead of letting ourselves accept we can’t lose weight, feel better, be more financially secure or live happier why don’t we try something new to see if that works? Just saying it this way feels free, possible, interesting and much less overwhelming.
Who knew that by just changing the question we could open up thoughts about what we didn’t think were options. How about instead of buying crummy vitamins you know taste bad and haven’t worked for you before you try something new? How about instead of letting another year go by without fulfilling your health goals you look at different approaches? How about instead of thinking it’s normal to live paycheck-to-paycheck you look at new opportunities to diversify your income?
How about instead of suffering paycheck-to-paycheck we explore what diversifying your income looks like with a business of your own? Learn more here: dragonspitapothecary.com/Life-starts-here
How about instead… what does it mean for you?