We all have a burning question that we’ve held back from asking. This question has the power to shape our destiny and lead us towards something we’ve always dreamt of. Why is it then that we hold ourselves back from asking it?
What is it about those words coming out of our mouth that we’re so damn afraid of? This is the question that has plagued me for the last few weeks. Like you, I too have a question that I’ve been holding back from asking.
I know deep down that I must ask it yet that doesn’t make it any easier. Taking the plunge into uncertainty takes courage, and as much as we all think we have the strength to do so when it comes to crunch time, we magically get distracted.
Stop delaying. Here are the 7 reasons why you should ask that one question right now:
1. There may be no tomorrow
You have the opportunity to ask that burning question today. You may not have the chance to do so tomorrow. If your question involves another person, then something could happen to them. They may get hit by a car, move country, go missing, find their special partner, etc.
The only chance you have to ask someone that burning question is right now. When you take this perspective, you’ll find that your sense of urgency will increase and you’ll take action more often when it comes to these difficult questions.
None of us are going to be here forever and so we need to get comfortable living in the moment. Even if the answer to your question is not the one you seek, it could change in a week’s time anyway.
2. The fear is not going to go away
There isn’t some magical moment where all of a sudden all of your fear subsides and you have the perfect moment to ask your question. You’re going to be fearful about asking your burning question for as long as you don’t ask it.
I’ve been urging you all for years now to face your fears and enjoy the feeling you get when you do something that seemed scary. Whatever outcome you’re scared will happen from asking your question will probably not happen at the same level you are dreaming about anyway.
So if the fear is not going to go away then why not suffer from it the least amount you can? The way you do this is by getting that burning question out of you. Ask it. Be okay with whatever the answer is. Use the answer to move you forward or even help you move on.
3. You’ll grow if you do
We humans crave growth. We’re part of mother nature’s grand plan, and that plan can only be executed on if we grow like the rest of nature. Asking this one hard question will help you grow even more than you realise. Once you get it out, it will make the next hard question easier to ask.
That’s right; this is only one of many hard questions. When you get this one out of the way, there will be another waiting for you right around the corner. Every time you face these tough questions, you build more mental muscle. This allows you to ask even tougher questions.
When you get to the top of your game, you even get to ask questions for which you’re probably not even entitled to ask yet. Asking tough questions allows you to get things that could seem unreasonable to most.
“If you want things that would seem unreasonable, then you need to play this snakes and ladders game of asking the questions you’re scared to ask”
4. The tough questions will change the path of your life
Looking at the lives of those who inspire us, you’ll notice that the road to their success has many crossroads. At the center of these crossroads is usually a tough question. This tough question typically leads to a difficult decision.
The journey to greatness is full of tough questions and the people who ask them are the ones that change the path of their life for the better. I’ve had many times where I’ve been faced with the same challenge.
When I’ve embraced the difficult task of asking the tough question I’ve always been surprised by the result. I mean I asked for forgiveness, inspiration, a fulfilling career, phenomenal networks of people, and got all of these requests and more. I didn’t always get it the first time I asked, but I got it eventually.
I’ve even asked for certain parts of my life to be destroyed. Why would I do such a thing? Simple, because I want to rebuild Rome in a new way and invite new soldiers to come and fight the enemy lines of negativity with me. At the end of devastation, there can only be hope and prosperity.
I’d never be where I am today if I decided to ignore the tough questions. I have to remind myself of this right now because I’m about to ask a tough question and I can honestly say I have no idea what the outcome will be.
“All I can do is what I always do; have hope and believe that I am enough”
5. You’ve got nothing to lose
Seriously what have you got to lose? If it all blows up in your face and ends in tears, it doesn’t matter. None of us have permanent memories that occupy our thoughts 100% of the time. The answer you may get could be the opposite of what you hope for. If it involves someone else, then they could hate or laugh at you for the rest of your life.
Thankfully there are a few billion more people that you can interact with. Think of it like this: one down and 7.5 billion to go. Fear of loss stops us from asking the question that could help us to unleash our full potential. Don’t be that person.
6. You deserve it
You work hard every day to battle through the struggle that is human existence. I think you deserve to ask your tough question and have the chance to get the response that could unlock your dreams. Don’t feel like this question is out of your reach because it’s not.
You’re spending your days trying to figure out the meaning of life, and this question will help you to progress in this quest. It’s clear that you deserve what you want but what is not clear is whether you are prepared to ask the tough questions and whether or not you will help people at the same time.
By bringing good to the world, you will get your payment in the form of a yes once in a while to one of these tough questions. If you don’t do any good in the world and never ask the tough questions, then you will not be able to reap the benefits.
7. You’re good enough
You may be hesitating to ask this one tough question because you think it’s unreasonable for you to get a yes. I’m here to tell you that you are good enough and you can get the answer you are hoping for. Maybe not the first time, but through persistence you will eventually get what you are searching for.
The world tells you so often that you’re not good enough, sexy enough, smart enough, rich enough but you are. How do I know? Because every one of us is exactly where we should be right now at this point in time. The questions we’ve asked and the decisions we have made have led us to this point.
It’s not a question of whether you are good enough; it’s a question of whether you are courageous enough to ask your question. It’s a question of whether you can face your fear and do what most people are not prepared to do. It’s a question of whether you are happy to settle for second best and put up with mediocrity. Your whole life and your success come down to you.
I don’t just dish out this sometimes-confronting advice I also live it. I asked my tough question two weeks ago and got a yes. I never expected that to happen and was certain the answer would be no. I somehow thought that what I was asking for was unreasonable.
As it turned out, I probably would have got the same answer if I had of asked it years ago. That’s the beauty of life. Who knows what could have happened if you’d asked your burning question sooner. Hopefully, now you realise that you need to go out asap and get this question off your chest.
Stop wondering and start taking action. Only then will you get to experience that wonderful feeling that I am having right now as I type these words. That feeling of being just one step closer to the life you have dreamt of while being grateful for where you are right now.
What’s holding you back from asking your tough question? Let me know on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.
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The Guide to Staying Motivated While Working Alone
Working alone at home might sound like a nightmare to some, but as a fully signed up introvert, working alone at home is an absolute dream. No energy-draining small talk, no noisy distractions, just peace and quiet to complete deep and focused work. Well not quite. Working alone at home has more challenges than you might expect. Boredom, lack of focus and lack of motivation to name a few.
When you start working for yourself, you quickly realise that one of the biggest problems you face isn’t the job itself. Maintaining your motivation poses a potentially huge difficulty. Much of that difficulty stems from working alone, rather than in a traditional office setting. There is also the challenge of staying focused on the task at hand. With no boss or supervisor looking over your shoulder, social media can distract or cat videos interrupt you.
But the greatest problem by far is a simple lack of motivation. There doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to finish this project right now, making it far too easy to put it off until later. Left unchecked, a lack of motivation can cripple the work you are trying to accomplish. Over the past few years I’ve developed a few go-to tactics to improve my lone working motivation.
Here are some of the tools I’ve used to stay motivated and on-task.
These first few tips focus on using different tweaks in your personal work schedule to provide some variety and maintain your focus.
1. Include short breaks
My eye doctor once told me that for every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, you should look away and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset. Do something similar with the rest of your body; don’t just look across the room, walk, jog, or run across the room. Give your body a break, and try to reset your thoughts. If you don’t have the discipline to take regular breaks, use an app to remind you.
2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking
Set aside one afternoon a week for your social life. Friday afternoon works best for me. If you feel guilty about not working, think of it as a chance to network. Either way, be sure to spend this section of time with other people. Socialise and network.
3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule
A 9-to-5 job requires getting up every morning, preparing for the day, leaving the house, and commuting to your workplace. In other words, it requires going to work. You want to recreate the same rhythm at home. You may not actually need to leave your house in order to work, but try to stick with the schedule. Filling the old job timeslot with your new work helps to keep you motivated – you can’t clock out early!
These next few tips are little things you can do to trick yourself into staying focused!
This tip may sound cliché, but try listening to an upbeat song loudly whenever you feel unmotivated. It’s a simple trick, but a surprisingly effective one!
2. Have somewhere else to work for a change of scenery
When procrastination sets in, sometimes a quick change of scenery is all you need. If you work at home, going to your favourite café can be a huge help. Other freelancers I know have even gone so far as to hire office space outside the home, and rotate between the two to help stay on-task.
3. Love what you do
This is arguably the most critical point on the whole list. If you don’t love what you do, it will be hard to keep yourself motivated – particularly long-term. Sure, you may be able to push on through sheer force of will for a while, but sooner or later you’ll lose motivation entirely. Do something you genuinely enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with it for the long haul.
These last few tips are Industry-related!
1. Make sure you have fun projects
Not all of your work projects will be fun, but fight to make at least a couple of them fun. These might even be personal side projects, not particularly related to your main job. Or they might be in the same general field, but not your specific focus.
2. Attend industry events a couple of times a year
Nearly every imaginable industry has an organising body of some kind. Find the local branch, and use it to keep tabs on industry-related events. Attend some seminars, network, and maybe even glean some new tips and tricks from industry insiders.
3. Schedule at least one call a week to learn something within your industry
View this as an opportunity for personal development. At least once a week, try to learn something new about your industry. For me, this might mean calling a new tool provider to demonstrate their gadgets. Whatever your industry, try to expand your horizons a little bit every week. You’ll learn new methods and make new connections at the same time.
These tips worked for me, hopefully, some of them will help you out as well. Above all, strive to enjoy what you do, stick to a “work schedule,” and look for opportunities for constant self-improvement. With those ideas in mind, you’ll find staying motivated much easier to do alone or in a group!
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