It’s a simple question that we often fail to ask.

Or, when we do, we employ it in the wrong way (inwards), which turns something that could bring us enormous benefits in to a soul-searching downward spiral of self-flagellation, of self-reproach.

Instead of asking ‘Why did do that?” or “Why am so whatever?“, why not turn the question outwards?

Why not ask why the other person does x, y, z…why they act the way they do?

When we turn the question outwards – not inwards – it can help us to understand the other person’s point of view, their motivations and their actions.

It can help us to understand the outside world from a different perspective.

Even if we never fully understand why they acted like they did, or why something is like it is, pushing the question outwards allows us to think outside the boundaries we set ourselves (which only leads self-punishment via usually too harsh self-judgements).

This allows us to develop empathy for the other, showing us a pathway to greater understanding, tolerance and compassion.

Turning the question outwards brings us benefits, enriches us; it does not belittle us.

We can also take the exercise one step further (for it is an exercise, a restructuring of our thought patterns through constant exercising of a new muscle, the new way of thinking)…

We can add another element to the “Why”……

“Why not?”

This branching out allows us to imagine all possible scenarios.

When we ask “Why not?”, with conviction, we get to let our imaginations run free.

We get to imagine possibility, to view it as something real and, however fleeting that glimpse of your “Why not” is, that will set processes in motion.

Doing the “Why not?” exercise regularly, you’ll get more confident, more audacious in your thoughts.

You’ll find yourself one day no longer abstractly thinking “Why not?” but thinking “Why on Earth not?” and you’ll reach the place where your dreams become action.

Turn your “Whys” outwards, ladies.

They’ll become “Why nots”…

….and your “Why nots” will take you where you want to be.


11 thoughts on “Why

  1. Susan says:

    Great questions!


  2. Barbara says:

    What a great post! I can see your struggle as you work through the “whys”, both inwardly and outwardly…the “why nots”?! Hmmm…I had never really thought of it that way. As I work through my own struggles of the “whys”, I will focus a bit more on the “why nots” as well…why me, Lord? Why is our life such and such; but then, why not me; why not our life being this way. He has created me to be the person I am; and as that person, I am strengthen by him to “be” the person I need to be in our life’s situation.

    Thank you, Helen! My eyes will see in a new way!


    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Barbara, glad I prompted you to think differently. I’ve definitely learnt (the hard way) that sometimes half the battle is ourself and the way we think about things/situations: change our minds, we change our reality.


  3. alexa says:

    I like your thinking :). And glad to read it is helping you reach for new horizons …


  4. Just love this Helen! Great food for thought and reflection. Enough said.
    Blessings to you this week!! xoxo


  5. Sian says:

    I hear what you are saying. When we were little, my Mum used to correct our behaviour by asking “would you like it if someone did it to you?” It should be pinned up in every classroom everywhere, I think


  6. This is something I am struggling to work into my daily vocabulary at work. Asking the kiddos why or why not questions, rather than coming down on them with “rules” or asking only yes/no questions. It’s very much re-training for the brain, I have to actively chose each time (which is probably a good thing), hopefully as I begin to form it as habit at work it will spill over into the rest of my life.


  7. Rachel G says:

    I think the part about contemplating “Why?” regarding the motivations of other people can be really helpful, because often the instinctive motivation we ascribe to them is not true, and it’s worth taking a few extra seconds to try to get at the truth instead of making an instant assumption.


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