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 I 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”……
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.