questions or decision making concept

How do you know if it’s good enough?

I don’t.

Which is the same answer to the questions, ‘how do you know it’s really ready?’, ‘how do you know it’ll definitely work?’ and ‘how do you know it’ll be as successful as you hope?’

The problem with these questions is that they’re not especially helpful. And by that, I mean that they don’t open your mind, challenge your assumptions, remove limiting beliefs or support a creative approach to problem solving.

Instead they can create a series of hindering thoughts.

That nagging doubt…

Which exists in all of us from time-to-time and rears its head again at the point that this question is asked. And so upon hearing this, it would be easy to think, ‘Shit, they’re right. Maybe it’s not good enough.’

Which leads to procrastination…

And now that I have that seed of doubt taking root, then the best thing to do is to delay, put off for another day and retreat back to safety. ‘I’ll just go and make sure everything’s all right… I might be some time!’

Which can ultimately mean…

That we stop altogether. ‘Phew, that was a close call!’ I nearly looked stupid!

And so that one question has created a series of thoughts which lead to inaction.

But hang on a second…

What if the question wasn’t the right question to ask in the first place? What if there was a better question, which would have created different and more helpful thoughts?

The things you do (or don’t do) are a consequence of the thoughts you have which are linked to questions – those which are asked by others, and those which you ask yourself.

So rather than asking, ‘is it good enough?’ try:

What could you do to make it better than it is today? How much of a difference would it make? Are these things worth delaying for?

Instead of asking ‘how do you know it’s really ready?’ ask:

What else could you do to make sure it’s as ready as it can be? Knowing that there’s never a perfect time, have you managed the risks as well you might?

Rather than asking ‘how do you know it’ll definitely work?’ say:

How confident are you in your plans? What could you do to increase your confidence level – what other possibilities could you consider and who else could you involve?

And finally, to the question of ‘success’, try this one:

If you already knew you would be successful, what would you do?

Ask the right questions

The questions you ask of other people can make a difference. The questions you ask of yourself will definitely make a difference. Because questions lead to thoughts which lead to actions and therefore the outcome you achieve is determined by the quality of the questions you ask.

Questions > Thoughts > Actions > Outcomes

So the next time you ask a question give some time to consider the extent to which it challenges your thinking and opens your mind; versus it restricting your thinking and putting you at risk of sabotage from that nagging doubt which Steven Pressfield calls ‘the resistance’.

And if they chose to ignore you and ask again anyway, ‘But seriously, how do you know if it’s good enough?’ You can always elaborate and say, ‘I don’t know. But I never will unless I try.’


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