Uncategorized 3 Questions That Help You Move Written by: Kathy Caprino

In thinking about your life, have you ever been completely stuck in a situation, not knowing what next step to take? Or have you found yourself ruminating about something, going around and around about it, without finding a way out of your worry, fear, or powerlessness? Are you going through that now?

Several years ago, my friend Trudy Griswold, author of the wonderful guidebook Angelspeake (see www.angelspeake.com), shared with me what she called “three questions of discernment.” These three tiny questions offer a way out of your worry and indecision. Answering these questions honestly and directly will move you forward in powerful ways.

The three questions of discernment are:

– Is this any of my business?
– How important is this anyway?
– When do I have to make this decision?

Is This Any of My Business?

If you’re like me and many of my clients, we spend untold minutes and hours each day thinking and worrying about things that are really none of our business. For instance, we might see someone doing something that we feel is not in their best interest, and we wonder, “Should I tell them what I’m thinking?” Or we might be judging our sibling or neighbor for how they’re behaving with their children. Again, we think, “What’s the best thing for me to do here? Should I speak up?”

Asking the question, “Is this any of my business?” will help you decide. You can take the view that everything is your business, or you can consider that each individual has his or her own path, challenges, preferences, styles, and dreams. Their values and goals may not intersect with yours. Their way of handling problems may not reflect your views. In fact, they may be radically different indeed.

Whatever the case, what’s going on with your friend, sibling, neighbor, colleague, etc. is in fact, not really any of your business, unless it directly impacts you. Then, of course, it is your business, and it’s time to speak up.

I consider it “my business” when the following conditions are present:

– I or my family are being directly affected

– Another person makes it my business, by directly asking me for my help or guidance

– When I believe someone may be doing harm to himself/herself or others, and it’s critical to act on their behalf

– When I know that wanting to be involved in this situation is NOT about stroking my ego or feeding my negative judgments

I love the idea that, “When you experience someone having a problem, be part of the solution.” Speaking up and taking action when it is truly your business represents being part of the solution.

Of course, there are times in life when we wish to be part of a solution to a more global problem that may not seem to directly impact our daily lives (such as contributing to reducing world hunger, joining an organization that assists war-torn communities, etc.) In these cases, I believe it’s most beneficial to contribute personally in the way that activates your energy best, while avoiding blaming and criticizing others for what they are not doing.

How Important Is This Anyway?

This question gets to the heart of the issue of the relative importance of what you’re worried about. Should you be devoting countless minutes to it each day? Is this issue/problem going to make a large impact in your life? Or is it a minor, insignificant issue that really won’t make much difference either way?

Getting clear on the importance of the issue will help you decide consciously how much brain power and emotional energy you should be devoting to it. Give yourself a time limit each day to think about this issue. Stick to the limit, and then move on.

When Do I Have to Make This Decision?

I have found this question to be so powerful that it stops me in my worrying tracks. So often, we fret about a decision that we in fact don’t have sufficient information to make. We will have it, but not yet. So why waste time agonizing over something that is not ready to be decided on?

I remember when I was obtaining my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, I became very concerned about what I would do the minute I graduated. I worried and obsessed about this, months before the event.

Finally, I asked myself, “Do I need to make this decision today, or even this month? Do I have enough information to make a well-informed decision?” The answer was “no” to both. From that minute on, I actively stopped myself from worrying about it. When my mind would go back to it, I’d gently nudge my thoughts away from the issue. When the time came to decide, the right path for me was very clear, and I took it.

Decide the date by which your decision needs to be made. Mark that date in your calendar, and let it go until then.

Answering these three pivotal questions will help you reclaim your mental and emotional power, and assist you in making decisions that move you forward successfully and consciously. They’ll also release you from being overly-connected to what others are doing. That’s their business. It’s time to get clear about your business, and attend to it in ways that bring you fulfillment, joy, and success.

One thought on “3 Questions That Help You Move”

  1. I believe we are all guilty of ruminating about something, going around and around about it, without finding a way out of our worries, fear or powerlessness. You have provided some good tips on how to work through it.

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