I recently trashed a huge pile of notebooks I’d been carrying around with me from home to home over the past 10-15 years.
Every time I moved, I packed these journals into several boxes and lugged them around with me thinking, “This is what writers do – they keep everything they write forever.”
One day it dawned on me that I was tired of carrying around these old ramblings. Paper was a burden – all it did was collect dust. And besides, there was some embarrassing shit in those notebooks that I’d rather die than have anyone else read. They mostly consisted of me complaining about my job, my work, my boyfriend(s), my ex-boyfriends, my co-workers, myself, clients, strangers – you name it, I complained about it. THE COMMISERATION CHRONICLES, right?
Well, earlier this year, I decided to let go of these journals – but not until I went through them one final time to make sure I didn’t throw anything good out. I flipped through the pages with the intention of keeping whatever was good and tossing the rest. The vast majority (99%) was garbage, but I was holding out for that 1% of potential gold. This review process was time-consuming and kept me from dealing with my present life – but for some reason, I found it to be necessary before I could finally toss the journals goodbye.
During this entire process, I was plagued by guilt – recalling the warnings of an old friend who said, “If you throw those out, you’ll regret it when you’re 80.”
I was overcome with sadness – “What if someday I really want to read those old journals and find out what my younger self said?” (Yeah right!)
Meanwhile, everyone I knew who was wealthy in life said to let go of clutter if you want to be successful – let go of anything that ties you to the past. Let go of anything that creates shame, guilt, envy, or any other negative emotion in you, so you can free yourself to attend fully to the present.
I was determined to let go of my old writings, even if it meant losing my notebooks and my precious thoughts forever – but not until I read through everything one final time.
Here’s the real kicker… as I read through my notebooks, I began noticing a disturbing pattern: I frequently asked questions that were inadvertently structured to produce negative answers.
What do I mean by this? Well, for years, I CONSTANTLY asked questions such as:
- What the F is wrong with me?
- Why does this bad shit keep happening to me?
- What do I need to do for this problem to go away?
- What’s missing?
- Why do I fuck up so much?
(…questions which I realized War Machine also has a tendency to ask!)
WOW!! No wonder I had been so miserable for many years. No wonder these journals made me feel burdened. They were packed with self-cursing questions that I asked over and over again.
Notice that each of the questions above is structured in such a way that it implies something negative exists: there’s something wrong with me; bad shit happens to me; a problem exists; something is missing; I fuck up so much. It’s like a secret command telling your mind, this is how it is.
Not once did it ever dawn on me that the questions I repeatedly asked myself were producing my reality.
Not once did it ever occur to me that my life was “bad” simply because I was asking “bad” questions.
With the help of Noah St. John, a productivity expert and inventor of what he calls “afformations,” I made it a priority to begin asking more positive questions. Noah’s theory is that the human mind automatically searches for the answer to any question asked of it. By default, questions automatically engage the mind to begin working to find an answer.
So if you ask yourself a question – any question at all – you’re ultimately going to find an answer. Your mind will work tirelessly to find the answer, so it can file the question away as “answered.”
If you ask yourself, “What’s wrong with me?” your brain will begin to search for an answer. You’ll subconsciously begin to collect information that answers the question, which implies that something is wrong with you. Evidence will begin to pop up everywhere that will support the underlying, hidden statement behind the question.
If you ask yourself a question such as, “Why am I so successful?” then your brain will begin searching for an answer to that, too. You’ll find evidence that supports the underlying assumption behind the question: that you are successful.
The second I began asking better questions, my life started to turn around. I’ve been experimenting with positive, goal-oriented afformations for the past several months and have been blown away by some of the great things happening in my life: more clients (and BETTER clients at that), more paid projects, more money, higher-quality men, more subscribers to my list, more exposure to my book-in-progress, the list goes on. It’s seriously mind-blowing.
(As someone who spent most of her life entrenched in negative beliefs, surrounded by people who not only adopted a victim mentality but also encouraged it – this has been HUGE for me.)
Oh, and I can pretty much guarantee you that the majority of people in this world are asking bad questions – that’s why they’re stuck in a rut. Heck, maybe you’ve even asked a few bad questions yourself. I’m convinced now that bad questions are the #1 thing keeping most of humanity stuck in a place where they don’t to be.
If you want to attract more positive things into your world:
A) Start asking better questions. (If you need help with this, just post your “bad questions” in the box below, and I’ll help you reframe them.)
B) Get rid of all physical objects that produce ANY sort of bad feelings in you. Old photos of exes, old junk someone gave you as a gift that you never really liked, anything that reminds you of something bad from your past – just get rid of it. Throw it away, recycle it, donate it – just get it out of your home. Watch as all kinds of amazing things start coming into your life – because now there’s actually room for them to appear!
If you don’t believe me, just try doing one or both of these things for 30 days. See what happens. If it doesn’t work, what did you lose? A few minutes of your time? If it does work…think of everything you’ll gain.