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Blog posts for your Career, Business, and  Life
  • Writer's pictureDianne McKim

Staying Stuck vs. Moving Forward?

Asking the right questions makes all the difference.

As published:

How often in life do you feel like you aren’t making any progress? How many times have you tried and tried and tried to accomplish something only to fall short in some way?

When these things happen the most common question most people ask themselves is “Why"? Why did this happen? Why couldn’t I accomplish what I wanted? Why am I such a failure? Why can’ I do anything? Why am I stuck?

I used to ask myself questions like those. I have to tell you, they never really gave me any great answers and too often they reinforced negative thoughts and feelings I had about myself. The Why question kept me stuck, kept me looking backward, and kept me feeling badly about what occurred or didn’t occur.

As I have worked hard to overcome the negative thoughts and feelings I had about myself, I have learned a very important concept about the best questions to ask myself.

So if you don’t want to stay stuck and you want to move forward, read on.

Asking “What” or “How” questions are strong, forward-focused, and change maker questions.

Here’s an example… suppose you are an independent contributor at work attempting to show your boss you are ready for more. You have tried everything to demonstrate your abilities with no success. You may be tempted at this point to internalize negative thoughts about yourself and give up or even start looking for a new job. But, wait, don’t do either of these. There is a better approach.

You can explore and examine the actions you took and ask yourself any one of those great questions listed here.

  • What can I learn from all that has/hasn’t occurred?

  • How can I grow from all that has transpired?

  • What could I adjust so that action has different results?

  • How does my boss recognize achievements in others?

  • What can I do to “speak my boss's language”?

  • How can I learn more about my own strengths so they can shine forth more strongly?

These questions will get your brain thinking in a forward, positive direction. Your brain begins working on answers that can provide you with a whole new host of options that the “Why” questions never gave you the opportunity to explore.

So I ask you... what do you prefer, staying stuck or moving forward?

If you would like to know more about or receive help changing the questions, thoughts, and emotions you have, send me an email at

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