OK, maybe it’s just me, but I do it all the time. “What makes you think you’re so special?” “Am I making a huge mistake?” “What if it doesn’t work?”
It’s odd how taking a warning and converting it into a question concentrates its destructive power and wraps it in some sort of Teflon shell. If the pesky monkey mind came out and directly said “this will never work” I would come up with 20 reasons why it probably will plus a few reasons why it would be fun even if it doesn’t. But whispered as a question, suddenly I am cut off at the knees. The only “correct” answer to this question is “ohmyGodohmyGodohmyGod.” I don’t even need to answer the question because I just know ! And what I know is so scary that I can’t even put it into words for fear that merely thinking the words will cause the sky to melt.
It turns out, though, that when you take dishonest questions and turn them into honest ones, they are stripped of their destructive quality, yet something of the power remains. “What if it doesn’t work?” suddenly becomes something like this:
Inner voice: [said in the comforting voice of the dad from Leave it To Beaver] “So, have you thought about what you might do if this part doesn’t go the way you planned?”
You: “What, you mean this one little thing that I’m currently working on… well, I guess I would re-group and try something else. In fact, I could probably do that right now to improve the chances of this being successful. Thanks.”
So, I really recommend developing the skill of turning debilitating, dishonest questions into real, honest questions. It’s not hard, really. The trick is to catch yourself in the act of asking yourself a dishonest question. You’ll be able to tell because the answer will probably be “ohmyGodohmyGodohmyGod” or some variant of that.