How do you change your focus? … Change the question. It’s that simple.
Changing your focus is a skill you can use to improve your results in any situation. Lately, I’ve found myself helping more people change their focus.
When you’re up against a wall or life’s got you down or your facing the unexpected, you need a way to change your focus. Asking yourself the right questions is the solution. It works because thinking is just asking and answering questions. If you ask yourself better questions, you get better answers. If you want to change your focus, change the questions you ask yourself.
Why Change Focus
By changing the questions, you change your focus, which improves your results. If you just tell yourself to focus on something else, that doesn’t work. In fact, the more you tell yourself not to focus on something, the more you end up focusing on the wrong things. Instead, you can put your brain into a fully resourceful state, simply by asking the right questions. Your brain is great at solving problems, but you need to ask the right way. You’ll also find that as you improve the questions you ask yourself, you’ll improve your energy.
How To Change Focus
Here’s some quick points to guide you:
- Ask questions over making statements. Don’t tell yourself what to focus on. Ask. For example, instead of, "don’t focus on the layoffs," ask, "what’s the next best thing I can do?" See Don’t Tell … Ask.
- Ask how questions over why questions. Don’t ask "why questions." For example, don’t ask yourself "why am I always late?" … ask yourself, "how can I be on time from now on?" See Choose How Questions Over Why Questions.
- Focus on What You Want. When you ski, the lesson is don’t look at the trees. When you kayak, the lesson is don’t look at the rocks. When you walk the tight rope, the lesson is don’t look down … look to where you wan to go. It’s the same idea here. See Solution Focused Questions.
- Focus on the future. The past is about blame or justification. The present is about values. The future is about opportunity. For example, ask yourself, "how can I make the most of this situation?" or "what’s my next best move?" See Shift Tense to Resolve Conflict and Step Into Your Future.
- If it’s not working, change the questions. Little tweaks to your questions produce amazing results. For example, what do you want to do is an entirely different question than what do you want to accomplish. One can get you stuck, the other can get you out. See The Change Frame.
- Use questions to change your emotions. Which feels better … asking you about your worst part of your day? … or asking you about the favorite part of your day? See Your Thoughts Create Your Feelings.
Example Questions to Change Focus
Here is a starter set of questions to help you change your focus and make the most of what you’ve got:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- What’s my next best move?
- How can I make the most of this situation?
- How can I solve this? If I knew how to solve this, what might I do?
- Who can I learn from?
- Who can I team up with?
- What’s unique that I can bring to the table?
- What’s the ideal solution? What’s the minimum solution?
- What would good look like?
- What can I learn from this?
As you can see, simply adding a few new questions changes your game.
You Might Also Like
- Asking Better Questions
- Precision Model for Avoiding Language Pitfalls
- Outcome Questions
- Solution-Focused Questions
- Don’t Tell … Ask
- Cutting Questions
Photo by margolove.