Ask Jan – Coaching Tips for Easy Solutions

Q: I can’t seem to get out of my brain. I am a deep thinker and when something goes wrong in my life I just get stuck spinning around in my head, asking the same question over and over. Usually the question starts with ‘WHY’. What is going on with me?
– Thanks from Brain Stuck in Chicago

A: The image that pops to my mind is of a dog chasing its tail – forever. If you are going to be stuck in the question asking and answer finding phase, accept it. Clearly this is something that your brain does regardless of your intention not to do it. This is a common issue for cognitively-oriented people and problem-solvers who often believe that if they can just determine the cause of a situation, they can ‘fix’ it or ‘avoid’ it in the future.

You can avoid being pulled into the endless circular loop of questioning, however, by choosing what questions to ask. Instead of asking ‘why’ something occurred, ask ‘how’ and ‘what’ questions such as ‘How could I behave differently?’, ‘What is the learning experience here for me?’ and ‘How did I create the impression that this situation was acceptable to me?’ These questions create possibilities for more effective problem solving since they are directed at raising self-awareness and changing your behaviours.

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