Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Q Is For Questions You Should Ask - and Answer - Yourself #AtoZChallenge

What would I do if I knew I couldn't possibly fail?
Fear of failure holds us all back. Make your list, and then choose something within the realm of the possible. Maybe you can't be President, but you can run for a spot on the school board. Too old to be an astronaut? Check into a skydiving experience. Want to change careers? Maybe there's a volunteer or intern position open in a new field so that you can get your feet wet, get a feel for whether or not it's what you want to do.

What is my single greatest fear today? What actions can I take to mitigate that fear?
Have a plan. And a back-up plan for that. Afraid of losing your job? Start networking, pulling together references, scoping out new opportunities. Afraid your manuscript will be rejected? It happens. Have a list of other places to submit. Jump on social media and commiserate with other writers. Be mentally prepared to edit or re-write entire sections of your work if you feel that it needs it. Cuddle with your dog. Just do something other than sitting around wringing your hands and dwelling on it.  Ask yourself - what's the absolute worst that could happen - and then figure out ahead of time what you will do about it.

What is one thing that I can change about myself in the next week that will bring me closer to my goals?
Bite-size is the right size. It's great to set a lofty goal - be a millionaire in ten years, lose 50 pounds, de-clutter and organize the entire house, write a novel, open a shop. But if you constantly stare at the big goal, day after day, it may begin to look too farfetched, costly, unattainable. Paralysis sets in, and that's fatal. If you don't have one major life goal, choose something each week to work on anyway.  Even if it's just eat more veggies, pack lunch everyday to save some cash, or smile at the cashier who seems harried and exhausted.

Do I like me? If not, why not?
We all have internal conversations. We all carry an image of ourselves inside of us, and often times they don't match the outside. And if you don't like you, then you may be overly reliant on other people liking you. That's not a good thing, as you probably know. Entire books have been written about it, so I'll leave you with just this one thought.

You wouldn't treat your best friends like crap. You wouldn't call them stupid, or fat, or lazy, or ugly. You wouldn't beat them up physically or mentally.  You might give them a good honest talking-to once in a while. You might even suggest ways in which they solve a problem.  YOU are your closest friend. Strive to like yourself. And if there are things that you don't like about yourself, start changing them. Your character is not set in stone. Your thought patterns are far more malleable than you know. Do your best, even though your best will change from day to day and week to week.

Is this worth reading?
Life is too short to waste time trying to finish a bad book - or blog!


  1. Love this post, Li. Oddly enough (or maybe not, Q isn't that easy of a letter) I wrote about Questions in my post today as well, but more along general lines. These are such great questions to explore on a specific basis--I plan to tackle them once the A-Z thing is behind us all. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I like these sentences in this post very much: YOU are your closest friend. Strive to like yourself.

    Lovely post.

    Aneeta from
    How to Tell a Great Story

  3. Out blog hopping from North Carolina during the #Challenge. Love finding other writers. I haven't tried flash fiction. It is FF because of the word count? I resonated with your idea that we can be as good to ourselves as we usually are to others. Visiting you on the R letter day. I have been writing about hotels and inns and today it is about a hotel in Rome, Italy that I used in a second novel. I wish I were writing to you from there tonight, but having fun with the AtoZ, nonetheless. Hope you are too. Come see me if you have time or interest. Cheers.