I wrote a blog post the other day called “Answer The Question.” It was a piece about self inquiry. I followed my own advice and answered a question. The answer I got to my dilemma came in one word – “Ask.”
That seems like a simple enough directive and I knew the answer I received was on point. So now I had my solution and all I had to do was act on it. But asking brought up another dilemma – Fear.
Fear is the culprit as to why we don’t ask. We don’t ask because we fear the answer.
The answer is going to be the same whether we ask or not, but we fear hearing that answer so much that we don’t ask. (Think of a junior high school boy not asking the girl he wants to dance with).
Letting the question go unasked keeps the fear of the answer in place. As long as you have the question, you will have the fear of the answer.
The fear lurks as long as you pretend you know what the answer is and leave the question unasked.
The answer may very well be the one you fear hearing, but by asking, it’s no longer a perpetually painful ping-pong match in your mind. Getting a real answer delivers a clear cut reality that’s much easier to respond to.
Asking is an antidote to fear. Once you know the answer, the thing that you feared may have very well come upon you, but now you have the best chance of having an exit strategy for a long standing fear.
It’s really a choice. Do you want to live with the darkness of the fear forever or do you want to bring it out into the light of day and give it an opportunity to go away?
You can ask anything of anybody, but as long as you have a preference in what the answer needs to be, you will most likely not ask the question.
So here is the conundrum in a nutshell: We don’t ask because we fear the answer and we keep the fear in place by not asking.
Not asking keeps our illusion alive, as well as the fear that accompanies it.
Unasked questions are the breeding ground for false hope and fear. Both keep you paralyzed.
Get in the habit of asking. Start small and gather some experience and then move to the next level. What you’re really doing is inviting in the feeling of fear rather than keeping it in the front yard. From this close up vantage point, it’s not as menacing as what we imagine it to be when we keep it at arm’s length.
And in case it hasn’t become apparent yet, asking is also the only way to get the answer you do want.
All the best,
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