Questions to Ask Yourself During Challenging Times

When we are faced with challenging times, we may find ourselves pondering questions. Questions like, “why me?” “why does this always happen to me?” “how am I going to move on from this?” While it’s natural to do this, spending too much time on these questions likely won’t lead you to the path of recovery.

Questions like those are too big for you to answer. Take for example what could happen if you were to get in a car accident. It wasn’t your fault and your car was totaled. The value placed on your car is much less than the value you placed on it, so now you have a significant financial strain. The “why me?” and “how will I recover?” questions are not only universally big and far reaching, their answers may not be specific enough to help you in this moment.

So then, you may be wondering what questions WILL lead you to a healthier path and a happier resolution. Try these on for size:

  • What’s one small step I can take today that would ease my discomfort? – Sometimes no one thing is going to clear up your situation, but one small step can help a little. For example, if you’re struggling emotionally, a walk or workout can help alleviate some of your discomfort.
  • What’s one small action I can take that will lead me one step closer to a better future? – Maybe there isn’t much you can do today to change your circumstances, but what could make a small difference for your future. For example, if you’re in severe debt, could you find a small way to save or make money that will contribute a drop in the bucket of your future?
  • Who could help me in this situation? – People like helping other people. Think of others who can help or who have experienced a similar challenge.

Once you’ve answered these “Triage Questions,” you can start exploring how you got here and how you can prevent it in the future by considering these questions:

  • Is there a pattern that I’m unconsciously creating? If so, why might that be happening? – For example, some of us feel significant and important when we behave as victims. We don’t think of it this way consciously, but sometimes personal reflection will reveal this. This could relate back to childhood, or uncover a need to be cared for and paid attention to.
  • What behaviors of mine contributed to this situation? – For example, are you in yet another relationship that has you feeling resentful? Could you be holding in your feelings and not sharing your needs clearly?
  • How could I look at this situation differently? – Sometimes the situation isn’t the problem as much as our attitude around it is. How might this situation look to someone on the opposite side of it? Are there any truths to that perspective? Try to get a full 360-degree perspective on the problem.

It’s tough to truly explore questions like this when we are experiencing physical, emotional, or financial pain. This is why starting with the Triage Questions is recommended. You have to try to ease your pain in order to think more clearly. It may take days, weeks, or even months before you’re ready to explore the greater perspective questions. There’s no wrong way here. Nothing you do or discover is “wrong,” so don’t turn these exercises into an opportunity to beat yourself up. Reflect and change course as needed. Do not fault yourself for the path that led you here, just work on becoming aware and preventing a similar situation in the future.

I’m sure there are other questions that could be beneficial to ask yourself during challenging times. Share in the comments section a question you think is important.

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  1. Great post April. I completely agree with you. I probably have seemed that way in the past honestly. I tend to think that it’s up to others to see the positive things about people too. That we are all in this together. Like you for example….you’re reminding me that I can be negative. I can too, but that is less likely to happen due to the fact that I believe in myself now. People in my personal life often blame it on my health, and then I usually comment about things being due to my health too. The fact is dwelling on the negative side of life is a choice. I choose not to follow the leader anymore. The leader drives everything good out of my life…besides I am the leader. That made me feel odd. HaHaHa Ok I’ve still gotta work on that confidence. 🙂
    That’s weird though because I truly don’t have a problem on-stage, but off man!!! Although I honestly haven’t been on-stage in years.
    Anyway, great post. You’re awesome!!!

    • Angela, you are a gem!! Thanks for sharing and I can assure you, you are not alone in your experiences! Keep on working at it…you got this. (I think you’re pretty awesome, too!!) 🙂

  2. I totally agree with look at the things differently. I sometimes tend to negative if I get stress out or something bad happen to me, but it is important to get another perspective. Share it with family and loved ones may help to turning the attitude and the things around, and time will tell everything. What looks bad before may not look as bad 10 years down the road.

    • How many times has something that looked bad at the time, turned out not to be so bad after all? I can’t even count! Thanks for commenting, Erin!

  3. So many amazing situations come out of being at rock bottom, but the transition is often daunting. These questions are fabulous tools to emerge out of tough times. Thank you.

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