The Power of Framing: What Questions are You Asking Yourself?

Has it ever occurred to you that how we frame of our thoughts and questions can sculpt the outcomes we experience? I am fully persuaded that the quality of our lives cannot be higher than the quality of our questions. But more important than the questions we ask is how the questions are asked. In other words, how the questions are framed.

Imagine two young men faced with extreme poverty, seeming hopelessness and with no hope of where the next meal will come from. As they contemplate their condition one of them begins to ask self, “What do I need to do to be rich?” while the other young man asks self, “Why am I poor?”

What answers are they likely to get at the realm of their thoughts based on their questions? For the first young man the answers are likely to range from: go back to school, get a better job, start a business, save money, invest; other ideas could include: become an armed robber, kidnapper, ritualist or even politician (pardon the snide). For the second young man, the answers he would get may include: it’s because you are Nigerian, if only Peter Obi had won the election, it’s your village people, it’s the dream you had last night, go for spiritual cleansing, etc.

Who amongst the two young men do you imagine would end up rich and comfortable in life? Notice the shift? The former sets the stage for actionable steps toward wealth, while the latter dwells on limitations.

Now, shift this perspective to sales targets. “What do I need to do to meet my sales target?” versus “Why am I not meeting my sales target?” The first question sets the stage for goal-oriented actions. So, what are the likely mental responses? Make more contacts, strategic prospecting, secure more appointments, compelling presentations, diligent follow-ups, when deepen customer relationships, use referrals and advocates.  This frame directs focus towards strategies, planning, and positive steps to achieve success. It’s about seizing control, embracing challenges, and navigating the path to triumph.

This second frame, while appearing to be seeking answers, can inadvertently foster a mindset of limitation. The likely mental responses are: it’s the economy, my company’s products, our pricing, we don’t advertise enough, I am not cut out for the sales role, if only I was working in XYZ company, etc. The tendency will be to dwell on obstacles which will hinder proactive problem-solving.

It’s indeed true that we have been admonished to “Ask and you shall receive.” However, it important to note that the way we frame our questions shapes our mindset, influences our actions, and ultimately determines our outcomes. Let’s challenge ourselves to embrace frames that propel us forward, foster resilience, and empower us to conquer challenges.
 How do you frame your goals and challenges? Share your thoughts! hashtag#mindsetmatters hashtag#FramingSuccess hashtag#positivethinking

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