The “Five Why’s” is a powerful exercise I discovered a couple years ago (I forget from who). I’ve only used it a few times, but it digs deep – and quick.
It boils down to this: you have a problem, and you ask yourself “why?” five times, like an annoying seven year old.
As long as you’re being honest with yourself, it cuts to the chase pretty quick. You don’t have to show anyone if you don’t want to. In fact, if you attempt the exercise, I would go in expecting not to share it with anyone – it usually helps with being more honest and authentic with your responses.
At 5:10 in the morning, I had a thought cross my mind and the compulsive urge to dive into why I was constantly struggling with this mentality.
This constant “need” to process everything I do, write, say, or think in a way that can be shared online, either on Facebook, on my blog here (the irony), or to someone who inquires/discovers what I’m doing.
So, I began the Five Why’s. It went a little like this:
Question / Problem
I constantly feel the need to internally package every decision/action in a way that can be shared or published online (e.g., Facebook, Private Message, Blog, In Person).
… Why? (1)
Why do I feel the need to process everything in my mind as something that will need to be shared/explained?
I’m afraid to trust myself by not needing or seeking outside validation/approval. (I’ve done other Five Why’s and realized that this was a common theme for a lot of my issues, so tonight’s exercise got right into the nitty-gritty pretty quick.)
… Why? (2)
Why am I afraid to trust myself?
I don’t feel like I have the skillsets to fully achieve what I want to take on?
… Why? (3)
Why don’t I have the skillsets?
Because I sit around, playing video games and watching YouTube videos all day. And wait until the last minute to do personal development and introspective exercises like this.
… Why? (4)
Why do I sit around and waste my time and wait until the last minute to do important stuff?
I’m afraid to face the challenges of meeting my potential and problems my desires will inevitably bring.
… Why? (5)
Why am I afraid to face those challenges?
(The same reasons for #2 and #3 in addition to…) I don’t take enough action on a regular basis and haven’t developed true discipline.
And then I connect my “problem” to my new “answer:”
Therefor → I need to do whatever have to, to limit or eliminate distractions and addictions.
I feel the need to prepare everything in a way that should be shareable/explainable to get validation,” because I’m too distracted and not focused on just getting shit done.
If I focus my time and energy on what needs to be done (or what I WANT to achieve), then I can explain it more naturally because I’ll have done it, not spending my time worrying about getting anyone’s approval for doing it before it’s been done.