Have you ever wondered, Why? We all have. I do regularly. This usually occurs when something bad has happened to us or a loved one. We want to know “why” it happened and if there was something that could have been done to prevent it. Sometimes, we fixate on the “why,” which ultimate reveals a belief that we have the power to prevent anything bad from ever happening. But we never ask “why?” when we receive a blessing.
Asking “why?” is very common for someone out of work. This question comes in the form of, “Why me?” or “Why did this happen to me?” There is even a danger here – in getting stuck in the “why”, especially if we simply don’t know or just can’t accept it. This question is on repeat in our minds. However, the problem with this is that, even if we know why, it can’t change what happened.
Asking “why?” can also limit us and our view of ourselves. In doing this, we often minimize our value, skills and abilities. We see skills and gifts in others more than we see them in ourselves. Our inner selves are seldom complimentary which can confine you to a small, tight box. Allow me to give you an example.
Let’s say you learn about a new job-opening within or in another organization. You think to yourself, that would be an awesome job. I’d love that job. Then your inner self kicks in, saying things like, why would they even consider me? or Why would they ever hire me? If your inner self talks to you like this and you listen, you will quickly talk yourself out of applying for the job at all.
We limit ourselves and our dreams. It’s as if we think, If I dream small, I have a better chance of achieving my dreams, and I won’t be disappointed. Let me challenge you to look at things differently.
Instead of asking “why?”, begin asking “why not?” When he was campaigning for the presidency in 1968, Robert Kennedy said, “Some men see things as they are and ask, ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and ask, ‘Why not?” I love that quote, because it isn’t limiting. Asking “Why not?” opens all sorts of possibilities. In changing the question, you remove the limits. In the example about a new job opportunity, if your inner self said, Hey, why not me? you’d probably apply for the job, moving closer to your heart’s desires.
In scripture we read, However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” the things God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9). God wants us to ask, “Why not?” because He has plans for us beyond what we can think and dream if we just love him.
When your inner self next says Why? change it to Why not? and move forward! Remember, you’ll miss 100% of the shots you never take.
Dale Kreienkamp is the author of How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them. He is a Human Resources executive and consultant who has experienced a personal journey of unemployment twice when both positions were eliminated in organizational restructuring. These personal experiences created a desire within him to help others impacted by unemployment through inspirational devotions. Dale is also an active volunteer at his home church and leader in his local community.