Two Questions to Ask Yourself When You are Struggling
When you are struggling in your homeschooling or life in general, it might help to ask yourself two big questions.
What is the real challenge here for you?
In Micheal Bungay Stanier’s book The Coaching Habit (affiliate), he has some great questions that he designed to improve your management and leadership skills, but they are also great for improving the quality of your life in general. One of those is, “What is the real challenge here, for you?”
Not the first challenge that comes to mind, the real challenge. Not the challenge that someone else might be having with your situation, YOUR problem with it.
A way to help figure that out is what I call the continual why. Channel your inner 3-year-old and ask yourself, “Why?” Then ask yourself “Why?” again regarding that answer.
They key here is to continue digging down with the Why? question. In this way, you can uncover troubles or values you may not have thought of initially. Caveat — you must be completely honest with yourself. Self knowledge is power, here. For example:
Why am I using this boxed curriculum I’m not thrilled with?
Because I’m afraid of gaps in my children’s education.
Why am I afraid of gaps in my children’s education?
I don’t know…because it’s not fair to them. I want the absolute best for them.
Why? The so-called absolute best seems to be boring them and hurting you. So, why? What is driving this?
Honestly, I don’t want them to end up like I did, graduating not knowing much of anything.
(Just FYI these aren’t my real answers, just an example.)
Keep going until you’ve either hit an impenetrable “I don’t really know!” or figured out what is really happening in your mind with this situation. If you hit the “I don’t know,” that is the time to stop and figure it out.
It may take ten WHYs, or you may get to the heart of the matter for you in one WHY. When you know the heart of this issue, you can deal with it more effectively.
If you’re saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?
If you are struggling, there must be things in your life you are not happy about. By keeping those things in your life, you are essentially saying “yes” to them. (I understand some things really are 100% out of your control, but let’s talk about all the rest of it).
Since we only have so much available time and energy we need to make our choices wisely. As HSPs if we are not careful we will get worn out, more quickly even than the average person, so it is imperative to say yes to the right things.
We’re not using this technique so that we can chase the next shiny thing. We want to be saying yes to the most beneficial things for us and our families. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say us FIRST, and our children second. As we go, so goes the family.
So think about what you are doing daily, monthly, yearly – what you are saying yes to -and what that means you are saying no to. You may find you are saying no to something you actually value more highly than what you are currently doing. You may find that your life has changed so much since initially saying yes to something that your values have changed and you are no longer in alignment.
It may be time to reconfigure.
When you are living true to your whys and true to your heart, things fall together more effectively. I’m not saying it will be easy, but there will be a knowledge of your underlying truth, carrying you through the hard parts.