Is it necessary is a question that has been with me for a while. I have been asking this question of myself and my clients. It was the theme of this month’s gathering, and it is this post’s focus.
We are approaching the Fall equinox and the season that ushers and celebrates change in a most spectacular way. I believe this question can be extremely useful as we try to figure out our next steps.
What prompted the question?
It all began as I was scrolling down my Twitter feed. I came across comments that people were making on a specific thread. The comments covered a range but what struck me was the lack of kindness and empathy that many people exhibited strongly.
I stopped reading and exited the thread but not before I felt the impact of their words. They entered my body and changed my emotional state.
People feel compelled to share without filter or consideration, and the effect this has on our collective is evident. Words have power, and we have to ask ourselves before we speak. Is it necessary? Is it beneficial? Who will be reading this?
In these days of cell phones and social media, our ability to pause and make thoughtful choices has become severely undermined.
As I reflected further, the question seemed to find its place in many areas of life and work.
We are constantly faced with choices, after all. Every moment presents us with a choice, and each choice can affect the way we feel about ourselves, our relationships, our days, and ultimately the unfolding of our lives.
From what to eat and what to wear, to who to be with and where to invest our time, energy, and money, choices are what it’s all about. Choices matter.
Imagine if, before making a choice, you paused and asked yourself … is this necessary? What then?
Imagine the various options and possibilities this simple question could open up.
When a new day begins, you know your attention will be pulled in every which direction.
Your thoughts will come and go, and your emotions, responses, and words will be triggered by that, which you do not always have control over.
You will often find yourself heading down a path that may not be of your choice.
How do you discern what is necessary
to think about
to talk about
to fear, to doubt
to give your heart to
to engage with, and
to let go of?
What if you took a step back before making a choice?
What if you asked yourself, is this necessary before you responded, let fear or anger overcome you, or said yes when you really would have preferred to say no?
What if you asked, is this necessary before you believed that nagging thought that keeps insisting that you are not good enough? Or, when other people’s opinions and judgments, and your own anxiety, fear, and regret continue to hold your dreams hostage?
What if you asked yourself the question while going through your belongings? Would you be able to recognize that some of that stuff does not belong with you anymore, and it’s time to let go?
What if you asked the question before you stepped forward to fix someone or something without having been invited to do so?
It does make for an exciting exercise, doesn’t it?
Go ahead then, pick up your journal and have fun with the question. See where it takes you, and come back to share your insights in the comments below if you want.
Always great thinking out loud with you!