“What Else Could It Mean?”

Have you ever been negatively affected by comments and remarks made by people, or after an unpleasant conversation? If what someone says something that you don’t like or hurt you in some ways, what do you do? You enact a whole scene of anger in your mind! You envision yourself getting upset; you shout at him and tell him some not so nice things. Sometimes people spend hours in such negative, destructive inner dialogues.

Sometimes, these inner dialogues bring about a snowball effect. The more we conduct them, the more we become chained to them and unable to stop them. When the emotions are also evoked, more power, energy and attachment are added. This has an adverse effect on the behavior, judgment and general well-being.

One of the useful strategies I like to use to turn things around is to ask myself this powerful question, “What else could it mean?”


"What Else Could It Mean?"

"What Else Could It Mean?"

Reframing Meanings

How things affect us is usually by the meanings we give to those things. It is not what happens to us, but what we do about what happens that determine our reality and outcome. Reframing means that you don’t have to take an event at its face value, but you can give a fresh perspective, new meanings and ultimately what you feel about the event.

By asking “What else could it mean?”, you open up options of various possible meanings that you can give to the event. Ultimately what happens inside you is the result of your inner processing and choice. You can design the outcome of the circumstance, not leaving it to the default face value.


Accepting Rejections As Blessings

For example, if your potential employer rejected you in an interview and says “You don’t fit the job”, you could immediately think “Why am I not good enough?”, or you could ask yourself the better question “What else could it mean?” And your mind can come up with alternate meanings which are more useful, like “The culture of this place probably doesn’t fit me”, “My expertise would be under appreciated in this place”, “I probably won’t be happy working with this boss anyway,” or “My experience could be better taken elsewhere”, which means that the rejection can actually be a blessing.


Turning Objections Into Opportunities

Sales people face objections all the time. By asking themselves “What else could it mean?” everytime an objection is raised, they will not dwell so much on the feeling of failure, but their mind will be actively seeking to find out the underlying issue and what the prospects are really saying and what they want, and then find the best solutions. In this way, every objection is turned into an opportunity to move closer to a win-win for everyone.

“What else could it mean?” is a better and useful question to ask when you want to give fresh meanings and unearth underlying issues to things that happen in your daily life. You become the creator and not the subject of your experiences.



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