As far as psychologist Tasha Eurich is concerned, success has everything to do with how you see yourself, a premise she explores in her new book Insight. Brimming with strategies on how to gain clarity and a positive self-image, the book introduces what she calls the "what not why" tool. Simply put, when something goes wrong or when you've made a mistake, ask yourself "what" questions instead of "why" questions.
Let's say you've just given a disastrous client presentation at work. "You might ask yourself, if you're a well-intentioned, successful person, 'Why did I go so wrong in that meeting?' or, 'Why did I mess that up?" Eurich explained to Business Insider. "What I've found, in my research and others', is that when we ask ourselves those 'why' questions, it takes us down a spiral of self-loathing. But if we can ask the question of 'what,' that's more future-oriented. That can make all the difference in the world."
For example, instead of thinking to yourself Why did I screw that up? Why didn't I just prepare more? you can instead say What can I do differently in the future? or What can I learn from this that will help me be more successful next time? "Asking 'what' keeps us open to discovering new information about ourselves, even if that information is negative or in conflict with our existing beliefs," she concludes. In other words, it's about being able to take a negative experience and turn it into a positive one, treating yourself with compassion in the process.