There’s a Question Monster out there..dun dun dun.
And he definitely got me a few years back.
If you downloaded my social anxiety action plan, you know that I have a whole section dedicated to getting over my fear of asking a question. In my blog post, I talk about how I conjured up a monster and dubbed it “The Question Monster” because of how frequently my fear presented itself.
Unfortunately, this Question Monster still appears occasionally and makes me doubt myself if I deem that the audience is too intellectual in nature.
It’s been a real battle, but I finally figured out what it takes to make sure it doesn’t appear as much anymore. The solution stemmed from the realization that I was losing out on so much knowledge by sitting quietly in a corner, hoping that someone else would ask my question.
Here are 3 things to remember if the Question Monster pays you a visit:
1. If you have a question, chances are someone else has the same one.
The main reason I was scared to ask a question is that I didn’t want to sound stupid. I didn’t want to hear the snickers and the whispers behind my back. I had high expectations of myself, and I wanted to preserve the image I had of being an intellectual at all costs. I failed to look at it the other way around. I should have said, “Hey, I’m a smart girl, and if I don’t understand this, then there are other people in the room that probably don’t either”.
2. There are 295 exabytes of information floating around.
Do you really expect to know everything? Think about the enormous amount of information circling all around us! In fact, I’ll need to live about 100 lifetimes to touch every piece of data, and even then, it won’t mean I’ll understand all of it.
3. No one will remember what you asked.
But you sure will remember what was answered. Quick, can you remember a question someone asked the teacher in the 10th grade? Other than “didn’t Al Gore invent the internet?”. Because here’s the thing, you probably don’t care enough to remember, unless you had the same question. Most people are too self-involved with their own thoughts to pay attention to what’s going on around them.
So please, do yourself a favor, ignore the Question Monster and ask your question.
Do it for your present self, but do it especially for your future self, because one day you’ll browse through your brain’s memory tabs and pull that information out. And it’ll change the course of your life.