asking better questions
Asking the wrong type of questions is an invite for your inner critic to show up.
I do not know about you, but I have often fallen into the trap of asking myself the wrong type of questions.
Questions that will tend to get a negative answer. I am thinking of questions like:
Why does this always happen to me?
Why can I not stick to this diet?
Why am I no good at this?
Why am I always late?
Why are the traffic lights always red for me?
Why can I not learn this?
Why is life so difficult?
Exercise 1: Have you got some examples of disempowering questions like those mentioned? Get them out in the open and write them down.
Notice something similar in all the example questions?
They all begin with Why? How about asking more empowering questions like:
How can I make sure this does not happen again?
What can I do to make sure this does not happen again?
How could I make this diet easier?
What could I change about myself or the diet to make it successful?
How could I get better at this?
What would I need to do to improve this?
What could I learn from this?
How can I learn from this?
What can I do to make sure I am never late?
How could I make sure I am not late next time?
What time do I need to set off, to give myself plenty of time, in case I run into some red lights?
What could I do to break this learning down into smaller chunks so that I can digest it easily?
How can I make my life easier?
What things can I do to make my life easier?
In the more empowering questions, you should focus more on what and how type questions.
Ask your brain a question, and it will quickly look to find an answer. Asking questions like ‘why am I no good at this?’ will usually end up with instant negative responses, such as ‘because you are useless’. Ask a disempowering question, and your brain can quickly fire back a stock disempowering answer. Asking yourself a disempowering question assumes that there is a problem which can not be solved, that you are the root of the problem and that there is only one way to solve the problem. You have put yourself into a negative, unproductive state.
However, asking a more empowering question puts your brain into a more in-depth problem-solving mode enabling you to find a solution instead of a negative stock answer. This way, your mind can search for solutions to the problem in ways you may not have thought of before. Let your brain be creative. Your mind is unique and outstanding at finding answers to your questions.
Asking empowering questions means you are taking back control of the direction you want to go in life rather than letting life’s bumpy path dictate to you where to go. Thereby serving you better and moving you forward in your life.
Ask a question which needs a solution such as How can I, or What could I do to and your brain goes into a problem-solving state. When in a problem-solving mode, your mind will try to come up with a great answer to solve your problem. Unlike a disempowering stock answer, you may have to wait a little longer for the answer to arrive. Still, it will be a solution or something to help you move toward a solution rather than just a throwaway negative answer.
Look at the questions you wrote down in Exercise 1. How could you change them to make them more empowering questions, like the what and how questions?
Every time you catch yourself asking a disempowering question, stop, and think how can I make this an empowering question instead? Keep doing this, and it will become second nature to you in no time.
Like everything, this will take some time and practice. But listen out for the whys or that emotion that makes you feel unsure, doubtful or fearful. If you have such a feeling, try to think what prompted it and flip it around to a more empowering question or statement.
A great quote about questions:
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”
Let’s face it life is a journey and a bumpy one at that. Things do not always go your way, and that is part and parcel of life. When things do not go as planned for me, one of my favourite questions I like to ask myself is: What can I learn from this? Then if the same situation occurs in the future, I have a better solution to handle it.
This is an excerpt from my book: TAME YOUR INNER CRITIC, which is available on the link below:
Direct from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08NJXYC2L/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_.fEZFbGJPX3P4
Join my Facebook Group here: www.facebook.com/groups/themindsetguy/
Connect to me on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mg-performance-coaching/