Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers.
Hello, My friends.
This week has flown by for me. I have begun the tedious process of stripping wallpaper from the office walls. The wallpaper has been painted over, making the job more difficult. I’m finding the best way is to score the paper, then use the steamer to soften the outer layer for removal, and then steaming the underneath paper layer. It’s a process, and with all processes it takes time and focus. The vision I have of the completed room is what keeps me motivated when I’m hot, tired and feeling like quitting.
Questions? I remember when I had preschool children, they were learning about the world around them. They were curious, they questioned everything and everyone. Why? Why is the sky blue? Why do we sleep at night? Why do things fall to the ground when they are dropped, Why does smoke spiral up? How does the vacuum work? Why does it hold the carpet so tight? All good questions for an inquiring mind. What happens to that curiosity as we grow up? Why do we stop asking questions? Do we stop asking questions?
I think we still ask questions, but not out loud, we have turned these questions in on ourselves. For me I quickly discovered as a young girl that asking questions got you frowned on, people got angry with you and you ended up being pushed away. As a recovering people pleaser I can see how this belief has tainted the way I ask questions and interact with people.
If you have read any of my previous blogs you will be aware that I believe that what we think influences how we feel, which is the number one motivator of what we do.
Today I want to ask you a few really important questions.
What are you thinking? Right now, What are you thinking? Capture that illusive thought, pin it down. Look at it. How is it worded? If you’re like most people, capturing your thoughts is like capturing water in a sieve, they flow right past your mind without any interference.
Until you hit a pain point. A pain point is an area in your life where you are unhappy with the result you have. It might be your weight, it might be your health, it might also be in your love relationship or the lack of one. Your pain point might be your children, or your job, or the house you currently live in or any of a hundred other irritations you want to change and improve.
When you come up against your pain point, your mind becomes active looking at where you are. Lets say your pain point is being over weight. You’ve eaten dinner and feel full. Hubby makes a cup of tea and brings out the chocolate bikkies. What does your mind do? “You don’t need that, you’ve just eaten dinner.” Listen to what you say back to yourself. “oh! a couple won’t hurt me.” Then, what does your body do, if you’re like most people you’ll reach for a bikkie or two or three? Now is the time to watch and listen to the questions that cascade through your mind. “Why do I always do that?” “Why don’t I have any self control?” “Why can’t I stop at one bikkie?” “Why does he sabotage me, he knows I shouldn’t be eating those bikkies?” and on it goes. You beat yourself up. That’s not very helpful.
How are you feeling about yourself with these questions flowing through your brain? Your brain is like a super computer. With every question you ask, it goes on the hunt to find an answer, it is looking for evidence to prove what you are saying is true. As an example, lets have a look at the thought, “Why don’t I have any self control?” Your mind is now off whirling a million miles an hour to find the reasons why you don’t have any self control, it reminds you of all the times you have let yourself down, of all the times you have felt unworthy and rejected, of the times when you have felt not good enough. Your brain is looking for the evidence to join the pity party you have created with the feeling in which you asked the question.
What if you challenged these thoughts, and reminded yourself of all the times you did show up for yourself, the times that you did follow the diet, you did the stretches, that you are loved and worthy. The feeling would change and you would feel invigorated, renewed to continue with your healthy eating plan.
Asking questions of yourself about what you are thinking helps to clarify your thoughts. Questions give information about what is going on in your brain. A good quality question is like playing a game of squash, solo. As you ask yourself a question you hit the ball against the wall, as the ball returns to your racket it comes back with a reply, you send out another good question and the ball comes back with another great answer, you continue hitting and receiving the ball until you have exhausted all possible questions or until you have found a solution.
A poorly asked question is like hitting the wall with an uneven ball, the ball will go off on unwanted tangents, or land on the floor in an unhelpful heap. A poor question is a question that doesn’t lead your brain anywhere, it creates a negative and downgrading response. It leaves you feeling belittled and despondent. An example of a poor question is “Why do I always overeat?” Unless it is asked in the safe environment of curiosity, and self love it will come back with negative and harmful responses. Which make you feel bad, and when you feel bad what do you do? You over eat and the cycle repeats itself over and over, and you inadvertently build more evidence to beat yourself up with.
How you think, has a direct impact on how you behave. When you use quality questions to give your brain direction, it will happily go to work to find solutions. Your brain is like a muscle and needs to be exercised to grow strong. Quality questions exercise your brain. A powerful question looks like, How can I lose weight and have fun doing it? What do I want to see happen in my body? Where can I go for help to solve my issue? What can I do to increase my success in losing weight? What can I do today to create the slender body I want? If I could have, be or do anything, what would I want and why?
There are 5 key questions that if you ask them of yourself multiple times a day and write down your responses, your life will improve.
- What am I thinking?
- Why am I choosing to think this?
- How does this thought feel? Where do I feel it in my body?
- What am I feeling now? (It will always be a one word emotion) eg glad, sad, mad, happy.
- What thought is causing the way I’m feeling now? (Never an external event, always a thought)
If you want more information on how to create the life you’ve always dreamed of by asking powerful questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss coaching options.
Question your questions is just the tip of the iceberg, that can change your life for ever.
This week I challenge you to investigate your thoughts, question your thoughts with the 5 key questions. Change is a thought away, your pain point is within healing range.
Until next week, create the life you want to live. Be your authentic self.
Certified Life Coach Extraordinaire