Questions are an essential part of everyday life – we each ask dozens of them. “How are you?” “Is this seat taken?” “How can I help?” “Would you like to meet up to discuss this further?” Most of the time, these questions are directed at other people – but there’s a certain power in directing questions at yourself. Questioning your journey, your progress and your goals can help you develop a better sense of who you are, where you’re heading and how to get there. Questions can unlock thoughts you never realised you had, or empower you to take action.
Figuring out the wrong questions
It was Albert Einstein who once said, “The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd.” This sums it up perfectly. If you’re happy to move along with the crowd, you’ll never progress further than them – the crowd will hold you back. If you have big dreams that you want to achieve, break free of the crowd and dare to be different!
Your dreams will make you happy
In order to establish what the right questions are, we’re going to take a look at the wrong questions. These are the type of rhetorical questions we ask ourselves regularly, that don’t seem to get us anywhere. You may recognise some of them:
What’s wrong with me?
Why am I not getting anywhere?
Why can’t I pay these bills?
The little voice in your head might pipe up with one of these questions every so often, and it can be damaging for your confidence. These questions won’t lead you anywhere, except down into a pit of self-doubt and low self-esteem. By changing the questions you’re asking yourself, you can change your mindset entirely.
The best type of questions to ask yourself
The best questions you could ever ask yourself are the ones that lay down the gauntlet – they challenge you to think hard and make changes. So instead of asking, ‘Why am I not getting anywhere?’ you could ask yourself, ‘What changes do I need to make to facilitate progress in my career or my personal life?’. Instead of asking ‘Why me?’, ask yourself, ‘Why not me?’. For many of us, questioning ourselves is totally natural – almost like instinct. But instead of letting instinct take over, it’s important to become conscious of the questions you’re posing to yourself. If you feel like a question is self-defeating and not leading you anywhere, think about how you could make it better. Break the cycle of rhetorical questions and pointless answers, and use questions to change your thinking entirely.
Turning questions into affirmations
You can also transform harmful questions into powerful affirmations that spur you on. ‘Why can’t I pay these bills?’ is a question that might make you feel shame, guilt and anxiety. Instead, ask yourself, ‘How amazing would it feel if I could pay these bills without any pressure or worry?’ Flipping the question like this can give yourself a real boost and help inspire you towards meeting your goals, whatever they may be.
Questions are valuable
To sum up, asking yourself questions is an incredibly valuable way to grow and develop – but only if you’re asking yourself the right questions. Banish those unhelpful musings and allow your questioning ability to empower you!
“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.”
Stay Hungry, YOR team
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