Questions are incredibly powerful. They spark curiosity and new ideas. They can even cause a complete mental turnaround. The right question can awaken a voice inside you that can start the process of changing your life.
That happens, because, when you ask yourself a question, your brain has to find an answer. If it cannot find an answer, it will make one up. So, the better the quality of the questions that you ask yourself, the better the answers will be, and, consequently, you’ll get better results too.
Here is a list of 10 powerful questions that you absolutely must ask yourself – not all at once, take time with them, and make space to contemplate each one – to get clarity and ignite change in your life.
1. What is the story I am telling myself about me?
Like everyone, you have a personal story. It’s the story you tell yourself about your life, and all the experiences that you had. This story creates your beliefs that affect how you feel, which, in turn, results in the actions that you take and the outcomes that you get. Your story is the only thing that is stopping you from getting what you truly want. Asking that question will help you become aware of the meaning that you attached to your past experiences and will shine a light on the limitations that you put on yourself.
2. What do I need to let go of?
Once you become aware of your story, you will realize that you’re holding on to a lot of baggage – limiting beliefs, emotional wounds, expectations. They are no longer serving you. And it’s time to say ‘goodbye’ to them.
3. What can I be grateful for right now?
If there is only one thing that you can do to improve your happiness, it’s to be grateful for what you already have. Don’t waste your time thinking about what’s still missing. Just bring your attention back to the present and be grateful for what’s already there. You’ll be surprised by how much you can appreciate in your life right now.
4. What are my emotions saying to me?
Emotions are neither good, nor bad, but all of them have a positive purpose. They are like street lights, either telling you to keep going – when you feel happy, excited, joyful; or to watch out, something is wrong – feelings of being disappointed, sad, frustrated; or to stop right now and change something – when you feel depressed, powerless, panicked. In that sense, emotions are a call to action so listen what they are trying to say to you.
5. Am I living true to my values?
You make choices on a daily basis. But have you ever considered how are your actions a reflection of what is truly important to you? Many people focus on what’s urgent and forget about what’s important. You need to examine your life based on the extent, to which it reflects your inner values. If you are not aligned with your values, you know you must make changes.
6. What habits are holding me back from being my best?
Nothing determines your success in life more than your habits. You spend most of your days on an autopilot. You wake up at a certain time, brush your teeth a certain way, talk about particular topics, watch certain programs etc. You are your routines (both, mental and behavioral). Do you want to make changes in your life? Start with your habits!
7. In what areas of my life am I settling?
You settle if you choose an unfulfilling relationship, a dead-end job, a mediocre salary – basically, anything that is below of what you know you deserve. Investigate where you are settling and decide to raise your standards in those areas.
8. What gifts have my failures given me?
So, you failed. And, instead of moving on, you keep thinking about the fact that you didn’t achieve the desired outcome, and that’s stopping you from taking more risks and actions. You need to remember that in every failure, there is a gift – a lesson that can help you move forward and get what you want. What is that gift?
9. What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
Fear is one of the driving forces in our lives. It warns you about an upcoming threat. However, this often extends to situations where your life is not in any danger at all. It’s the ego that’s threatened when you try to do something that you really want but you haven’t done that before, or you did that in the past, but the result did not match your expectations. You see fear as something negative, when, in fact, fear has a positive message – it tells you that if you’re afraid of something, you must do it. That’s the only way to make progress on your personal development. You don’t grow by staying in your comfort zone. You grow by stretching and taking risks. When fear is too paralyzing, it’s good to imagine a scenario where it doesn’t exist. And you do that, by asking a right question.
10. What legacy do I want to leave behind?
Thinking about your legacy can really help you examine your life, and see how it aligns with what is important to you. When you know what it is that you’d like to leave behind when you’re gone, you’ll have a clear purpose – a direction in which you want to go, and you’ll be able to make better decisions along the way.