The Power of Questions
I presented a talk on the topic of money to a small group at an organisation and one of the attendees asked me a question about certain events that keep happening in his life. He asked: “Why does this keep happening to me?”
Since I like to reflect on things from a fresh perspective I took a step back a little and instead of answering the question, I looked at the quality of the question that was being asked.
Many times we are looking for answers to questions however we are asking the wrong types of questions which yield the wrong answers.
We ask ourselves questions all the time – or, you will find yourself constantly looking for an answer to a question you unconsciously asked.
The kind of question that was asked was a ‘Why’ question. ‘Why’ questions are appropriate and very powerful when they are used to reflect on the root cause of something. The problem here is that we have trained ourselves to ask why questions in most situations where we are dis-empowered and find ourselves in a victim state. A ‘why’ question can keep you stuck in the past.
We are conditioned to focus our questions on the past and what is wrong and what didn’t happen or what didn’t work.
Check with yourself. Do you find yourself asking questions (or looking for answers to questions) that focus on the past?
- Why did this happen to me?
- Why am I always late?
- Why did I do that?
- Why am I not getting attention from my spouse?
- How did this happen to me again?
Every time you ask yourself a question, your mind will look for the answer. And it finds many answers because you are telling your mind to focus your attention on that.
Take this for example: Why do I always have bad luck with money? Why do people always take advantage of me?
Your mind goes looking. The answers to those questions could be: Because I’m a nobody, I am weak, I don’t stand up for myself, I don’t know any better, I’m too nice, I didn’t learn any different, I’m useless… and so on.
Although those questions could offer some valuable information about yourself and your behaviors, they are generally not beneficial to where you want to go or the type of person you want to be.
Stay looking for answers to these questions and you may find yourself a little depressed – Low energy, frustrated, disappointed, sad, upset, inadequate, lonely… overwhelm!
You will find that the mental or emotional state you are looking for is not found in answering these types of questions.
I noticed this in my own life too that for a substantial part of my life I was looking for answers to dis-empowering questions. I realised that I was getting worse and worse and in a lower state, beating myself up all the time and not getting results. Not living the life I wanted to. I didn’t know that I could shift my state and consequently the results I was getting just by changing the questions I was answering.
As a coach I learnt about the power of asking meaningful questions and I worked with questions to shift my mental and emotional state. And guess what, it worked.
Every time I find myself in a low state, I start asking questions like:
- What do I need to do to be happy right now?
- How can I complete my work and have fun in the process?
- Who do I need to be to create success in my life?
- How can I increase my energy today?
- What am I most grateful for today?
- What do I need to do to increase my income?
- What can I do today that will leave me feeling inspired and fulfilled?
These change your focus and your attention goes to something more meaningful in your life and more toward what you want rather than what you don’t want.
Now the trick is that you actually got to do the work and look for the answers. The best is to sit and write down the answers until you experience the shift in your state of being.
I have a list of questions that I use daily to shift my state of being. Of course sometimes a more focused intervention is required questions are the best to take control of your life at the start of every day.
Let me know what you discover for yourself by using questions on a daily basis and comment below.