The quality of your questions determines the quality of your life- Tony Robbins
You, and only you, have the power to design your life and business. By asking yourself the right questions, and asking them in the right way, you choose how you perceive life, and how life perceives you.
How to ask yourself the right questions
Start by focusing on your primary question, that one question that’s often on your mind before you go to bed every night and first thing in the morning. It’s the question that pops up again and again throughout your day without you consciously thinking of it. If something goes wrong it pops up, if something goes right … there it is again.
I ask myself my primary question regularly. Doing so allows me to design my life and business the way I choose – from a place of abundance and gratitude. So, my primary question is …
1. How can this be better?
I’m always looking to improve not only my life and business, but also many other things in the world. When I see something I wish to improve I ask myself what I can do about it. If there is something to be done then I take action. And if not, I let it go.
Although my primary question has served me well and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. It’s also somewhat of a double-edged sword. Constantly seeking things to improve can become tiring. But, in my eyes, it’s worth it.
Knowing that I have a primary question that both challenges me and drives my growth is a big positive.
2. What can I be grateful for?
Starting and ending your day with gratitude works wonders.
According to a recent study, a one-time act of gratitude produces an immediate 10% increase in happiness. And, it reduces symptoms of depression by 35%. Asking yourself what you’re grateful for counts as a one-time act. So, by asking yourself this question every day you actually increase your happiness.
3. Why not me?
This is a great question to ask yourself when you have big dreams but doubt you can make them happen.
In 2016 I saw my dream penthouse for the first time. I drove past it daily and thought to myself… “Wow, it would be so nice to live in one of those”.
Unfortunately, my lizard brain told me to look away because a lifestyle like that belongs to “other people”. Instead of coming from a place of abundance and gratitude, my scarcity mindset was holding me back. Until I asked myself: “Why not me?”
Turns out it was the right question to ask because I am now the owner of my dream penthouse.
4. What if?
If you're hesitating to take action, this is a good place to get things going.
In 2003, asking myself this question compelled me to make a phone call that changed my life.
When the company I was working for was sold, I had a crazy idea. What if I became the CEO of the incoming company? I didn’t have the experience but I knew I was up to the job. I couldn’t get the “what if” question out of my mind. And this eventually led me to call up the new owner of the company.
Fortunately, this call ended with me getting the job.
The importance of asking “what if?” doesn’t depend on whether you actually accomplish what you set out to achieve. The power is in asking the question, of putting yourself out there and of challenging yourself.
Even if I would not have gotten the position at that company, I would have gotten a CEO job eventually. How? By asking myself the next question …
5. How can I make this happen?
If you've been telling yourself that you don’t have the time, money or skills to do something – this question is for you.
This question comes to my mind when I think of people who hold back on investing in themselves. They make excuses rather than prioritising what it is they want to do. If you are one of these people then this question will help you to step away from making excuses.
Asking yourself how you can make your dreams happen will empower you to start prioritising and investing in yourself.
6. What’s the story I want to share?
You can create the story of your future. How?
By imagining yourself in the future looking back and sharing, writing, and communicating your story. By doing this you’re manifesting your story, it’s like a vision exercise and this goes into your subconscious mind.
Publicly sharing your story also helps you to commit. I have announced many things in my years as an entrepreneur. And, although not all of them have come through, the process of sharing my announcement helped me to commit.
7. What’s most important right now?
This is a great question to ask when you feel overwhelmed.
My sister asked me this one morning in 2003 when I entered the office where we both worked. That morning, I had broken up with my boyfriend of 8 years. He’d been cheating for half of our relationship and I had arrived at work to face my sister in a fog-like state of astonishment. Her words of wisdom helped me ask the right question. They helped me to focus on the important things right now, and to delegate or do the other tasks later.
8. Who do I need?
This question is so powerful a whole book has been written about it.
Ask yourself this question when you want to do something but are unsure where to start. This is a much better question than “How do I do this?”. According to Dan Sullivan, author of Who Not How, beginning a question with “how” is the wrong way to embark on something you’ve never done before.
“Who” is a much better starting point.
9. Who do I want to be?
If you're seeking big change in your life and business then ask yourself “Who do I want to be?”
In a way, asking myself this question led to me being invited to speak at TEDx in 2015. This was a huge honour and is a story in itself.
A few more questions to ask yourself
There are many more questions you can ask yourself. Some you want to ask on a daily basis, others are great for reflection or brainstorming. The key is to ask yourself empowering questions.
Here are a few more ideas to get you started:
- How can this feel lighter?
- How can this be easier?
- Who can help me get there?
- How can I work less but earn more?
- How can I create a business with ease?
- Who has already achieved what I want to achieve?
- How to find the right questions to ask yourself
This post is also available on The Sigrun Show podcast:
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