If you want different answers you might need to ask different questions!

If you want different answers you might need to ask different questions!

Just the other week, following the delivery of a workshop, one of the participants thanked me and especially expressed gratitude for me having asked her (and the others) some poignant questions. 

As a therapist and a coach, this is possibly one of the greatest compliments I can receive. 

Because I see my skill in not necessarily having all the answers, but in asking good questions. 

Asking the right questions encourages us to think differently about things; and thinking differently is at the heart of most therapies and approaches to behaviour change. 

So in short, if you want something different (e.g. less distress and/or more happiness) then you need to ask different questions…of yourself and maybe even of others around you. 

Happiness can be ours…but often it requires a different outlook on or approach to life. This great article poses some great questions we could all benefit from asking ourselves…

by Jen Louden from MindBodyGreen

Questions are one of the most powerful forces on earth. Look at any creation and you'll find a question—or more likely a whole bunch—behind it. From moving a mountain to going to Mars, from experiencing enlightenment to finding a cure for polio, questions form the path to creation. It's how humans innovate and change.

This is because our brains love questions: it's how we learn, forge new associations, and wire new neural connections. Now look at the creation of your life—how is it being shaped by the questions you ask? What questions are you consistently, perhaps repetitively, asking of yourself? Consider that these questions are shaping your brain, your habits, your actions, and, subsequently, your life.

Are they questions like:

  • What would I love to do next?

  • How can I get started today?

  • What is the next simplest thing to do?

  • What might I try next?

  • What am I most committed to?

Or do your questions sounds more like:

  • How do I know I'm doing enough?

  • What will people think?

  • Am I good enough?

  • Why bother?

  • What could I say that hasn't already been said?

  • Why is this so hard?

  • Why does nothing ever go my way?

Are your questions pretending to be helpful while actually undermining you, as in: What if I succeed and that changes everything? or Why aren't I doing more? or Why do I waste so much time?

These types of questions limit our imagination, causing us to settle for less than we really want without our knowing that more is possible. They reinforce our negativity bias by focusing on what's wrong or could go wrong. They undermine our sense of creative agency, the truth that we always get to choose how we respond to life.

Most tragically, they isolate us through shame, convincing us we need to hide who we are from everyone, especially the people closest to us. We all ask unhelpful questions of ourselves. With a little bit of brain training, we can swap out our draining questions for more generative ones. Think a combo of Buddha and Picasso: mindful and creative, compassionate and disruptive.

Here's how…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE