The Art of Questioning Yourself Well

    March 15, 2003

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’ll just have to accept my fate”? I’ll bet you have. Did you find it an empowering thing to hear? Of course, there are several possible interpretations of the remark. It could mean that the person believes they have done everything in their power to bring about the outcome they desire. Then they are willing to accept their fate. On the other extreme, it could mean, “I have no control at all. I’ll have to take what life hands out to me.” It is the latter that saddens me. How about you?

We all ask ourselves a lot of questions, don’t we? What is the quality of the questions you ask yourself? Do you say things like, “Why me? Why does this always happen to me?” or “Why did she say that?” or “What did I do wrong?” These are not high quality questions.

High-quality questions move you forward immediately. They focus on positive direction and indicate an understanding of what’s possible. Here are a few: “How can I turn this around?” or “How can I make it work?” “How can I utilize this?” or “How can I use this to empower myself and others?” The answers to these questions increase your personal power and your power to change the world around you.

The quality of your life can relate directly to the quality of the questions you ask yourself. Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is to not stop questioning.” What kind of questions do you wrestle with? There are many ways to ask the question, “What now?”, aren’t there? It can be very positive and possibility oriented, or, it can be negative, anticipating another problem. It is often not just the words you choose but the intention behind them. Be careful. This will take some practice for those of you who know that your questioning could use a quality adjustment!

Keep a small book handy and make a note of the typical questions you ask yourself during the day. Do they move you forward or do they reinforce your sense of powerlessness? When a question shows up in your head, deliberately re-state it as a high-quality question. This habit will change your view of life quickly.

Copyright (c) Rhoberta Shaler, PhD All rights reserved worldwide.

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