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If you can’t find the answers, maybe you’re asking the wrong questions

can't find the answersDo you feel stuck in a rut? Are you trapped in a situation you seem to have no control over? Do you sometimes feel you’re going around in circles and ending up in the same place? If you can’t find the answers, you may be asking the wrong questions. Pay attention to the questions you ask yourself

We all have a little voice inside our head that acts as a running commentary of our lives. Most of the time we are barely aware of it, but this internal dialogue has a powerful influence on our mindset and our reality. Our actions tend to reflect our thoughts. Thoughts in the form of questions are especially powerful, so it may pay to have a look at what you are asking yourself in times of despondency or frustration. Are your questions helping or hindering you? Do they lead to positive action that will lead you out of your despair, or down a blind alley from which you can see no escape?

Write down examples of some of the questions you tend to ask yourself. Look at the first word of the question. Is it “why”? More often than not, “why” questions tend to be meaningless, or even destructive. For example: Why can’t I be happy? Why does this always happen to me? or Why do people treat me so badly?

Ask how and what questions

What are the answers to these questions? The truth is that you are not really looking for answers, but using these questions rhetorically to provide “comfort” and feed your self-pity. These questions don’t lead you anywhere, but are very good at keeping you in your negative state of mind.
Get into the habit of turning these destructive questions into constructive ones that actually provide you with possible solutions. Questions that begin with “how” or “what” tend to lead to you taking positive action to change your situation. For example:
How can I be happy?
What do I need to do to make sure this doesn’t happen to me again?
How can I improve my relationships with others?

You can see that by turning the “why” questions into “how” and “what” questions, you automatically start thinking about possible actions you can take to improve things.

Make asking the right questions a habit

Over time, our brain creates internal dialogue habits that may be hard to break. This is your mindset, or attitude. So if you tend to have a negative and self-pitying mindset, you need to consciously monitor your thoughts for a while, and get into a new habit of turning your bad questions into good ones. This can be a very difficult thing to do, but if you persevere, soon it will become second nature, and just a part of who you are. Life coaching and cognitive behavioural coaching can help you to cement these new habits into your thinking.

You will discover opportunities you didn’t know existed, goals you didn’t think you could reach, and a more positive and optimistic outlook on life.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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