The Power of Inquiry
Here are more ways you can use self-questioning to break through limiting thoughts and behaviors:
1. See the patterns: Often the situations we find most emotionally charged and vexing are those rooted in the patterns of our past. In moments of discomfort, psychologist and author Gay Hendricks suggests paying attention to our bodies, and simply asking, “How is this feeling familiar?” “How is this like things that have happened before?” Recognizing that your current reaction has more to do with the past than the present can be liberating.
2. Ask early and often. Certain questions are more effective at certain times of day, says coach and author Debbie Ford. In the morning, Ford asks herself, “What am I going to do today to have an incredible day?” Then at each new fork in the road, she can ask, “Will this propel me into the future of having an incredible day or will it keep me stuck in a pattern of my past?”
3. Face the Facts. Hendricks has an acronym for good questions in tough situations. Just remember “FACT”: (F) What am I not facing? (A) What am I refusing to accept? (C) If I could choose any outcome, what would it be? and (T) What action do I need to take? Those four questions cover a wide range of “stuck” situations.
Andi McDaniel is a freelance writer in San Francisco.