When you learn how to ask yourself the right questions, you immediately become empowered, and more in touch with yourself and the world around you. This is not an easy thing to learn or do, so here are five questions to get you started.
1. What did you used to be good at?
Revisiting things that you did as a child or teenager can inspire you, strengthen your brain, and even relieve depression and anxiety. If you played a little guitar back in the day, pick it up again. Did you like to paint, but don’t want to go out and buy the art supplies you need to become the next Rembrandt? Try an adult coloring book. It’s fun and a little meditative. This is not about getting in touch with your inner child; it’s about relearning what made you great and using that energy to be great again—at anything.
2. What is the step you are avoiding?
Any success, even on an interpersonal level, requires some risk. If you are avoiding taking that next step, calling it “procrastination” is self-defeating, or just an excuse for what can be seen as a simple flaw. The real truth is that you may be too scared to move. That’s human—and it can also be changed. Once you realize what you are afraid of, you can say, “Damn the torpedoes,” and put yourself out there where you belong. That’s better than never having tried, and if you try once, you can do it again.
3. Where did you go right?
In some situations, and with some people, it can be hard to see what you did well when things didn’t go the way you planned. For example, if a relationship ended, you may only see all the things you did wrong. While it’s wise to review those actions, it’s also good not to focus too hard on them. Make yourself see the actions you took that were good for you and the person you loved. This can be tough to do, especially when a loss is new, but it is important to your healing and your growth. You will choose more wisely the next time.
4. What changes should you make?
While we all know what we have to do to be healthier (I should be writing this on a treadmill), figuring out what will make us happier is more complicated. But there are steps you can take. These usually involve changing in some way. It helps to learn to embrace change, but that being said, you need to feel the fear and do it anyway. Change is the only constant in the universe, so rather than wait for it to happen to you, be proactive and do what you need to do.
5. What can you do to help?
Being involved is a great healer for you and those whose lives you touch with your time, talent, or treasure. Locally or globally, if you lend your influence and energy to things that improve the well-being of humankind, you will feel better and increase your sense of self-worth.
Learning to ask yourself real questions is one of the best ways to keep your life on track, your goals in perspective, and your heart from being broken. It’s amazing how things clear up when you get real with yourself.