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A lot of the times we can feel as though we don’t have choices because we’re not asking ourselves the kinds of questions that lead to different perspectives, which can then evolve into changes.
Or more specifically, the questions we’ve developed a habit of asking ourselves can keep us stuck. In other words, many of us do not learn to ask questions that help move us forward… Or not asking the most effective questions is like having a combination lock and to keep using the wrong combination, even if it’s not unlocking.
The idea of asking questions alone can already be pretty challenging. Many of us have been discouraged from asking questions and may often be afraid that they will be perceived as “ignorant” or “stupid” to ask.
Learning to ask more relevant and targeted questions can be a really valuable skill in all areas of life.
Whether it’s asking questions of ourselves or others, knowing how to ask more effective questions can be the difference between getting useful answers or keeping you in the dark.
And what is the question that many of us end up asking, even if it isn’t helpful?
That question is, “Why?” As in “Why does this happen to me?”
“Why would so-and-so say that or behave that way?”
“Why do they do this to me?”
This is actually backed by research:
Research has found that that no matter how hard we might try, it’s not possible to bring our unconscious feelings and thoughts into complete and full conscious awareness.
And because there is so much not available to our conscious awareness, we end up making up answers that feel true but are actually usually very wrong.
Also, when something happens that doesn’t seem to make any logical sense to us, we can get into the trap of asking “why” questions in a loop without getting to any meaningful answers.
So what to do instead? Ask: What?
So rather than “Why did this happen?”, ask “What can I do to make this situation better?”
There is a TED video called “Increase Your Self Awareness with One Fix” and it addresses the importance of learning to ask the right questions to increase self awareness.
Ironically, the speaker (Tara Eurich) who is an Organizational Psychologist deeply goes into the whys of what makes people truly more self aware.
She also goes into more details about the research to support how much more helpful it is to ask “What?” than “Why?”.
It was great to come across this video, because it helped to support one of the most valuable life lessons I’ve had during my own personal development and work as a helping professional.
Whenever something happens when I notice that I’m thinking about it pretty consistently, I’ve learned to be aware of:
What questions am I asking myself?
What questions can I be asking myself that can move me toward a change or solution?
Seems so simple, and it would have been so helpful to have had this laid out for us during the time in our lives developmentally, when we were figuring these kinds of things out.
And it appears I’ve created myself a segue! Because this, and other similar lessons are ones I believe would have been so helpful to have learned earlier in life.
That is the basis for my upcoming podcast, Life Stuff 101. If you are interested in learning from the life lessons of my guests every week, please join me and MY (stands for Mio Yokoi 😉 Miracle Mob as we learn and grow each week!
The Life Stuff 101 podcast is coming on September 5th. But you can be one of the first to get access to the free preview episode that’s available right now. Go ahead and get your ‘behind the scenes’ episode below!