Working With Empowering Questions

Living authentically is not the easiest thing to do. It took time for me to have the courage to be me! On the positive, I can be creative, easy-going, compassionate, and supportive. On the negative I can be bossy, cranky, brutally honest, and impatient. Yes we all have positive and negative traits. But, to protect myself and others from my darker side, I have learned the art of self awareness; identifying the behaviors and triggers that push me over the edge.

When I find myself swimming in negativity, I literally have a conversation with myself. It usually takes form in a series of questions and answers that I write in a journal. The goal is to quickly find a solution for eliminating the behavior that is causing the negativity. However instead of focusing on eliminating a problem, I focus on a new behavior that will give me the results I want. For example, when I am feeling irritable I work on bringing more ease. I start by writing freely about the negative behavior and how it makes me feel, then I determine the feeling and the behavior that I want instead. My questions and answers are about how I can achieve my new goal. This journaling practice perfectly mirrors a technique I learned during my life coach training at the Burris Institute. To solve a problem you ask yourself what are called Empowering Questions. The purpose of the questions is NOT to ask yourself why you have a problem, but how you can fix it.
The process goes something like this:

  1. I acknowledge the behavior and all feelings attached. I write in my journal, “I’m having a difficult week; feeling cranky and irritated by the slightest thing.”
  2. I might ask myself “what do I need to do to transform this into feeling more at ease?”
  3. The answer might be “I need to release more tension and stress”
  4. The next question might be “how can I release more tension and stress?”
  5. The answer might be “do a minimum of 20 minutes of yoga in the morning every day”
  6. You keep questioning and answering until you get to what feels like the final answer.
  7. Then act on it!

If you have any questions or comments about how this works, join me for MISSION CENTRAL every Monday night from 8:00 – 8:30pm.

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