Pity Party + Powerful Questions

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Last week was one of those weeks where everything just felt hard. Like every single area of my life had some major challenges to iron out. I pretty much wanted to curl up in a ball. Ever feel like that? It’s easy to wallow in self pity, but I truly didn’t want to get stuck there. So, I turned to some of my most trusted coach friends and mentors for suggestions.

The commonality in all of their responses was that they asked me powerful questions. Instead of trying to talk me out of my feelings, or make assumptions about what would be best for me, they helped guide me towards my own answers.

Similarly, when I was going through life coach training, I remember being struck by how the best coaching (or self coaching) often involved nothing more than asking the right questions.

If any of you are going through it right now, and want an easy tool to help move things forward, I’m going to share my top five powerful questions to ask yourself when you feel stuck.

Try these top five powerful questions to ask yourself when you are feeling stuck.

1. Who Do You Want to Be in This Situation?

Man, I love this question. Because…choices. We have very little control over the circumstances in our lives but we always get to decide how we want to show up. This question also gets you out of victim mode and puts you right in the driver’s seat.

2. Can You Imagine Someone Else Thinking Differently About This?

This is a question that can help shift your perspective in a second. When I am feeling super dramatic about something, I like to think about how someone very calm and non-reactive (i.e my husband) would handle the exact same situation.

3. What If You Just Wanted to Be Where You Are?

Most of us are guilty of the belief that everything would be better if we were richer, thinner, more successful, etc. I love this question because it presumes that you have the option of being totally happy right where you are without anything needing to change.

4. How Do You Want to Feel About This?

Just realizing that there are many other ways to consider something, can feel like freedom. This question helps shift the focus from “this sucks” to “I have options to consider.”

5. How Might This Be Perfect for You?

OK. This one can be a provocative and challenging question, because when you are in the midst of feeling like everything is a wreck, “perfect” can feel like a pretty unrealistic leap. Try being curious. Maybe you’ll find one small answer that will help shift your perspective. Maybe the answer is that you have an opportunity to learn to be more resilient, or you can connect and empathize more with other people who are suffering. The reason I’ve included this question, is that it forces your brain to look for the silver lining in even the darkest situations.

The great news about the human brain is that it loves to seek answers to open-ended questions. Just by asking yourself new questions, you may identify new answers, new solutions, and hopefully a little relief along the way.

Image: Vivian Johnson Photography

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