I learned years ago, both in life and especially in my work as a professional coach, that the quality of our answers depends on the quality of our questions.
So it’s a bit embarrassing to admit that toward the end of 2021, I wasn’t asking myself very high-quality questions.
I had an area where I was experiencing repeated challenges. Without even realizing it, every time the challenge appeared or reappeared, the questions in my mind sounded like:
Why is this always so difficult?
How am I supposed to figure this out?
Why doesn’t this ever work?
As you might guess, I didn’t make much headway.
With the new year, I looked closely at what was working in my life as well as what was not working. That’s when I noticed these unhelpful questions. It’s also when I committed to flipping them around.
Why is this always so difficult? became What would make this easier?
How am I supposed to figure this out? became Who could help me figure this out?
Why doesn’t this ever work? became What aspect of this does work, and how can I build on that?
I didn’t magically solve the challenge overnight. I did, however, shift my mindset around it, decreased the ‘heaviness’ of it, and began seeing improvement. It’s better today than it was a month ago, that’s for sure!
What questions are you asking yourself these days?
If they’re keeping you stuck, consider flipping them around like I did with mine.
You might even write out your new ‘replacement’ questions so you can refer to them when needed.
Nearly anything can become a habit – even the questions we ask ourselves. If you’re noticing lower-quality answers in your life, start by looking at the questions. Maybe a good flip will do the trick!
Christi Hegstad, PhD, PCC, is the Practical + Purposeful Coach for Achievers! Join our email community for coaching tips, book recommendations, and more!