As you go about daily life, the questions you ask yourself mentally define much of the narrative in your mind.
For instance, if we ask ourselves things like “why is this happening to me?”, “what if the worst thing happens?”, or even “why am I such an idiot?”, we can easily end up in spirals of negative thoughts and end up feeling disempowered, anxious, angry, or depressed.
But conversely, if you ask yourself better questions, you get better answers and abide in more empowering, positive and resilient states of being.
In this episode of Mentally Stronger, I explore the effects of unhelpful mental questions and how we can reframe our thoughts to ask better questions to build our mental strength.
For instance, if after a breakup from a bad relationship, you ask yourself, “how could I have been so stupid?” then your mind is going to give you a series of answers to that question. And the chances are, they’re not going to serve you very well or make you feel very good.
What kind of answers can we get from a question like that?
Maybe the mind says, “well you’re just broken from your childhood patterns. You were born stupid, you’ll always be that way, you can’t help it, you’re just a loser.”
These answers are not very helpful at all, but not surprising. Ask a bad question, you’ll get a bad answer.
However, if you ask the question, “what can I learn from this experience and how can this help me grow?”, the kind of answers you’ll get will be very different.
What kinds of answers are you going to get from asking yourself that question?
Maybe you’ll say to yourself, “one thing that could help me grow is learning to communicate better. That will improve my relationships in the future.” Or perhaps “I can learn to be more patient, forgiving or self compassionate.”
Why you want to ask yourself better questions
As you can see, asking better questions gives you an entirely different set of answers that will not only make you feel more empowered and happier, but will also lead to greater learning, self-awareness, and personal growth.
We need to start paying very careful attention to the questions we’re asking ourselves throughout the day. They control the focus of the mind and often become the foundation for a lot of our inner dialogue and the actions we take that shape our future.
One of the great teachings contained in the world’s wisdom traditions can be summed up like this: where your focus goes, energy flows, and what you focus on grows.
This is one of those ‘hidden in plain sight’ concepts that, once fully understood and applied, is capable of creating a radical shift in your state of mind and the quality of your life.
How we control the focus of the mind and where that energy goes and grows is through asking ourselves better questions.
Asking the right questions in challenging times
In the midst of challenging times, whether it’s personal challenges or collective challenges, like we’ve been going through in the last couple of years in the world, the ability to ask better questions is more important than ever.
If we ask ourselves questions, like “what if the economy tanks?”, or “what if I lose my house?”, what you focus on grows. If you focus your energy in this direction, your mind will start coming up with answers that make you feel anxious, stressed and overwhelmed.
If you ask yourself questions, like “whose fault is this? Who’s to blame?”, your mind is going to come up with a narrative wrapped around that. You’ll probably start to feel anger, hostility, and negativity, or you’ll start to feel really disempowered and out of control.
And if you start to ask questions, like “why is this happening to me? It’s not fair,” your mind is going to start to tell you stories about how you’re a victim, how you’re powerless and you’re going to start to feel disempowered, hopeless, maybe even depressed.
We can ask ourselves all manner of unhelpful questions that sap our mental strength and crush our self-esteem and make us feel disempowered.
But if we start to ask ourselves better questions, we get better answers. And we control the focus of the mind and move it in a direction of thinking empowered thoughts and taking empowered action.
Empowering questions you can ask yourself
Here are some examples of empowering questions, you can start to ask yourself to shift the focus of the mind.
- How can I make the best of the way things are right now?
- Who am I really grateful for today?
- What do I really want to create here?
- What matters most to me in this situation?
- How can I learn and grow from this?
- How can I serve during this time?
- How can I help? Who can I support today?
- What is one step I can take right now to change things for the better?
- How do I want to show up in the world today?
- Who do I want to be in this situation?
Questions like these will prime the mind to focus on tapping into your inner strength, your love, your courage. They will uplift you and bring you connection and meaning in your life.
It’s an often overlooked fact, but what we focus on mentally can literally create a heaven or hell out of whatever is happening. It can bring out the worst in you or it can bring out the best in you. What you focus on can debilitate you, or it can accelerate your personal growth.
So I invite you to begin paying very close attention to the questions that you’re asking yourself. And as an experiment, try asking yourself empowering questions like the ones I shared here or empowering questions of your own. Just see how it changes things. See how it changes the state of your mind, your emotions, and your ability to take wise action.
Try to notice any time you’re asking yourself anything that’s unhelpful, and keep changing the focus back to asking better questions, focusing on better answers, and taking empowered action.
In this way, you really take your personal power back and feel happier, more resilient, and more able to share your best self with the world.
All the best with the practice, take care and stay strong.
Thank You For Listening
I really appreciate you choosing to listen or read about mental strength with me. If you found benefit from today’s episode/post and you think others might benefit from hearing about it, go ahead and share it using the social media buttons below.
I would also be super grateful if you would consider taking a minute or two to leave an honest review and rating for the show on Apple Podcasts. They’re extremely helpful when it comes to reaching our audience and I read each and every one personally!
Finally, remember to subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts to make sure that you never miss an episode.