Famous for his tea-making proclivity to the Wikivorce membership, very few know that Richard Green is a published author. Richard offers Wikizine's readers a peep into his self help book 101 Empowering Questions.
Why? Why me? Why now? What are they thinking? When will it get better? …. We are naturally enquiring creatures; I’m sure our desire to find reasons is instinctive. Hard wired into our subconscious is a process that can search our knowledge to find answers whilst we get on with our daily lives. I’m sure you have personal experience of that lightbulb moment sometimes several hours after a question was asked. I’m talking about that moment when the answer just pops into your head and you weren’t even thinking about the original question. Asked the name of an actor in a film you’ve seen, hours later you remember it, asked the name of an old school friend sometime later it pops in to your head.
There are several important considerations when it comes to this natural hard wired behaviour. For instance if someone says to you angrily “Why are you so clumsy?” they aren’t expecting an answer but your subconscious (and probably theirs) is off looking for answers anyway. Your external behaviour reflects this deeper thinking and embedded in the question is an assumed behaviour “you’re clumsy”. If you actually believe you’re clumsy your behaviour will reflect this belief, personally I feel it would be better to believe I have great dexterity. So when asked “why are you so clumsy?” I would counter this subconsciously with “How much more coordinated can I be?” This question contains 2 assumptions: 1) I’m coordinated and 2) I can get better.
Beyond what others may say to us there are the questions we ask ourselves, so “Why can’t I ….?” Do you really want your subconscious off looking for reasons you can’t do something (get over him / her, get up, sleep, stop smoking / drinking / …)? Our naturally enquiring minds will generate questions regularly, this doesn’t mean we have to sit by and let the questions pass no matter what they are. Start to challenge your own questions, turn negatively phrased questions into their opposite positively charged version. (Why do I find stopping smoking so much easier now?) Be patient – you possibly have a lot of negative programming to overcome so let your subconscious work on your questions and don’t try to consciously answer them.
The mantra or positive affirmations have their roots in many religions and have been used for positive change for millennia, embedding positive affirmations into carefully worded questions makes a powerful combination. Well worded empowering questions assume the attribute you’re looking for is true and are stated in the present tense. To improve your confidence “How much more confident can I become?”. In “101 Empowering Questions” I discuss in more detail how to create empowering questions, how to tackle your own negative self talk and how to counter negative questions from others.
Empowering questions are questions carefully worded to create powerful positive changes in your life. They are powerful because they tap into our natural desire to find answers and so easily create new empowering beliefs.
Using well worded empowering questions can be a powerful tool for change, however don’t be tempted to over do it. Too many ‘why’ questions begins to feel like an inquisition and can become overwhelming. Start to take notice of the questions you are asked on a daily basis and think about the sort of answers they are seeking, do they match with the sort of person you want to be are they promoting behaviour you find desirable. Be careful how you use questions with those you speak to “Why do you hate me?” will probably not give the desired effect, where “What DO you like about me?” will do much better.
I believe that using well worded empowering questions is a far more powerful method of self change than using affirmations alone. Asking questions in a positive and confident manner and then leaving the subconscious to work on them will reap rewards with patience. Any questions?
101 Empowering Questions by Richard A W Green, is available online from Amazon, Lulu or Waterstones, ISBN: 978-1-4092-7657-9.