„Asking the right question,
is half the answer.“
- Friedrich Nietzsche -
You may be thinking: How can a simple question influence my life? Quite a lot, I can only answer. Asking yourself the right questions is essential, if you need a new perspective or are looking for a solution. You can reevaluate any situation and find positive aspects, even if everything looks bad at the moment.
Asking the real questions
It's not only a way to put things in a different perspective, but a proven NLP technique. NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming. It's a method developed in the 70's to actively influence our consciousness with positive input. Various techniques are used today and NLP has changed more and more over time. It is very often used in addition to psychotherapy, but also in completely different areas such as selling or public speaking. It is proven and I myself can only advise everyone to do so, the more we fill our consciousness with positive thinking, the happier, more productive and more positive we are. Reading or learning about NLP is not only interesting, but has a lot of advantages.
But back to the topic. The questioning can be used to positively influence oneself. So imagine that you have a problem right now or feel down. You may not really know what to do. With the right question you can find a solution. It's like walking down a path, but suddenly there's a wall in the way. It seems as if you cannot continue your journey. But here there are exactly two possibilities.
The negative variant: Why does this thing have to be here? Why do I have to be in front of the wall now? I'm sure there's no way around it...
Or the positive variant: How can I get around the wall? Did someone else make it? If so, how?
A very simple example, but the purpose is easy to see. Negative questions get negative answers and vice versa. One must look for a solution and not exploit the problem further. If you focus on the negative, you will only get a negative echo. If you catch yourself doing so, stop right there. Ask yourself how you can improve your current situation or turn it to the better.
Robert Kiyosaki, the author of the bestseller "Rich Dad Poor Dad" says it so simply:
"Don't tell yourself: I can't afford it, but ask yourself: How can I afford it?!"
That is absolutely correct. The moment you ask yourself questions that are goal- or solution-oriented, you will positively influence your brain and your consciousness and encourage it to think constructively. So the next time you are faced with a wall or a problem, ask yourself: "How can I solve it?" Like in the example of Kiyosaki, it becomes clear how this works. You start thinking about ways, how you can afford something. But if you say, "I can't afford it", it's set down like a biblical commandment that you can never buy it. Get rid of it! By asking, "How can I afford it?" you stimulate your grey matter. You can let your imagination run wild. The question will force you to think of possible ways to finance it.
So remember and acknowledge the following:
Always ask constructive questions instead of destructive questions or statements!
You can use this in any situation. So try to integrate this into your everyday life. It will serve you well for a lifetime. Our state of mind determines our emotions. Our emotions determine what we want and what we don't want, what we feel and how we perceive things. So we should always influence them positively. You are not convinced yet? Well then, let's continue.
Influence your personality
Are you sad or depressed right now? Especially feelings of inferiority can always lead to bad mood and mood swings. Here are a few examples that you might know:
- He/She is much better than me
- I'm just bad at this
- My parents' divorce had a major impact on my life
- I don't like myself
- I feel insecure/inferior
- I do not trust others
- I'm not in control of my life.
These are really serious accusations against oneself, which people carry around with them. Everyone has to carry his own burden and in your eyes your own is probably the heaviest. But perhaps it is also the other way round. None of the above points must apply to you, maybe your childhood was simply wonderful and everything works out well for you. But there will always be a situation, where our self-confidence breaks down and no matter how good your life is going: Each of us has experienced something bad in life so far. That's just the way life is.
"The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows,"
as Silvester Stallone would say.
Some people are hit harder than others. But all of us have had negative experiences to struggle with. Consciously and partly unconsciously. With unconscious influences, we don't know why we act this way or why we feel this way. It is necessary to explore everything, to recognize the cause and to eliminate it.
First of all: If you are really struggling with such negative beliefs, I will stop you right there.
You are neither worthless nor broken. No matter what your childhood, your last partner or friendship may have been. That's in the past. It is no longer a part of you, because you live in the present and here you take control of your life.
If you want to live a happy life, do it right away. Don't wait for some moment in the future. Turn every negative statement into a positive question. I'll show you how:
- He/She is much better than me - What are my qualities? What can I do so that it no longer bothers me?
- I am just bad at this - What can I do better than others? What do I get compliments for?
- The divorce of my parents had a serious impact on my life - How can I become a better parent than my parents ever were? How can I learn from their mistakes and those of others and not repeat them?
- I do not like myself - How can I improve my appearance? Which sport would I enjoy?
- I feel insecure/inferior - How can I feel more comfortable? What is the reason for this inferiority?
- I do not trust others - How can I trust others again? Who can I trust at the moment?
- I am not in control of my life - How do I regain control? How can I manage things the way I want to?
Dealing with other people
Sometimes others have a direct influence on us with their negative talk. Let us take the example of a friend after the cinema. He asks: "The movie sucked. What did you think?" Even if you liked it, or especially if you liked it, it puts a damper on your enthusiasm. A moment ago you thought: "What a great film, that was really nice" and now you're almost forced to say: "Oh, I actually thought it was quite good". But then your euphoria will have evaporated. Of course you shouldn't start arguing about whose opinion is the right one. Everyone is allowed to have their own and everyone should respect that.
It is important to simply ignore such questions, or even better: to ask a constructive question. "I really liked the movie. There must have been something you liked about it. What was it?"
Take a healthy measure of pride. No one has the right to fill you up with negativity. Just don't let others have a negative influence on you. Turn it into a good one.
Always the same comments from others, e.g. your partner or parents, which drive you nuts in no time, are the ones you should skillfully put away and ask yourself: "What can I do to stop being upset about this?" or "How can I get him/her to stop saying this?" Keep a cool head and ask yourself how you could solve the problem. In the end it's not a problem. It's a situation and you are gonna fix it.
Solution approaches and negative situations
Sometimes life ain't easy. You get nothing for free and everything depends on you. You can feel overwhelmed from time to time. If you have a lot of stress, then don't just try to hold out and charge yourself with more things. Just let things go. Sometimes less is actually more. This means that you have to prioritize. Which are the things that really matter in life. What is most important to you right now? Ask yourself: "How can I find more time for the important things and reduce the not so important things?" If you're making an investment, ask yourself: "What can I do if the profit doesn't go as expected?"
Here are a few examples how you can turn a situation into a positive one. These or similar sample questions can help you in many situation:
- How can I turn the situation around to my benefit after all?
- How can I make money again after this bankruptcy?
- How do I find a new partner?
- What do I have to change about myself so that I value myself and my self-image more?
- What have I always wanted to achieve in my life?
- What new things do I want to learn?
- What have I learned from this experience?
There is a great way to remind yourself of important things every day, which will influence your whole mood and emotional state. It is a short exercise, which takes no longer than 3-5 minutes and should be done every day. I call it the morning questions, as I include them in my morning meditation. However, you do not need to meditate for this, just be for yourself for a short time. Just find a quiet place and ask yourself the following 5 questions:
- What am I thankful for? (For example: health, work, money, friends etc.)
- What am I proud of in my life? (e.g. experiences and achievements, "I am a great partner" etc.)
- Who do I love and who loves me? (Example: No matter if it's a friendly, familial or erotic love)
- What are my long-term goals? (Ex: Things you still want to achieve)
- What are my goals today? (Ex: What do you want to do today? Read a book, do sports, learn something etc.)
The more you do it, the happier you'll be. I promise! Through these questions you bring those things up clear before your inner eye. Things which you already possess and which already fulfill you with joy. You should be grateful for what you already have, so ignore what you are missing and concentrate exclusively on things you can be grateful for. But this is quickly forgotten. Our memory can quickly be distracted from our everyday life. Through this method you can always remember the beautiful sides of your life.
It also helps you to always keep your goals in mind. You should always have long-term goals. Whether it's a book you want to read, a whole new language you want to learn, new qualifications for your career, or building a new cage for your bunny. If you want to know more about goals and how to achieve them, read the article Your Goals.
If your answers to these questions is "NOTHING! I am not grateful for anything, after all, I have been hurt a lot", then you are lying to yourself. No matter how bad you should feel, you can always look ahead. Even if you are in a wheelchair, you can be thankful that you are alive, that your family or friends are with you, and that your mind is still working sharply. You can be thankful for so many things. And being proud of your achievements is healthy. You shouldn't brag about it, it just would be arrogant. But just being happy about your own achievements is healthy pride. Think carefully and don't let your inner negative voice get the upper hand. Free yourself from your limited thinking. Read the article Acceptance to learn more about it.
I think the principle is now clear to you. You got a problem, then ask yourself a constructive question. It's a powerful technique to find a solution in hopeless situations. Sit down as often as you can and remember the 5 morning questions. Once a day is already optimal, but if you could do it a second time, it would be outstanding. Try it and be amazed. Surround yourself with positive influences, which you create yourself. Happiness comes from within. So ask yourself "How can I become happier?" and find the answers yourself. Nietzsche said: "Asking the right question, is half the answer". So ask a constructive question and you'll get an answer. If you do not know the answer, then you must be willing to learn. Books very often have answers at hand.
I hope the article was helpful for you. If so, share it, so others can benefit from it. I wish YOU the best.
- LdR -
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