As humans, it is often hard to disconnect from what has happened in the past and imagine a different result in the future. Our brains are like a filing cabinet, when we ask a question it goes back and pulls up all of the history where things have worked or not worked. So even reframing our questions and language can change the outcome of the “information” our brain serves up.
Instead of – What will happen if I make this career change? Try a new question – What are the opportunities that could come my way if I make this career change? Or How can a career change like this change my life?
The language we choose to use is critical when we are doing hard things and making decisions that can change our lives and ultimately our success. If we don’t change the questions that we ask ourselves, we risk allowing the past mistakes to dictate our future potential. When I was making the decision to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, I could have asked myself – What could happen if I climb the mountain? Or, what if I do all of this work, spend all of this time and don’t make it to the top? Neither of those questions was ever going to give me the confidence to climb the mountain. I was very conscious about the questions I came up with about the journey both before I went and during the climb as well. I remember in the hardest moments of the summit, being really focused on my thoughts and my mindset. I told myself over 100 times on the climb that “my body can do this, my body is an amazing machine”.
I believe that when we ask degrees of strength questions of ourselves and others, magic happens. Here’s a few of the things you can expect when you ask better questions.
- You realize your power. When you ask powerful questions, you get powerful answers. When you ask yourself questions that are positive and build strength, you move yourself closer to understanding the power of your untapped potential. You gain insight into the grit and power you have to do really hard things.
- Envision a better version of yourself. When I ask myself powerful questions, I start to envision the growth that I am capable of. I did this time and time again on the mountain. What am I capable of? What will this accomplishment teach me about myself and how will it help me realize there’s a better version of me that I need to find?
- Growth isn’t in the easy stuff. We all know this, yet so many of us fear the hard things in life. What if you reframed everything hard that is happening and instead looked at it and asked – what could this be preparing me for? What future opportunity needs me to build this muscle right now?
So many of us live our lives not fully understanding what we are capable of. We live comfortably and choose to stay in that comfort sometimes unknowingly. The only way we discover what it truly means to live life to the fullest is to ask ourselves different questions that push us to new and expanded versions of our lives.
I don’t yet know what I’m fully capable of, that will continue to be discovered, but I do know that I am capable of way more than I will ever have the capacity to imagine. I now understand that I cannot be limited by what I know or what I think, and that asking myself different questions is the key to true transformation and growth.