Everyone questions themselves at some point but how often do you ask yourself a question that keeps you focused on what you really want. These are the 10 questions that I ask myself often to keep me enjoying my life in the way that works best for me.
1. Does this Help or Hurt me?
When going through a challenging time for some reason we make it harder for ourselves. Maybe you are going through a breakup or have lost someone and you're just listening to songs that make you feel emotional or reading through old texts that make you cry. If you keep repeating these behaviours you are only hurting yourself. What can you do to help yourself instead, maybe chose a happy playlist or archive those messages. Asking "Does this help or hurt me?" is an important question to get you to avoid behaviours that don't work for you.
2. That's not like me.
I know this is more of a mantra than a question but it always makes me question myself. It is a huge part of the reason to how I lost 2 stone in one year. Who do you want to be? I knew I needed to lose weight so saying no to snacking between meals was something I needed to do. If I go to the shop and pick up some biscuits I'd say to myself, "that's not like me" as a reminder of who I was aiming to be. You can use this statement for any behaviour you want to change. Remind yourself of who you want to be.
3. How would I feel if I relived all of these moments in one block of time?
This is inspired by a book called Sum: 40 tales of the afterlives by David Eagleman. The book talks about 40 different theories of what could happen when we die. The first story is about how we get to relive everything when we move on but all of the events are bundled together. Some of the examples from the book are, you would sleep for 30 years without opening your eyes, you spend 5 months reading magazines on the toilet, 15 months looking for things you've lost, 14 minutes experiencing pure joy and 18 days staring into the fridge. This is a reminder to myself of how much time can be wasted in our lives and do I really want to spend 18 solid days of my life looking to a fridge? No! So I ask myself "How would I feel if I relived all of these moments in one block of time?".
4. What is my lesson here?
In any given situation I am looking to see what my lesson is. Could be a conflict, could be a promotion, or it could be something has just gone the way I didn't expect it to go. This question helps me to analyse my part in the event or situation. If something hasn't gone your way or didn't turn out as you expected, what did you do that made it go that way? Could you have reacted differently? Could you have been kinder? Could you have been more patient? If you see everything as a learning opportunity you will grow as a person and experience life a new way.
5. Where is the blessing?
A similar question to "what is my lesson?" in the way that it is here to help you to reflect on situations that you have no control over. I lost my mum in a tragic way in 2017 but this question got me through 7 months of the most difficult time in my life. All the time I asked myself where is the blessing? Despite it being such an awful and challenging time it enabled me to also notice we had moments of happiness, we had funny things happen, we got to spend time with each other we wouldn't have done before. It's not a question to ignore reality, it is a question to help you through times that you need support.
6. What would future me think?
If you went back and visited yourself as a child, would younger you be proud of who you are right now? If yes then that is amazing, but if not you still have time to make future you proud. In the decisions you make right now, how does this effect me in 5, 10, 20 years time? Act today to make the older version of you proud.
7. How can I do this differently next time?
If you always do what you've always done then you will always get what you have always got. A timeless quote that has a lot of truth in it. Are you repeating jobs, partners, diets, and getting the same result? If you acknowledge it and make a change then the outcome changes too.
8. What am I grateful for?
I have asked this question to myself for over 10 years everyday and have diaries/journals full of things I am grateful for. This is a proven method of changing how you perceive the world, if you spend time every day asking yourself what 3 things you are grateful for you will shift perception in your daily life to focus on the good. What are 3 things you are grateful for right now?
9. What can I stop doing?
When we are choosing self destructive or harmful behaviours, we know deep inside that they are not good for us. If you eat a bar of chocolate whilst watching tv every night, the answer seems like it should be "I need to stop eating chocolate every night", which is correct but actually you need to stop buying it in the first place. If you want to start doing something first figure out what you want to stop doing.
10. What's my kryptonite?
We all have our weaknesses, but do you know what yours is? In the Superman films when he comes close to kryptonite he becomes weak, to the point of paralysis and almost death. When you know the answer to this question you can use the other 9 to make sure you never become affected by it.
Can you think of any questions you regularly ask yourself that help you? I would love to know what they are.
Of course, if you are struggling and need some support, feel free to get in touch with us for help and / or signposting.