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Powerful Questions. Image credit: Pixabay

A key element of navigating chaos is knowing how to leverage powerful questions to help your brain find the answer you want. The beauty of the brain is—among many things—the fact that it doesn’t know the difference between reality and fiction. Instead, the human brain believes whatever we tell it. This little fun fact poses a significant opportunity that we can leverage for personal and professional growth—and it stems from asking ourselves powerful questions.

Asking powerful questions is a valuable self-leadership skill, that, when employed correctly and consistently, helps you straddle the realm between heart and the brain (i.e. emotion and intellect) to compel decisive action.

However, there are right ways and wrong ways to ask powerful questions. The question type will depend on the situation, personalities and dynamics, time, and other factors. If, for example, you’re trying to build rapport with somebody then you want to ask open ended questions that give greater insight into them and their rationale. If conversation isn’t your thing or if you’re pressed for time, then closed ended questions that yield a simple yes/no response is better. Obviously these aren’t the only two situations to employ open or closed questions, they’re just examples. The below question archetype grid explains this better than I do:

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Here’s an introspective exercise for you to try. Ask yourself these 12 powerful questions every day. Keep a running log of your answer so you can track your mindset shift and the experiences that led to new perspective:

  1. If you weren’t worried about being judged, who would you be?
  2. Where do you see yourself in three years? Five years? Why?
  3. In a perfect world, where would you be emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually right now?
  4. What bad habits are holding you back from being your ideal self?
  5. What habit, if adopted today, would boost your confidence?
  6. What errors have you made today?
  7. What errors have you made today that were the same as yesterday?
  8. How did you learn from those errors (besides not repeat them)?
  9. What inspires you?
  10. Who are your heroes?
  11. What have you rationalized lately to feel “right?”
  12. What’s holding you back?

Do you have other questions you ask yourself or others? Share them below.

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