The idea of asking positive questions to our own minds was brought to my attention by my sister several months ago. Since the time that this simple and beautiful concept entered my own thought stream I have used and reused it often, happy to observe the insights that spring up when I allow my mind to dwell on the positive instead of the negative, on the solutions instead of the problem.
Asking positive questions of yourself is exactly that: putting a positive spin on life’s numerous questions. For example, when frustrated with your superior for once again assigning you a mundane and undesired task you may naturally spin the mind into a series of problem-seeking questions like “why does he continuously underestimate my abilities” or “why is she always assigning the interesting stuff to someone else”. Positive questions, aka solution-based questions, change your frame of mind completely by asking instead “why am I so qualified to complete this work?” and “why am I such a good communicator that my boss knows exactly what kind of work I’m passionate about?”. By putting yourself in the completely-capable chair and asking yourself why you are so great at what you do, and not why you are lacking, your mind spins into a curious analysis that works at uncovering everything you do well and could be doing better :)
So, next time you’re at a cross-roads or frustrated with something turn to your own mind and the endless analysis teaming inside and ask yourself:
“Why am I adaptable and so capable of dealing with these new situations?”
“Why am I so comfortable growing professionally and making a lot more money than before?”
“Why am I so patient and loving towards my family?”
… making your questions increasingly specific as you hone this new skill, for example:
“Why am I fully qualified to leave my current desk job and start my own business?”
“Why am I comfortable with having an extra $50,000 in my bank account?”
“Why am I such a caring parent to my little ones?”
Form your questions and now observe the mind attempt to unravel this new, delicious challenge. The question “Why am I happy doing nothing on a Sunday” will surely spark fear and a deep, fidgety level of discomfort in a do-it-now and action oriented individual (dare I say workaholic?) who has a hard time accepting nothingness in their day, even if they immensely need and enjoy it. If the right question is asked a quisical, confused expression will form on your features as you realise you never before allowed yourself to think such a scandalous thought before. You – qualified? ready? comfortable? Yikes!!
Despite these fear reactions, allow your mind to delve deeper beyond the layers of discomfort as it begins to unearth logical and true arguments in your favour. It’s really cool you like doing nothing on Sundays, it may say to you, it’s a great opportunity to recharge your energy levels and it lets you indulge in something your parents never let you do when you were a kid: twiddle your thumbs and lie in bed all day long.
So go ahead and ask your questions, unearthing while you’re at it the rebel inside each of us and the strength and skills that you know you have… but so often overlook!
My question to myself this week is: “Why and how am I uniquely qualified to help food producers reach their full potential?”
What are your questions? And how do they make you feel? Share your comments and insights below :)