It’s an exciting time in my business. The past two weeks have been filled with wonderful clients, many of whom have enthusiastically signed up for multi-session packages. And, I’m finishing up this new website and will be announcing to the world soon.
Things weren’t always this good. Those of you who’ve been reading this for awhile know that several years ago things were pretty tough for me. So, when people call me up now and ask questions like: “What am I doing wrong?”, “How come I’m still struggling?” and “Is it ever going to change?”, I have lots of compassion.
At the same time, what I now know (after lots of EFT, I can say this with no emotional intensity) is that I used to spend lots of time asking myself negative questions. I’m going to say this as kindly as I can – going through your life asking “what am I doing wrong?” isn’t going to lead to the change you want.
Powerful Questions Build Momentum
Many spiritual traditions teach that the questions we ask shape our lives. Some even teach that asking the right questions can lead to enlightenment. In the business world, the Appreciate Inquiry model has shown that skillfully asking two powerful questions, “What is going well?” and “What do we want to do more of?”, can lead to change even in very large companies. In the personal development world, there is growing awareness of Afformations. Afformations, originally developed by Noah St. John, involve asking deep questions and allowing ourselves to grow into the answer.
Let me give you two recent examples from my life.
- The week before last, two wonderful new clients came to me from Facebook. Both were highly motivated, fun and enthusiastic about signing up for multi-session packages. I wanted to learn more about what had happened. So I started to ask myself, “What am I doing on Facebook that I’m attracting these ideal clients?” Over the week, I contemplated this question, spoke to my support people, and listened to these clients deeply. I came to a better understanding of what these clients saw. They liked the mix of humor, useful content and inspirational quotes I put up. This week, I did a little more of that. The results: more wonderful new clients from Facebook.
- A few months back, my fitness routine was getting flat. I was still working out, but it was a drag. I started noticing I was eating less healthy and gaining fat. I decided to take an afformations approach. I began to ask myself, “What contributes to me feeling passionate about fitness?” Over several weeks, I learned a few things. First, I realized that I like variety. So, I started mixing up my workouts in new ways. Second, I realized that I like to mix up working out with others and working out alone.I went from working out with others 90% of the time to a half social, half alone schedule. Lastly, I remembered that I like feeling muscular. Whereas I was doing almost all toning routines, I’ve now added two days a week of heavier weights. The results have been awesome. The only down side is that I had to buy several new shirts: some of the old ones weren’t fitting anymore.
3 Keys to Success with Powerful Questions
1) Ask questions that ignite your curiousity. Stale questions like “How can I make more money?” probably aren’t going to engage your deeper resources. Look for questions that a) you don’t know the answers to and b) inspire the feeling of “I’d like to know more about that”.
2) Be specific. Vague questions don’t lead to change. Our nervous system is wired to address particular things. Thus, the question I asked “What I am doing on Facebook that I’m attracting these ideal clients?” lead to results. If I had asked, “How do I get more clients?” I doubt much would have changed.
3) Live your way into the answer. I have always loved this Rilke qoute:
“Try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. The point is to live everything. Live the questions now.”
Notice that Rilke doesn’t promise instant results. Allow the questions to settle in and lead you, even in ways you may not notice, towards the shifts that you want.
Powerful questions will help you live your way into a new dream. They are fun, and will lead to changes that will increase your success and your joy. Give them a try and let me know how things go. And, if anyone wants a few men’s size medium shirts, just say the word.