The type of questions you ask yourself on a consistent basis can be empowering or they can be destructive. Our mind is very interesting and complex. It has the ability to think, contemplate, analyze, and the ability to talk to ourselves. I am not talking about voices in your head that are not really there. I am talking about the internal dialogue we all have with ourselves. It is this dialogue, more specifically the questions you ask your self during this dialogue that is the key to the thoughts and opinions we have about ourselves, and often what core beliefs we develop that shape our behavior. Unfortunately, our default programming focuses on negative dialogue. It takes a lot of reprogramming in our operating system to fix this.
These questions will often sound something like, “why I am so stupid”, “did I really forget that”, “why doesn’t she love me”, “why can’t I be successful”. We do this all the time and at all times of the day. It seems to be worse at night right before bed. Now let me be clear, I don’t want to stop this dialogue, I just want to show you how to be better at it. We first need to take a look at primary questions.
Primary questions are questions we ask ourselves that tend to repeat very often and become the questions by which we shape who we are. An example of a primary question for someone might be, “why am I not good enough”. You can only imagine how a question like this asked over and over again would shape someone’s behaviors, thoughts, reactions and core beliefs about themselves. Ask yourself, what are my primary questions? What internal dialogue do I have that is shaping who I am? This is a great exercise to journal on. Once you identify your primary questions and we have some awareness to it, changing it is simple. And that happens through radical acceptance of where we are now and commitment to do things differently.
Back to the constant treadmill of questions and thoughts that goes on in our head, and how we start to slow it down and then shift the conversation. Using a daily practice I call Tactical Awareness is where you start to shifts things. Tactical Awareness is taking a moment to have awareness of your current mental focus, pattern of language and physiology, non-judgmentally. After we have this awareness, we can empower ourselves to change our response to whatever situation is in front of us.
Becoming aware that the treadmill is on full speed, taking a deep breath and focusing on the present moment is the overall goal. Focusing on the present moment over and over again with Tactical Awareness will allow you to accept the thoughts for what they are, just thoughts and not who or what you are.
Want different answers? Ask better questions.