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24 Questions That Awaken The Real You

24 Questions That Awaken The Real You

I never used to ask these hit-harder-than-Tyson questions of myself. Or perhaps more accurately I’d occasionally ask them or they’d pop, unwanted, into my head, but I’d always quickly remove them from consciousness. I didn’t want to “go there”. Because I was scared. Intuitively, I knew these were important questions. Questions that would take me forward and jolt me outside my current reality. But I was comfortable drifting along the peripheries of my potential, even if I wasn’t totally happy, so why would I want to risk that? But… I had to risk it. I’d always wanted more than “normal”; better than “average”. I wanted to be successful. I really did. And these questions must’ve been popping into my head for a reason, with the most logical explanation being that I wanted an answer to them. When I really thought about it, I was desperate for an answer to these kinds of questions. I knew they’d set me free, because that’s what being honest does. You no longer hide from yourself. It can be a little painful at first, but what’s more painful: asking these questions of yourself now, or never asking them and risking never living the life you’ve always wanted to? Only you know if you’re being honest or not. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. They just become questions you ask of yourself all the time and give true answers to. My life changed when I started asking these questions and being honest with myself. I realized (admitted) that I just wasn’t that close to where I wanted to be. I realized (admitted) I was using excuses. And I realized (admitted) that I’d never get to where I wanted to be if I kept this up. It was time to make a choice. One that I could be proud of. One that I could tell my kids to make one day. That choice? The choice to make progress, not excuses. To pursue my dream life. To be who I really was. Isn’t now the time to be the real you?   So, why 24 questions? Because that’s how old I am. The actual questions aren’t quite as arbitrary. Promise. Here we go:

What would happen if you just went for it?

Deep down, you want to go for it. But you’re scared. The good news: even if you’re scared, you still have a choice. Fear doesn’t run your life; you do.

Who are you?

Write down a list of what’s important to you about life.

Who are you really?

What was important to you before other people told you what was important to you?

What’s your deepest, most secret desire?

You know it’s there. Just be honest and admit it. You’ll feel amazing… and free.

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If you knew you couldn’t fail, what’s the benefit of not beginning?

Bet you can’t think of a good answer for this.

If not now, when?

The past is gone forever and the future is anything but guaranteed. What are you waiting for?

Who’s permission do you need?

You know you only need your own permission, but do you seek someone else to tell you it’s ok?

What’s stopping you?

If you haven’t started working towards what you truly want, something is.

Who or what is holding you back?

The only answer to this: you.

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If you don’t know what you want, why on earth aren’t you trying to find out?

Unless you’re content to just drift through life, never knowing where you’re going, and never being truly fulfilled.

When you know what you truly want, will you actually do anything about it?

Most people ignore it or talk themselves out of doing it.

What’s important to you?

Make a list. Be honest with yourself.

What’s really important to you?

Seriously. Be honest. Otherwise this is pointless.

If you wrote a list of everything that’s important to you, would you even be on it?

If you’re not, is there a good reason for that?

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If you don’t prioritize yourself, how will you ever be happy?

It’s not going to happen by accident.

What’s the excuse you use the most?

Would to tell your best friend to use that excuse?

When will you stop using your excuses?

Excuses stop you from getting what you truly want. If you’re happy with that, then keep using them.

Do you feel good when you know you’re using excuses?

I’m guessing you don’t. Just a hunch. And I bet you feel great when you make progress. Just saying.

Will you ever get what you want if you keep making excuses?

Make all the excuses you want. Just make sure you don’t wake up one day and finally admit that’s what you’ve been doing.

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Why won’t you just be honest with yourself?

Lying to yourself is easy most of the time because we’re so practiced at it. But it’s not the right thing, and you know it. It might be painful to be honest right now in this moment, but it’s much more painful to lie to yourself forever.

How long can you go on doing what you’re doing?

6 months? 1 year? 5 years? If you don’t take action and do something different, nothing will change.

When you’re totally honest with yourself, what will happen?

Great things, right?

Do you choose comfort over happiness?

There’s a big difference. Find out what that difference means for you, and what you’re currently choosing.

And, last but not least:

If any of these have resonated, are you gonna make an excuse or actually do something about it?

The alternative is to sit there and do absolutely nothing different. Procrastinate. Get annoyed with yourself. Wish things were different. Even though things need to change. Even though you know you’re choosing comfort over happiness. But, let me ask you – what would the real you do? If these questions somehow aren’t enough for you, here’s some more: 20 Inspiring Questions to Help You Find Your Dream And Change Your Life

Featured photo credit: Bernat Casero via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

“Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

1. Make a Gratitude List

In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

2. Write in a Journal

Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

3. Meditate

Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

4. Do Child’s Pose

Yoga Outlet says:

“Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

     

    Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

    5. Try Positive Self-Talk

    Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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    When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

    Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

    When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

    When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

    Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

    6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

    Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

    You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

    It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

    Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

    If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

    7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

    “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

    If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

    You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

    When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

    If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

    Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

    Final Thoughts

    If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

    Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

    You can invest in yourself via self-care.

    You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

    More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

    Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

    Reference

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