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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 February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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