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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 August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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