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60 Thought Provoking Questions That Will Change Your Perspective On Life

60 Thought Provoking Questions That Will Change Your Perspective On Life

We spend most of our lives whizzing through our days. There is precious little time to self-reflect in order to change our perspective on life.

These questions are designed to help you get started on one of the most important things you can do for yourself; become more self-reflective in order to improve yourself and your relationships.

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As you read these questions, consider how they might challenge long held assumptions you may have about yourself and others.

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  1. Who are the people you surround yourself with?
  2. Do you have a personal mission statement?
  3. How do you express your gratitude for good things and people you have in your life?
  4. What are you spending your money on?
  5. Are you satisfied with your work?
  6. If you had unlimited resources, how would you live your life?
  7. Did you pause to celebrate the last time you accomplished a goal, big or small?
  8. Do you consider yourself worthy of love and admiration?
  9. How do you react when you encounter a homeless person?
  10. Do you meditate daily for at least 5 minutes?
  11. What story are you telling yourself about your life?
  12. How do you deal with failure?
  13. What is your favorite quote?
  14. What do you want your life to look like in 5 years? Do you have a plan to get there?
  15. What messages have you internalized?
  16. What inspires you?
  17. If you could only speak one word today, what would you say?
  18. When was the last time you took some time to be alone?
  19. If you could spend 15 minutes with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
  20. Did you say “I love you” to the most important person in your life today?
  21. What step can you take today in order to fulfill your deepest desire?
  22. How have you educated yourself today?
  23. What did failure to reach your goal teach you about yourself?
  24. Did you read a positive or uplifting book today?
  25. Are you holding on to any past mistakes?
  26. What habits are holding you back from success?
  27. Are you feeding your fears or your hopes and dreams?
  28. What gives you peace?
  29. How do you challenge your assumptions?
  30. What is the biggest frustration you’re facing now?
  31. Are your goals and dreams written down?
  32. What is your relationship with money?
  33. How do you keep a sense of perspective when life gets difficult?
  34. Are you a good listener?
  35. What gives you meaning?
  36. How often do you keep in touch with family and friends?
  37. What is the source of your procrastination?
  38. How much time are you spending on social media?
  39. Are you able to say no, even when it makes you unpopular?
  40. Who are your professors in the school of life?
  41. Do you bring your work home with you?
  42. When was the last time you had an exciting idea that kept you awake most of the night? Are you pursuing that idea today?
  43. What are the top 2 compliments you hear from people about yourself?
  44. When someone sees your name on caller ID, what thoughts and feelings do you want them to have?
  45. Have you ever invested in yourself financially? Why or why not?
  46. If you were asked to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
  47. What books have influenced you the most?
  48. Who are the people under your influence?
  49. Do you trust your own instincts?
  50. Do you choose happiness or leave it to chance?
  51. Are you open to experiencing something outside your comfort zone everyday?
  52. What small habit can you change today?
  53. What’s your favorite exercise routine?
  54. Name one psychological barrier in your life? What is it holding you back from doing?
  55. Do you fear rejection? What are you doing to overcome this fear?
  56. Do you follow through on commitments?
  57. How many times a day do you check your email?
  58. Are you content? If not, what is the source of your lack of contentment?
  59. If you could eliminate one things from your life today, what would it be?
  60. Who are you becoming?

I encourage you to go through the questions again, slowly and deliberately. This list is not exhaustive, so I hope it inspires you to ask more thought provoking questions and inspire you for the better.

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Featured photo credit: hahanriji via pixabay.com

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More by this author

Cylon George

A spiritual chaplain and blogger who writes about practical spiritual tips for busy people.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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