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7 Powerful Questions to Get Unstuck Instantly and Moving Forward Again

7 Powerful Questions to Get Unstuck Instantly and Moving Forward Again

“You will never rise above how you see yourself.” – Oprah

What’s holding you back from your desired levels of health, wealth, and happiness?

These 7 powerful questions will help you identify the obstacles and get you unstuck instantly.

1. What do you want?

Example using “Dave.” Dave:

“I want to be happy. I want to make $100K. I want to lose 20 pounds. I want to stop procrastinating.”

The gap from where you are now versus where you want to be creates frustration and inner turmoil. It’s like trying to go from one side of the river to the other side without a bridge. To get unstuck, you need a bridge to get to the other side of the river. That bridge can be you, a friend, a seminar, a book, a coach, a psychotherapist, etc.

2. What would you like to feel as a result of getting what you want?

Dave: “I want to feel alive and happy and live up to my potential. I want to feel deserving, good enough, and not guilty.”

If you feel undeserving, guilty, or not good enough, it means you have acquired faulty negative core beliefs from childhood. You need to uncover the earliest incident that caused you to not feel good enough, etc.

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3. Do you have the courage and confidence to go after what you want?

Dave: “No, I keep procrastinating. I’m afraid most of the time. I make excuses. I’m not meeting my sales quota at work. I’ll get fired if I don’t get my act together.”

Lack of confidence and courage means you don’t believe in yourself. Successful people allow themselves to fail because they know eventually they will succeed. To get on the path to success, you must have the courage to take risks to fail and then pick yourself up and do it all over again because success will come after a few failures.

Again, identify the negative core beliefs that hold you back from being courageous and confident.

4. Do you believe you deserve to get what you want?

Dave: “Yes and no. I want it so badly but a part of me says: ‘Who do you think you are? You’re never going to amount to much. Mom always said you’re not as smart as your brother.'”

Beliefs => Thoughts => Feelings => Actions

Dave’s beliefs… “I’m not deserving. I’m worthless. I’m not going to amount to anything.”

These beliefs create thoughts of… “Who do you think you are? You’re not good enough! You’re not meant to make a lot of money.”

Dave’s thoughts create his feelings of… “Ugh. I’m afraid to make the phone call to try to sell to the next customer. I’m a loser.”

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Dave’s feelings create his actions of procrastination and the need to soothe his anxiety with unhealthy foods. Procrastinating and eating junk reinforces his original beliefs that he is worthless and not deserving of success and or a fit body.

Dave needs to uncover the original incidents that created his negative beliefs that he is worthless, guilty, and a loser. He needs to overturn those negative beliefs. Then he will believe he deserves health, wealth, and happiness.

Like Dave, you become what you think about – a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What happened to you that caused the negative beliefs that, “I’m not worthy; I’m not lovable; and/or I’m not enough?” Were you bullied at school? Did you feel rejected and unloved when your sister was born because mom didn’t have as much time for you anymore? Did your parents divorce when you were young? These types of events can be the root of why you don’t love yourself unconditionally.

5. What are you afraid of if you succeed? What will not be in alignment?

Dave: “My sales quota will increase. I’ll have to work harder which means I’ll have less time with my kids. My siblings and cousins will make fun of me for being a ‘rich and thin snob.’ I’ll have to buy a new wardrobe if I get fit and I can’t do that because I’m broke. I’m afraid I’ll be teased for eating healthy foods.”

The consequences of success holds Dave back from taking action. He doesn’t want to lose the love of his family and friends and he doesn’t want to empty his wallet to buy new clothes.

We are hard-wired to seek validation through friendship, family, love, and belonging. Dave is stuck because he is afraid he won’t belong anymore if he were to become more successful and fit than the people he hangs out with.

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn.

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In order to move forward, find a new tribe where you are the smaller fish in a pond of big fishes. The big fishes will support you to grow to their level.

When Dave feels good about himself he will know what he needs to say to his family and friends so that he doesn’t feel abandoned when he achieves success and a fit body.

Dave needs a confidant or coach to get him through this zone of discomfort of finding a new tribe where he feels he belongs.

6. What are you afraid of if you fail?

Dave: “I’ll be humiliated if I fail. It’s easier to keep struggling financially and to keep struggling with my weight. If I lose weight and gain it back and/or make money and then get fired if I can’t keep up with the demands of a better job, my friends will be laugh behind my back and say ‘See. I knew he was going to fail.'”

Most of us have memories of humiliation. Our psyche doesn’t want us to ever experience that pain again. Dave is subconsciously afraid of the painful consequences and that’s why he is stuck.

To overcome fear of failure, you need to visit the parts of you that hold the memories of the original humiliating experiences. Your highest self of today can tell that part that you are lovable and enough. When that part feels heard and unburdens itself of the humiliation, you will no longer be afraid of failing or succeeding.

What humiliating and shameful experiences hold you back from taking the risks to go after what you want?

7. What do you need in order to get what you want?

Dave: “I need to feel that I deserve to make $100K and that I deserve to have a fit body. I need to let go of the negative old tapes I keep playing of my mother and sister criticizing me whenever I try to improve myself. I need to love myself and believe that I can do this.”

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If you can’t look in the mirror and say, “I love you. You are awesome. You are beautiful!” you will inevitably sabotage yourself when you try to move forward. That’s why it’s important to find and overturn your negative core beliefs.

footprint in sand 2 e-1

    How to discover and overturn your negative core beliefs so that you can move forward again.

    Dave’s answers showed you that fears drive most of your behaviors. Fears hold you back from expressing your true self and living to your full potential. Fears are likely rooted in negative core beliefs from old hurts that you probably aren’t conscious of.

    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs shows that Dave is trying to self-actualize (become the best version of him) through skipping the self-esteem stage. He can’t skip self-esteem and go from love/belonging to self-actualization. He will achieve health, wealth, and happiness when he overcomes his low self-esteem.

    maslowabc

      To get unstuck for good and achieve health, wealth, and happiness, you need to have self-esteem. You will have high self-esteem when you heal the parts of you that hold faulty beliefs such as, “I’m not lovable. I’m not worthy. I’m not enough.”

      For example, when you were two-years-old mom brought home your baby sister and she stopped paying attention to you. You took on the belief that “I’m not lovable” because she wasn’t hugging you as much anymore.

      Then more rejections happened at school. You were bullied or someone you had a crush on rejected you. Negative experiences like these reinforced the “I’m not lovable” belief you acquired at two-years-old.

      In order to heal the “I’m not lovable” belief, be with that two-year-old part of you that is sitting on the floor, desperately waiting for mom to pick you up and hug you. Tell that part that you didn’t get hugs because mom was exhausted caring for the baby. Bring that two-year-old onto your lap and give her hugs and tell her that she is lovable and that she is enough.

      Now you have a new image of your two-year-old self. She’s got her arms around you. She’s no longer going to hold you back from your dreams. She’s going to give you the confidence you need to take risks to get to the next level of your life. Because you love yourself now, you will have the confidence and courage to overcome your fears and take risks to get unstuck.

      What negative core beliefs are you holding onto that are keeping you stuck? If you identify what they are through the answers to these 7 questions, you will overturn the faulty beliefs, feel better about yourself, and get unstuck instantly and moving forward again. photo credit: JIGGS IMAGES via photopin cc

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      Last Updated on January 15, 2019

      How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

      How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

      Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

      In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

      Step right up, don’t be shy!

      Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

      The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

      Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

      Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
      So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

      A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

      Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

      Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

      When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

      Culturally Conditioned

      We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

      I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

      The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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      Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

      Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

      Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

      1. Broadens Your Network

      After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

      2. Improves Your Communication Skills

      I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

      Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

      3. Continually Learning

      So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

      Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

      4. Increases Self Confidence

      Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

      Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

      So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

      How to Talk to Strangers

      Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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      1. Say Hello

      Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

      Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

      Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

      2. Ask About Them

      Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

      You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

      As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

      3. Just Do It

      One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

      When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

      Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

      4. Don’t Take It Personal

      One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

      When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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      5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

      I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

      One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

      6. Detach

      A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

      Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

      7. Share Your Stories

      Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

      To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

      So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

      8. Give a Compliment

      Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

      When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

      9. Relax Your Body Language

      If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

      When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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      If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

      10. Practice, Practice, Practice

      Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

      Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

      After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

      The Bottom Line

      As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

      There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

      Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

      Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

      More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

      Reference

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