Maybe it has been going on for a while now. That feeling of things being not quite right. It colors your day, enough to make you take note and wonder if you need to do something different. But you aren’t sure what the answer is. You aren’t even sure if that’s the right question!
Learning to ask the right questions of yourself is so important. This kind of inner inquiry, what I call “inner research”, can start you down the path of deeper self-discovery.
So, let me ask you: What do you believe? What are you willing to question in your life?
Of course you have a set of values and beliefs. They impact every choice you make in life. These values are deeply embedded in your way of thinking and are often hidden from conscious awareness. Yet they guide you, nonetheless, as you move through life. Your values and beliefs become part of your foundation, through your upbringing, societal influence, role models and life experiences.
Without examining the underpinnings of what you hold to be true, your perception of situations is limited, framed by something that you may not even realize. You react to situations or deal with things the same way you always have, only to have the result reinforce the original belief.
What if you were to pause in your reaction to a situation or to a person, and question what is behind that feeling?
Question Your Beliefs
As you are willing to question your responses to situations that feel challenging, you discover the beliefs that lie underneath, ferreting out the strands from the structure of your mindset. Is there an expectation about how something should be happening or about how you should behave? Does the other person need to see things the way that you do? Notice if a long-held value is no longer serving who you are today.
Do you still believe what you used to believe when you were much younger than you are today? Really?
Be willing to question everything: your actions, your beliefs, and especially, the way you feel. Questioning is different from self-doubt. Questioning allows you to discover something new about yourself and the situation at hand. The attitude you have in questioning is key. If you have any attachment to being right, or any concern about being wrong, you cannot discover. If you judge yourself or another in your questions, you cannot discover.
With a commitment to question yourself and an openness to discover, the answers begin to unfold.
“If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?”
~ W. Somerset Maugham
“It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.”
~ Tony Robbins
Take a breath. Release it. Take another. Devote some dedicated time of concentration/meditation. It doesn’t need to be hours of quiet, perhaps only 15 minutes. Then allow the question to simmer within you. Let responses bubble up into your awareness. Notice new ways of thinking, of images or ideas that arise spontaneously. Pay attention to your dreams. Let it happen. Be aware. See where it leads you next. Let yourself savor this process of receiving from yourself. Don’t judge whatever comes up, just receive it. Make notes.
You are invited to share something from this process. Sharing is an important way to anchor an insight in your body. It leads you to deeper insight. It stimulates action. Feel free to use this arena to share what moves you.