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Episode 76 - Quality Questions [Your Year Series Pt. 10] 

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Welcome to Episode 76

The quality of our lives is depicted by the quality of the questions we ask ourselves. Personal development gurus talk about different types of questions that give us a blueprint for attributing meaning to certain things that happen in our lives and how we can view it in a way that serves us and helps us to move forward. When we spend the time identifying what questions we're asking ourselves and change those questions, we are able to shift things in a powerful and sustainable way.

In this podcast, you'll learn:
  • About decision-making

  • About your flow of energy and effort

  • Motivation

Featured:
Episode Transcript:

YOUR YEAR SERIES – QUALITY QUESTIONS

EP #76

 

“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 76, with Rhiannon Bush

 

Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.

 

 

When we’re conquering something we haven’t achieved before or doing something new, it’s really easy to ask, as a client did of me recently, “if this is the way we all experience emotions all the time, why bother and have them at all?“ And it’s such a thrilling question, because if you get to a point where that’s the question you’re asking yourself, then you know you’re pushing your own buttons and growing.

 

Sounds nutty, right? But hear me out.

 

It’s a valid question. And my question back in response is, what would anything in our lives mean without emotion? Could you imagine going through life without feeling anything? Not feeling the warmth of the sun and how that makes you feel after working a night shift. Not having that smell of the ocean bring you reprieve and calm when you go on holiday? Not feeling the joy of eating ice cream or something that you love to eat as the occasional treat? Honestly, think about it. What would be the point?

 

And while, yes, emotional experiences are layered, something Joe Dispenser’s taught me recently is that we have what’s called emotional memory. So when we experience an event we have the feelings we have about that event. And then we have thoughts about that feeling, and when we think often enough about that event, it’s the memory, not the thoughts that are committed to memory. So each time we think about that event we get the feeling.

 

This is not to say we shouldn’t think about certain events as a way of managing our emotional response, just that there maybe more work to do in understanding the emotions we feel around that event and a way we can process them, and different questions we can ask about them, to subdue the emotional response we feel, if it’s something we want to change. The awesome feels you have about your wedding day, or that holiday – we want to keep that. Obviously. Enhance it even. Experiences that were extremely negative or traumatic, we do.

 

Our thoughts create our feelings, and the questions we ask ourselves are powerful drivers of our behaviour – the quality of our thoughts determines the quality of our performance by putting us in an emotional state. Whatever our emotional state – it’s either helping us drive our behaviour to move us close to our goals, or it’s preventing us from achieving and holding us back.  

 

Someone once said to me “your life is a sum of the questions you ask yourself. Want a better quality life? Ask yourself better quality questions.” And Dr John DeMartini talks about this too. He says “If you are not inspired about your life, or not living the life you truly dream of, it may partially be due to the type of questions you’re asking yourself. The moment you ask quality questions is the moment your life begins to transform to a more quality and fulfilled life.”

 

Our thoughts and emotional state greatly impact our motivation. If you go back to a memory where you achieved something you thought you couldn’t – like you got up on a water ski, or you passed the exam to become a personal trainer, you landed that job – something that was really difficult for you to achieve but you persisted and you did it, the positive emotions and intrinsic motivation that comes from that is significant. It provides us with great momentum and energy to move forward and continue achieving new things because the positive emotions that come after we’ve achieved something difficult give us the confidence and resilience to overcome new challenges.

 

Being aware of our thoughts and creating our emotional state on purpose helps us with decision-making. If you’ve struggled with your weight or even if it’s not weight, maintaining healthy eating, which as I get older I’m realising most people have experienced, do you remember when you were healthy and eating really well that it was easier to say no to bad food? Because you were focused, you were proud of yourself, you had momentum and it just meant you said no? Opposed to when you’re off the bandwagon and eating badly how easy it is to just keep eating badly because “I’m already eating badly so what’s one more day?”. When we can work with our thoughts to create an emotional state of power, motivation, inspiration, determination… our decision-making becomes easier because the choices are more obvious.

 

Our emotional state impacts our energy and effort. When we’re focused and positive, feeling enthusiastic and we’re in a state of having fun and playing, we have more energy and things require less effort. We have more happy hormones floating through our brain and that helps with our energy. Also when we’re in a state of play, the mirror neurons in our brains work differently and we’re far more productive.

 

Emotions direct our focus and attention. Strong emotions can narrow or broaden our focus, affecting what we pay attention to and how deeply we engage with tasks or goals.

 

I think I mentioned resilience before but when we’re feeling positive, we’re able to bounce back faster and continue pursuing goals. When we feel negative we can enter what’s called a downward spiral where one bad thing leads to the next and that often leads us down the road of old and deeply engrained questioning such as “why can I not do this” or “I’ll never get it”. None of this is helpful and on the flip side, a positive spiral will help us see the opportunities and creatively problem solve in a way that being negative just can’t. At the end of this episode is an exercise that will help you bounce back from a negative spiral into a positive one quickly.

 

It should be obvious but the thoughts we have that determine how we feel affect our social interactions and our relationships because our emotional state determines how we communicate, connect, collaborate, engage and listen. As the saying goes, “one bad apple spoils the bunch”. Think about an experience you’ve had with a partner, boss, child, friend where they’ve been negative and come into your space. How did it impact you?

 

Knowing what emotional state we’re in and how to change it is so powerful. Managing it, learning about it and understanding our own patterns will help us know how to strategically and consciously change it to help us succeed.

 

Another way you can enhance this awareness you have of yourself is to test whether you’re stuck in explanations or excuses, dwelling in the lack of control and difficulty of the situation when it comes to not getting what you want, or whether you approach hurdles with the focus on finding solutions and taking action. Is your locus of control internal or external?

 

It's important to understand what we can control and influence and work with that to move forward, opposed to drowning in the reasons and justifications that stop us getting what we want.

 

Any problem needs to be broken down into all the reasons it can’t happen. And then it’s about tackling each one to work out what you can do about that specific problem. I.e. Getting to the gym in the morning. What are all the things that could stop that happening?

  1. Don’t have a membership? What can you do about that?

  2. Don’t want to go in the morning? Ok, when can you go instead?

  3. Can’t get there? If you really wanted to make it happen, how could you?

 

By focusing on results, we take ownership. We overcome each individual problem and become accountable to ourselves for making it happen if it’s what we want. Also by asking a question about how we can make it happen, it diffuses tension that comes from an accusation like “I don’t have a membership”, response – “well get one”.. see how abrasive that is? But when it’s “what can you do about that?” it feels different. Questions themselves carry emotional charge depending on how it’s delivered and received.

 

When we focus on solutions and “but how might we?” we can problem solve because we actively seek solutions. When we problem solve continuously, we build momentum and the lasting and best result - we shift our perspective. We’re no longer a victim. We’re no longer blaming and making excuses. We’re empowered because we own our results. We take control and we get it done.

 

I was reading David Goggin’s “Can’t Hurt Me” and he talks about setting the world record for the number of chin-ups. I couldn’t possibly begin to understand why anybody would want to do that and he goes into detail about the condition of his hands during his attempts and then when he sets the record. But when you’re clear on what you want and you’re accountable to it, nothing stops you.

 

A question to start with, is how do you want to feel as you achieve your goal? Write just 3 questions you can ask yourself that will help put you into that emotional state.  Start with 3, our unconscious mind loves 3’s and try them out. See how they change things for you. If you’ve not done this before, it may be challenging but stick with it because the questions are important. Get help from Google or Chat GPT if you need to.

 

To finish up with another quote from Dr John Demartini, “if you are not inspired about your life, or not living the life you truly dream of, it may partially be due to the type of questions you’re asking yourself. The moment you ask quality questions is the moment your life begins to transform to a more quality and fulfilled life.”

 

I’ll see you soon.

 

 

 

Hey! Before you go, I always find reviews really helpful when looking for new information or insights…

 

I you’ve found this podcast valuable, please take a minute to write a quick review about what you’ve found most beneficial for you, so other people can benefit from your insights, and listen in too. I would LOVE that!

Also, if there are any topics you’d like me to cover specifically about life coaching or the life coaching industry, visit rhiannonbush.com to contact me. Thanks for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode of Do I Need A Life Coach?!

 

 

Please note, this transcription may not be exact.

Questions? Topic Ideas?

Reach out to Rhiannon today
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