Have you ever felt like your mind was that one who tagged along with you while trying to get somewhere and is annoying the hell out of you or holding you back?

You wish they’d just shut up or bugger off and leave you to enjoy some peace and quiet and stop ruining your journey.


Truth is, your mind is a resourceful & powerful learning machine.


If used in the right way it can be your best friend along the way to wherever you wanna go.

Your mind LOVES questions and adores challenges. This is because they keep it busy thinking – which is exactly what it’s there for.

It really just wants to be your ‘useful’ servant, waiting for your instructions.

Think of it like a game your mind will do everything to win – ask it a question and it will go off searching for an answer.

Just like throwing a stick for your loyal dog – it won’t doubt what’s going on. It won’t pause and begin to wonder whether this is the best option of a stick it can find. It will just go after it, and bring it back – pleased, proud and ready for more.


Image: www.giphy.com


The power of questions


Questions obviously call for answers.

They stimulate and set the mind on a search for any information, ideas and further evidence in and around you to support your expectations. When you ask – you’re expecting an answer.

Questions initiate going into stored past subjective memories and references.

Your mind does this to find anything that will correspond with or reinforce what you expect the answers to be.


Ask the right questions | Maya Zack mindset coaching

Image: www.behance.com


The problem…


Your expectation of the answer will depend on what you believe in to be possible.

So your mind will filter information around you so that things match what you expect.

Your mind loves being right. It likes to correctly make predictions in order to avoid the threatening unknown.

It also likes to get continuously better at automatic responses. Operating on automatic saves it time and effort – which is great, ‘cuz then it can get busy thinking about other stuff.


So why is this a problem?


This means your mind can be a smart ass sometimes.

It’s proud to get credit for its amazing foresight, taking any opportunity to deliver and provide you with the experiences you anticipated – even if they’re the opposite to what you consciously want (“See, I told you I couldn’t do it – ha!”).

So subconsciously you reinforce habitual limiting thinking patterns. These are a lot easier and faster to use than creating new ones.

This, is your mind trying to be efficient!

Asking negative questions means expecting negative answers or outcomes, and you’re likely to find those negative answers all around you.

Going back to that loyal dog of yours, imagine it running around the woods surrounded by sticks everywhere.

It could just as easily pick up any of the other sticks to play with, but it won’t even give them a second thought.

 It’s focused on that one particular stick you’ve thrown and no other will do.

Or imagine searching for something using binoculars with dirty lenses – everything you see will be tainted. You might not notice the dirt, and make the mistake of thinking that whatever you’re looking at is covered in this stuff.

Or imagine Googling something like ‘the risks of…’ – search results will of course come up with a list of potential problems rather than more resourceful or solution-focused content.

So if you’re experiencing lots of stress, anxiety, frustration, or endless negative self-talk, you’re probably throwing that dog the wrong stick.

If you’ve been neglecting your goals and dreams out of fear, you’ve probably been asking the wrong questions.


Image: www.giphy.com


The solution… ask the right questions.


By paying more attention to what you’re asking, you can turn around your experience, regardless of whether you have the answers or not.


“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.”
~ Werner Heisenberg ~


As a child, you were great at asking questions. You were curious, innocent and OPEN to all possibilities.

You constantly asked questions just because you wanted to learn.

You kept asking and asking – you just couldn’t get enough, whether you got clear answers or not…

You were great at expecting great results or outcomes.

But then, life threw at you some times when things worked out differently to what you wanted. So you mistakenly and subconsciously thought you had to change what you asked for in order to be better ‘prepared’.

The right questions began changing into wrong ones.

You began to accumulate subconscious fears and tensions and felt that ‘knowing what to expect’ will help you feel safer, even if that means expecting the worst.

Consciously you began asking fewer and fewer questions altogether as you grew older. You feel more secure thinking you already ‘know’ rather than that you’ve still got lots to discover.


“In school, we’re rewarded for having the answer, not for asking a good question.”
~ Richard Saul Wurman ~


Fortunately, you can train yourself to go back to that fresh innocence of a child.

You can make a habit out of asking the right questions again.

‘Right’ questions are ones that can create a shift in your perception and lead to meaningful exploration and change – they’re ambitious.

So if you only ask questions you’ve always been asking, or you think you already know the answers, you’re not exploring or giving yourself the opportunity to develop or learn anything new.

Good questions will challenge your assumptions, and help you to grow your imagination and creativity.

It might take some courage and confidence to do this ‘cuz you’ll be willing to ask what might seem like naive questions.

They will send the mind off on a search for more positive answers or outcomes.


By Eran Mendel


So what are the wrong questions?


You might’ve been asking them consciously or subconsciously.

  • What if this fails or doesn’t work out?
  • How could this go wrong?
  • How is this (going to be) a problem/difficult/a disaster?
  • How does this relate to my past negative experiences?
  • Why does this always happen?
  • What am I risking?
  • Why does this have to be so hard, why can’t it be easy?
  • What other general negative examples can I think of?


“There are no right answers to wrong questions.”
~ Ursula K. Le Guin ~

What are the right questions?


These will discover or reveal more resourceful, innovative or productive ideas and feelings. Here are some examples.

  • What if I succeed, what if this goes well?
  • What would be the best scenario?
  • What evidence can I find to support this scenario?
  • How does this relate to any positive stories I’ve experienced or heard of?
  • What if I didn’t have this fear? What might happen and what would it feel like?
  • How can I give more to this or try another way?
  • What if I could / How might I actually do this?
  • How can I begin to give form to this idea?
  • What if I could / How can I learn or gain from this?
  • What if I could use / How can I use this situation to move forward?
  • How / What can I learn in order to help me overcome this challenge?
  • How would my life be different if I succeeded?

Image: www.bestgifever.com


And the winning question is…

WHAT IF it was possible?


While ‘What’ and ‘How’ give insight or direction for action, they’re even more powerful if you bring up this positive ‘What if’ first.

This is the one that challenges your assumptions & limiting beliefs.

It’s the base for getting more insight around any of the other questions.

It brings more intuitive wisdom and more vision.


Being open to this question creates and opens up the space for everything else to happen.


In fact, sometimes this question is the only one you’ll need to ask, as answers to the ‘What’ or ‘How’ will follow naturally.

What’s more, sometimes when you’re too focused on ‘What’ or ‘How’ on their own, you actually put pressure on yourself, forming resistance towards receiving information, particularly if you’ve got any contradicting subconscious beliefs around it.

So by simply asking and focusing on ‘What if’, you become open to the option that answers will come. You open to the possibility that your goal is possible.

This is no matter how unlikely it might seem in this moment, or if you don’t yet know the ‘How’.


Ask the right questions | Mindset training

Image: www.pinterest.com


Here’s another tip…


If you feel your questions are way too big or ambitious for you at the moment, you could add ‘I wonder…?’ to your questions.

This sounds gentler and more permissive. It can be easier and more effortless for your mind to take on.


But I want answers NOW!


You might think that since you haven’t yet got clear answers, you shouldn’t ask them or that they’re pointless.

But isn’t this the point of asking…?

There’s no need to know the answers yet. There’s also no need to know how or when you’ll get the answers. We’re not fortune tellers.


By Sanam Jamshidi


So why choose to focus on the negative?

Both the right questions and the wrong ones come from the exact same starting point – of not knowing.

But the wrong ones will bring you down, hold you back, stress you or burn you out.

The right ones will inspire, activate motivation and explore possibilities & problem solving.

Your mind will go into searching mode, compile and collect all the relevant information for success.

So it’s a good idea to be patient while taking notice of any information appearing in your conscious mind.

This is also a skill that can be learned and developed. In the same way you’d want to be a good listener to someone you’d like to work with, it’s important to pay attention to what they’ve got to say.


“If you do not ask the right questions, you do not get the right answers. A question asked in the right way often points to its own answer.”
~ Edward Hodnett ~


So remember


Asking the right questions brings up positive resources & opens the door to ideas and change.

You might not have any idea how to resolve a challenge yet, but just being open to the possibility, and to receiving the information – in your own way and time, makes all the difference.

This is because your mind can’t possibly bring up a positive question without bringing up the desired result in your creative imagination.

When your mind brings up an ideal storyline, it has to access or create the different positive feelings, means or outlook associated with it which are necessary for it to happen.

You discover in yourself a wealth of resources you’ve been looking for elsewhere.

So even if you haven’t got all your answers yet, you’re already on your way – kicking off the process, creating real changes and moving forwards towards your goals.

So just imagine…


What would it be like if it was possible?


“Asking the right question may be the most important part of thinking.”
~ Edward De Bono ~

By Julie Winegar


Enjoy this post?

Please share!