I like questions. They tend to open up even more questions. Plus, they rarely get dusty and obsolete like affirmations do. I keep a stash of questions in my mind for hard times. Questions have this inhuman power of pulling me from the stories of my mind and placing me inside the moment, the present moment. When I travel, usually all my unacknowledged patterns come to ask for attention. And there they emerge my questions in shining armour, to help me taken on the patterns. Here are the three coaching questions I always carry in my backpack.
1. What for?
So many times I impersonated a character from a sitcom, crying on my knees on a dusty country road at sunset, lifting my arms up above my head, big tears running on my cheeks, asking in a strangled little voice “why, God, why?” You get the picture, right? “Why” is a point, an end, a justification. “What for” is an opening, a reason to understand, to make something out of the situation. “Why” looks towards the past. “What for” is a window towards the future.
2. Is that the truth or is it a lie?
There is only one truth and many versions of it. I became good at spotting the truth and dismissing it instantaneously. This is how I dealt with knowing, by ignoring it. Now, this question is meant to help me become flexible in my perspectives. Many of the truths I take for granted are actually very realistic fabrications. And they keep existing because I don’t call on them, because I allow them to take space from my consciousness. “Ok. ok, but if I start reassessing, casting doubt on all the things I now call “common sense truth” where will I end up,” you might think. I will finally free my mind of confusing suppositions, assumptions and truth. Thus, I will live for what is happening in reality and become talented at realising what that is.
3. What if I could?
One of my core beliefs was I couldn’t do things. Playing it safe and praising security has been a well-paid charade. Once I started digging this question so heavily that every time I heard a limiting story I’d step into action just to lead myself to believe that I can actually do it, I really started being able to do things I never thought I could.
Short and simple. Just like the most powerful coaching questions.