By Vlad Dolezal
“What is the meaning of life?”
Ha, gotcha! That is just one of many, many questions that have nothing whatsoever to do with this article.
Now how about these questions:
Why does this always happen to me?
Why do I always screw up?
What’s wrong with me?
We’ll look at how such questions literally poison your mind. And then we’ll look at how to flush out that poison and replace it with golden elixir of awesomeness, by asking empowering questions!
Your subconscious is a non-critical, non-judgmental targeting machine
Think of your subconscious as GPS navigation for your car. You put in your destination and the navigation leads you there. It doesn’t criticize your destination; it doesn’t ask questions. It simply takes your input and provides you with the best way to achieve it.
Your subconscious works exactly the same way. It’s non-critical and non-judgmental, which means it takes everything you feed it at face value.
So what happens when you ask questions like “Why does this always happen to me?” and “What’s wrong with me?”
Your subconscious will feed you plenty of reasons why bad things always happen to you, and dozens of things that are wrong with you! Some people always ask themselves negative questions and then wonder why they end up sabotaging themselves and feeling like crap.
That would be like a person consistently telling their car navigation to go to Middle of Nowhere, Utah. And when they got there, they would get angry and yell, “Why did you take me here? I wanted to end up in Miami!”
How you feel and what you achieve of comes down to where you direct your mind. And questions are by far the most common and most powerful tool for directing your mind. So let’s see how to use them more effectively.
How presuppositions direct your mind
Most questions contain presuppositions. A presupposition is a “fact” that’s embedded in the question, which you will have to accept as true in order to answer the question.
For example, if you ask “Why is John always mean to me?”, it assumes John is always mean to you.
(I also heard a fun example from a psychologist recently: “Which is happier, a knife or a fork?” He vehemently argued a knife is happier, because it’s more versatile and useful. I disagree. A fork has three smiles and a knife has only one. Of course a fork is happier! (Either way, the question presupposes that either a knife or a fork is happier than the other.))
Similarly, a lot of questions that people ask themselves contain negative presuppositions.
“Why can’t I ever get this right?” presupposes you can’t get it right. In fact, it presupposes you can’t ever get it right!
“What’s wrong with me?” presupposes there is something wrong with you.
And so on.
And your subconscious automatically accepts these presuppositions when you ask it a question. Remember – non-critical and non-judgmental.
Luckily, you can replace those negative presuppositions with empowering presuppositions!
Examples of empowering questions
Instead of asking “Why do I always screw up?”, how about you ask “How can I most easily do this?”
This question presupposes:
It can be done
You can do it
There are several possible ways to do it
It will be easy
How’s that for empowering presuppositions!
To help you drive the concept of empowering questions deep into your subconscious, take a few moments to answer these:
What are you grateful for in your life?
What great things happened to you in the past week?
Where in your life could you benefit from more empowering questions?
How will your life continue improving when you use empowering questions?
(Take a few moments to answer.)
Notice the effect? Good! And it’s all done just by asking yourself the right questions.
To finish off, I’ll leave you with one more question:
What empowering questions could you ask yourself RIGHT NOW to start moving towards the life of your dreams?