Asking Powerful Questions

We often get stuck when we are asking “why” questions. Why questions usually lead either to deep contemplation (but not to action) or to defensiveness and justifications. “What” questions, on the other hand, usually lead to clear insights about what is in our way, or a concrete sense of what we need to move forward.

Here are a few powerful “what” questions to try out when you feel stuck:

  • What do I want?
  • What am I resisting?
  • What do I want to say yes to?
  • What do I want to say no to?
  • What am I compromising?
  • What would my wisest self say?
  • What would my wisest self do?
  • What would make it easy?
  • What am I tolerating?
  • What does my body know?
  • What do I want to let go of?
  • What would make it fun?

There are lots of ways to use powerful questions. Here are a couple:

  1. Write each one on a card, put all the cards face down in a bowl, or in a bag, and pull one when you feel stuck.
  2. Choose one to be the question you explore for a given week, or month, or year. Then create a structure for exploring it (put it on post-its all over the place so you’ll see it regularly, commit to journaling about it for 10 minutes every day or every other day, invite a good friend out to lunch to talk about it, put in on your computer screen as the wall paper, etc.)

© Tasha Harmon, 2007. Please feel free to share this, but please share it with my name and contact information attached, and please do not publish it without my written permission. Thank you.

Tasha Harmon, Facilitator/Coach • 503-788-2333 • •

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