When we journey through life in a state of consciousness that is more awake and more aware, we begin to see the power behind the questions we ask. When we are able to ask not just the right questions but powerful questions, we open ourselves to achieving greater results and success.

I remember before becoming a mother how I would chuckle at friends who would get caught in circular conversations with their toddlers: you know, the “But why?” to every answer they provided. As I have become more aware, I realized the power behind the toddler’s intention. Children are like sponges and want to learn and soak up every piece of knowledge they can and by asking a “why” question to succeed in drawing out more information from the individual with whom they are engaged while remaining unsatisfied with the response, hence prompting the “but why” circular conversation. Now as adults we are able to ask more appropriate questions that draw out the exact knowledge we yearn to receive. We move beyond the “why” to the land of “how” and “what” questions.

We understand by asking the right questions we are able to easily guide ourselves in all that we do and seek to experience. We also understand there are questions only we can answer for ourselves, and there are other questions we must ask of others while also acknowledging that not every question has a question mark at the end of it. Asking neutral questions supports our ability to guide ourselves in our observations and are phrased like "I wonder if I'll have trouble falling to sleep tonight?" or "Let's see if there are any fresh vegetables that look good at the supermarket today."

So where do you begin when you want to ask more powerful questions with the intention of receiving powerful answers? The easiest place is to begin by taking a few moments to consider what questions you ask yourself that guide you through your day. Think about what questions you ask yourself naturally when you wake up in the morning … see a friend ... get into your car ... when you fall asleep at night.

The more attention you give to becoming aware of your natural line of questioning, the more you are able to understand how supportive or unsupportive they are in guiding you along your journey. You will also notice if your natural questions leave you feeling empowered or disempowered, clear or confused.

Those of us who experience pain or confusion will immediately jump into asking the question "What have I done wrong?", and the answer is simply the question itself. Change or adjust the question to gain clarity on the situation and experience since the original question will lead you into the rabbit hole of “But why?” and feeling disempowered. When a time arises and you find yourself wanting to ask yourself this question, take a moment, breathe and rephrase the question into a more empowering question.

The above suggestion is easy in theory, but how simple is it to truly rephrase a question? Since it does take practice, let’s allow the list of questions be an exercise in rephrasing for you and a means of practice. I’ve listed five questions that are disempowering:

~How did I get into this situation?
~Why did this happen?
~Who is responsible?
~Where did I go wrong?
~Why didn’t I know better?

Here they are rephrased into empowering or powerful questions:

~What can I learn from this?
~How have I benefited from this experience?
~Who else has benefited from this?
~What conditions allowed this situation?
~How can I recognize this situation in the future?

In all situations and experiences there will be times you will need to ask and answer questions that may not be empowering but are necessary for the learning to occur. If you feel you need to ask disempowering questions, do so but proceed with a heightened level of awareness by finding your answer and then rephrasing the question to be an empowering question.

A final tip in asking empowering questions is knowing or recognizing the following circumstances surrounding the motivation behind your question:

~Where is your focus when asking your questions?
~What facts do you know and what are the unknowns?
~Where are you emotionally when asking your questions?
~How is past experience influencing your ability to formulate powerful questions?

Being able to ask powerful or empowering questions is a wonderful gift. I did a bit of searching on the World Wide Web and found numerous examples of everyday questions that are also empowering. Below is a list of the questions that really resonated with me, and I hope they are supportive of your quest for asking empowering question.

~What excites me about today?
~What can I learn here?
~How can I realize more meaning in my life?
~What is worthy of my attention?
~What can I contribute to this situation?
~What can I give today?
~What's funny about this?
~What am I grateful for?
~What brings me joy in that experience?
~How did I make a difference today?
~What is my Truth about this issue?
~What now?
~What is the question?

Until next time, embrace your inner wisdom.


Author's Bio: 

Karen Kleinwort is a certified professional coach who specializes in life, business and health coaching. Kleinwort also holds a BS in Business Management and an AA in Holistic Health & Fitness Promotion; additionally, she is a Reiki Master and CranioSacral Practitioner. Kleinwort is available for interviews and appearances. You can contact her at karen@therapyintransition.org or (877) 255-0761.