We humans are not always rational.
On one hand, you and I like the safety and familiarity of our comfort zones. On the other hand, we know that if we want to expand what we know, what we’re feeling, what we have, and who we want to be, then we must go beyond this zone.
Want to increase your knowledge, ask a question.
Want to feel differently, ask a question.
Want to do something new or at a larger scale, ask a question.
Want to express a new dimension of yourself, ask a question.
When it comes to comfort zones, everyone’s idea and threshold of it is different. But you absolutely know when we’re pushing up against yours.
Armed with an awareness of how valuable questions are, why do some of us resist or feel self-conscious asking them?
Perhaps it is because so much of our culture rewards us for having the “right” answers. Remember school: the person with the most right answers got the A+.
Or, maybe it is because we tend to feel as if we’re the only one with our particular question. Despite knowing good darn and well that we’re not the only one with said question – whatever it may be, especially with regards to money. This notion tends to be true whether the question is considered mundane or complicated.
Think about your money questions; how often have you slipped into the, “I’m the only one” territory? As I mentioned elsewhere in this series, what makes a question personal isn’t the question–it’s the answer! When you miss this subtle distinction, though, it is hard not to feel alone.
According to neuropsychology research, “questions allow our brains to enter a more generative state.” So, it is helpful to remember that:
Ask & Ask Some More
Asking questions (and the process of answering them) can expose you to new ideas, people and opportunities. Here are five other reasons why questions are so valuable; they:
Highlight how you think
We all have dominant ways of thinking, and depending upon which source you reference we either have four, five or eight. Let’s go with these four: synthesis, idealists, pragmatists, analysts.
Rarely is your way of thinking exclusively just one of these; it is usually a combination. But, how you go about getting the answer to your questions will show with what style you’re leading. In other words, what combination of being a creative, goal-setter, logical, or methodical thinker are you?
Expose your blind spots & mental blocks
We all have blind spots, and seldom do we uncover them without the aid of other people or “tools” – like questions. Blind spots speak to the unchallenged assumptions you make that prevent you from seeing what is right in front of you, and often more clearly evident to others.
Reveal patterns of behavior and choices
When you ask a question, you are “signaling” that you might be open to something new. The “new” thing may be a willingness to change your habits. It might also mean being open to adopting a different perspective about your situation and what you’re hoping for after your question has been answered.
Improve your perception
Go beneath the surface and it soon becomes evident that your questions are about more than what you’re asking. Your questions tap into is what’s important to you (think: the 5-why’s that help you get the root of the matter). Plus, they help you discover what you’re willing to double-down on.
Positively engage with your fear
Whether you have a bit of fear about the situation that is triggering the question or your capacity to make a (potentially) tough choice once you have your answer, questions can help you positively engage with that fear. Instead of trying to avoid it.
You’re Not Alone
You don’t really need me to remind you of this, but I will: There’s no magic formula for success – in life, in business or with money. But questions, from the tactical to those geared toward inner exploration, sure can increase your level of success, happiness and fulfillment.
Asking questions is what I do. It is how I help those I serve experience more success, happiness and fulfillment. My profession relies on me to not only ask great questions, but also on being an excellent listener.
And what gets reinforced over and over again is that a key part of asking questions and listening is helping people get out of their own head. Then, there’s reminding them that…
Ultimately, it’s my job to remind them that they are not alone.
Neither are you!
So ask your questions…and ask often. Let your questions and the process of answering them take you out of your comfort zone. Because when you do, you give someone else permission to do the same, and that ends up helping us all!