How long would our neighbors be friendly if every time they saw us, we went off on tangent about everything they've done wrong this year? And yet, most of us treat ourselves exactly like that.
Self appreciation, motivation and inspiration can all be created through learning to ask ourselves inspiring questions.
Granted, we all fall into the pit of self masochism at some point or other and through just a little discipline; we can all learn to ask ourselves questions that will assist us to learn from our experiences rather then using those experiences to prove that we aren't worthy.
So what are inspiring questions anyway? An inspiring question is a question that moves us forward, giving us an honest look at what is really going on, what can be learned from what is going on and opens a space for us to take a step forward.
An inspiring question is empowering, loving and engages our creative spirits.
An inspiring question recognizes us as divine beings that are perfect in our imperfection and that all is well exactly as it is while leaving space for growth and contemplation.
The best way to find out what questions are inspiring for you is to experiment with questions a little.
Ask yourself a question, notice what comes up and then pay attention to how you feel.
There are some universally inspiring questions that work for everyone and there are many variations that will work for you alone.
An example of an inspiring question is, 'What up lifts you?' Go ahead and answer it...
How did your answer make you feel?Expanded? Inspired? Did it make you feel a little bit important perhaps? Let's try another one.
'What did you do today that left you appreciating yourself?' Now list everything that you can think of that caused you to feel appreciation for yourself.
Now how did that feel? Did it leave you feeling good about yourself? Inspiring questions should always leave you feeling empowered or expanded in some way.
An inspiring question will never leave you feeling less in anyway.
An example of a question that isn't inspiring is, 'Why did I do that?' 'Where am I going to find that kind of money?' 'How could I have been so stupid?' (Can you even begin to imagine asking your neighbor any of these questions?) When you find yourself asking yourself (or anyone else for that matter) questions that aren't inspiring questions, try changing them around a little.
For the example: 'How could I have been so stupid?' try changing that question to: 'What did I learn from the situation?' And follow that up with: 'What could I do better next time?' Notice how the perspective change causes you to come up with different and more empowering answers.
An inspiring question always recognizes that 'what is done is done' and that we can't go back and change that but that we can however, do something differently next time we are in the same situation.
When working with other people, inspiring questions will engage them in the conversation and move them into their creative space where their imaginations can support whatever process you are trying to engage them in.
If it's a project you are working on or a situation you are trying to work out, can you see the value of moving all parties into their creative spaces, rather then putting them on the defensive? How questions are generally not inspiring questions; how questions seem to put us on the defensive.
Compare these two questions: 'How are you going to create a new website?' as opposed to: 'What would be the best first step for you in creating a website?' The how question assumes you have all of the answers right now and most of us don't have all of the answers most of the time.
By asking the inspiring question about what the best first step might be, space is opened so that the imagination can come out to play.
Whether you are engaged in self talk or a conversation with others, choosing inspiring questions can make every difference in how the conversation goes and what the outcome might be.