Feeling low? Are you asking yourself the right questions?


The most powerful tool used by coaches are the questions they ask. I read an excellent article by Slava Menn recently who shared his experience of a great question used by Tony Robbins that is sure to snap you out of a feeling of hopelessness to discovery. He summarises;

“Your brain is a computer. Submit a question, get a response. Submit negative questions (Q) and get negative responses (R).”

Negative examples:

  • (Q) How’d I get into this mess? (R) I made bad decisions.
  • (Q) Why can’t I get ahead? (R) I’m not smart enough.
  • (Q) Why can’t I get in shape? (R) I’m lazy.

But if you ask your brain empowering questions, you’ll get empowering responses

  • (Q) What did I learn from this mess? (R) To make better decisions.
  • (Q) How do I get ahead? (R) Find a book and a mentor to help me.
  • (Q) How do I get in shape and have fun doing it? (R)Pick up a fun sport as a hobby.

Dig deep to find true answers.

Back to Tony’s question: What’s great about this situation that you’re not seeing right now?

Here are some empowering responses:

  1. This is a wakeup call and I need to address my anger/health issues ..

  2. I need to seek help in …

  3. This is an opportunity to turn my life around…

Life is full of ups and downs, but we have to maintain the energy to stay on track. This energy can be derived from an external source like a friend, a coach or mentor who can help to re-ignite the spark within ourselves.

Setbacks are stumbling blocks that teach us lessons. Every time I fall, I try to ask myself challenging questions that can help me feel empowered.

Examples of powerful questions:

What is it I am doing that is not working?

Are my actions in some way contributing to the situation I am in?

Have I really given this project my 100%?

What can I change?

I stay away from the following question types, as I know they will only make me feel weaker and lost:

Why am I not as successful as my colleague?

Why does this always happen to me?

How long will it take when I get a break?

Its not always easy to break that vicious cycle of struggle, hopelessness, motivation. It takes determination to stay positive. I seek inspiration from my mentors, from self-development books and listening to inspiring people.

There is no such thing as total darkness or hopelessness. There is always something positive in a situation, we are just so engrossed in the negativity of the situation to see any other perspective. So next time you are feeling low, try to ask yourself questions that can help you to dig deep and find answers. Challenge yourself to think outside your comfort zone. Don’t lose sight of that light shining at the end of the tunnel, you will surely succeed. Prepare yourself for success by;

  • Getting your energy (physical, emotional, mental) to 10/10
  • Re-affirming your strengths with regular incantations and affirmations
  • Adopting a healthy life style
  • Teaming up with a buddy or coach who can help to keep you on track

Interested in talking about an issue that is affecting your mood and your life. You want to move ahead but not able to do so? Feel free to contact  shaistakhan@eduservecommunity.org for an informal discussion.



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