Ask Yourself These 7 Questions To Reveal Your Personal Mastery.
#7 Who am I at my best?
It took me a while to figure out that the key to personal mastery does not lie in other people’s books or courses.
We often think that other people have the solutions to our problems, but I have learned that the answers you seek are found in the questions you ask yourself.
Here are some of my favourite questions I have collected throughout my career as a coach and trainer:
What is something essential that you are underinvesting in?
This question comes from Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism and Effortless. I love this question because it forces you to go deeper and first question what matters to you, but the kicker is confronting that you are not making time for it.
It could be your family, health, hobbies or critical relationships? It’s important to get honest with yourself about what you are underinvesting in because the effect compounds over time. Where will you be six months or three years from now if you continue on this trajectory?
Sit with this question and first determine the essential things in your life; I am sure work doesn’t come up because you are probably already highly invested here. The question is to help you reveal what truly matters in your life and make sure it has dedicated pockets of time in your calendar.
How can I now appreciate this as a gift?
I use this default question from Tony Robbins, a personal development expert, when I face a setback or challenging situation.
It’s easy to appreciate the lesson of setbacks when you have the beauty of hindsight to reveal the hidden gift. If a relationship ended, it might have felt insurmountable at the time. Fast forward six months to a year, and you realised it was a blessing when you met someone else who was way more appropriate for you.
When you choose to find the gift in the challenge, it forces you to create significance out of suffering. Perhaps the gift is to teach you the value of self-care, empathy or compassion. Perhaps the gift is to bring you closer to your family?
This question enables you to remain in your power rather than fall into a victim mentality where life happens to you rather than for you.
What happens when you believe that thought? Who or what would you be without the thought?
In Byron Katie’s book, The Work, she has a four-step process of ‘Enquiry’. It is not life’s situations that affect us, but our thinking about them determines how we respond. Katie provides this robust set of questions to understand that it is a thought causing your suffering.
For example, if you believe success cannot be achieved without pain and sacrifice, you will cause much stress in your life. If you dropped the thought that success equals pain, who would you be without it? You would be free, lighter, and energised.
You can also ask yourself, ‘Is there a stress-free reason to keep this thought?’ — most likely, the answer is no. So let it go and give yourself the gift of joy and contentment.
As Shakespeare said, ‘There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so’.
If your best future self, showed up on your doorstep today and looked at your current circumstances, what courageous action would that future self advise you to take right away to change your life?
This question comes from Benjamin Hardy, the author of Personality isn’t Permanent. I love this question because you aren’t relying on advice from a mentor or someone who doesn’t know you to guide you through critical decisions.
This question forces you to go within and tap into your higher self for guidance. The beauty of this question is that it enables you to create a compelling future vision. When did you last think about what you want to do or who you want to be in ten years? Did you take the time to imagine how successful and fulfilling your future self can be?
Imagine having this conversation with the version of yourself from ten years ago. What would your thirty-year-old self advise your twenty-year-old self? Firstly, you would view them through the lens of compassion and enthusiasm because you know now that all the fear, self-doubt and worry were for nothing. Your advice would probably be that they should relax because you got this!
Now imagine your even more evolved future self having the same discussion with you.
What am I focusing on?
When I feel anxious, my default question is ‘what am I focusing on?’.
I have often caught myself focusing on the clients I do not have and the people I still want to serve rather than appreciating the incredible clients I have and the thousands of people I have had the privilege of working with.
In these self-involved moments — I realise I am focusing on what is lacking rather than what I have. Gratitude is the antidote to anxiety because you cannot be angry and grateful at the same time.
When you focus on what you have, you shift into a more resourceful state. From this place, you can make decisions that are not based on fear or scarcity thinking.
If you cannot identify the specific source of your anxiety, it may be that you are focused entirely on yourself. When you shift your focus to something beyond yourself with a lens of contribution, your entire perspective shifts into a more evolved and positive place.
Instead of worrying about your work problem, can you reach out to a friend you haven’t heard from in a while and see how they are? How can you serve something greater than yourself?
When you shift into this gear, you may not solve your problem immediately, but you allow for a more resourceful state in yourself and, at the very least, the gift of perspective.
If you were already living in your ideal world — how would you show up to your next goal?
Anxiety and unease are created when there is a disconnect between where you are now and where you want to be.
Rather than focus on being content with your current situation, you are despondent because you are not ‘there’ yet. All you can focus on is what you still have not achieved, and it clouds your vision and impacts your mood.
What if you started living today ‘as if ‘ you have already achieved the goal you are after? Imagine the money is in your account now if it’s a specific salary. Now, how would you approach your day? How would you think about your next goal? What would your headspace be like, and how would you approach your work?
This is not about faking it till you make it; this approach of living ‘as if’ enables you to open up to the mindset you need to create the success and abundance you desire.
Flow happens when you are in a mode of being — you have to be content and grateful to open yourself up to new possibilities. How would it shift your headspace to pursue your next level if you begin to live as if you are in your ideal world?
I’m not saying live in a dreamland, but you may underestimate your mindset’s impact on achieving these current goals. A scarcity mindset will keep you feeling stuck, negative and in despair.
Live ‘as if’ for one week and see how your whole demeanour changes.
Who am I at my best?
Think back to a time when you felt on fire, confident and in your full power. Can you return to that memory and replay it mentally as if you were back there. Remember what it felt like; what did you do with your body? What thoughts did you tell yourself?
When you have moments of self-doubt or are called to face a challenge, close your eyes and remember who you are at your best.
Give this part of your personality a name, and know that they are there to tap into whenever you need them most.
Personal mastery begins with self-awareness and honesty.
A better set of questions will always produce the answers you are looking for.
Rather than constantly invest in other people’s books and courses, spend some time investing in the ultimate guru — the person who already has all the answers.
You have unconditional trust and faith in other people’s opinions and advice.
The ultimate question is how would life be different if you trusted yourself and backed yourself unconditionally?
Here’s to the next level of you,
Stay connected with my weekly newsletter filled with practical tools to show up to yourself in life and business — sign up here https://beyondthedress.co.za/newsletter-sign-up