We ask ourselves questions all the time. How often do we answer them honestly? Not as much as we tell ourselves we do or perhaps we wish we did. We tell ourselves things and we often have no one else to answer to but those that are close to us and easy to get angry at if they disagree. We can procrastinate or remold things. We lie. We all lie. We lie because we don’t want to think about deeper feelings, because of fear, because of anger, shame, guilt, or to protect something we’re doing but know we shouldn’t…there’s a plethora of reasons. A study conducted by University of Massachusetts researcher Robert Feldman found that 60 percent of his subjects lied almost 3 times during 10 minute recorded conversations between strangers. There are those things that we have thought for sure if they could just happen it would turn our lives around and then those things do happen and our lives are the same. They’re the same because those things aren’t what needed to be different to really change our lives, we’re not seeing what those deeper changes need to be or we’re doing a better job of ignoring them. We can convince ourselves that if something were to happen what would be the big difference. Have you ever thought you really wanted that special something and received it? Maybe you’ve had the same job for a long time and wished you didn’t have to do it anymore and something in your life happened where you could take time off or you were able to change jobs…but it turned out you missed working at that job more than you thought you would or the new job had a lot of similarities to the old job. What was it you were really looking for?
How about this? You dreamed of taking a long trip and then had the chance to take it. A couple of weeks into the trip you found yourself exhausted and thinking a much shorter trip would have been superb. Good that you traveled-what did you learn about yourself? Why did you you want to go on such a long trip in the first place? How about this? You go shopping, you buy something you think you like…you’re almost 100% sure you like it. You ask your close friend (whose opinion you respect) what they think. Their honest opinion is that they honestly don’t think what you think. You’re not happy. You asked for that opinion, but you’re not happy and a little not happy with them. You were happy five minutes before…or at least almost 100%, but now you’re not happy. o why did you ask? Why does it make a difference what they said? What are you looking for? Were you lying to yourself about how much you liked what you bought? Do you know what you are thinking?
Questions are an amazing way to get things moving when you are stuck, it’s really hard to motivate yourself when you don’t think you can succeed or you feel horrible about yourself. If you take one small step, and it feels good, that’s the motivation to take the next step. It can be the tiniest step. That’s what coaching is about-that’s what the coaching questions lead you to. You have to open the door. Just writing a note, just starting a list, just getting out a notebook. These are so small as to be insignificant, and yet so easy as to be possible. And then the next step is possible and then the next.