We all face tough questions in our lives--questions that are often asked by other people. These questions prompt us far too often to come up with answers that others will respond to favorably. But we rarely take the time to ask ourselves questions and recognize how we truly feel.
Questions can be a powerful way to get in touch with your inner guide and gain some valuable insight into your life and career.
Here are 5 questions that could change your life--but only if you answer truthfully:
1. What is the reason behind the moments when you don't feel confident?
The reality is that we all struggle with confidence. It's the human condition. But what makes each of us unique is our individual triggers for this lack of confidence. We often know that we may not feel confident, but we don't pay attention to the why. Every time you feel a dip in confidence, figure out the root of those feelings. More often that not, you will see that it's from an irrational fear rather than a real, concrete reason to be down on yourself.
2. How often do you make career decisions based on what others think?
Do you care what others think? You may say no, but the day-to-day reality is that you do. We all do--again, it's part of our nature. However, making decisions based on what others think will lead you astray from the work or life that is right for you. For your next big or small decision, analyze your motivation: Are your intentions pure, or do they simply stem from a desire to look good to others?
3. What is a primary fear that is holding you back?
We constantly hold ourselves back out of fear. But we fail to stop and identify that fear. Figure this out. I am willing to bet it's a fear of failure, a fear of not being good enough, or a fear of the worst-case scenario. These things are always possible, but so are the alternatives: success, being capable, and the best-case scenario. Living a life having faced your fears is far more exciting than hiding behind them. Figure out yours and get busy facing them.
4. What kinds of problems do you want to be solving?
Far too often, we are solving the problems that are given to us. What about the ones you want to solve? Are your career and life oriented to that purpose? If not, think about how to redesign how you spend your time by starting with the problems that drive you.
5. What kind of impact do you want to have on others?
The impact that is meaningful to you gets to the heart of what gives you purpose and what provides fulfillment. We tend to think about our careers from a monetary perspective rather than an impact perspective. Ask yourself what kind of impact you wish to have on others, and the next time you feel deeply fulfilled, take note and analyze what is causing those feelings.
Asking these questions and answering them thoughtfully could change your life and the perspective you take on your career and living your life. The good news is that the answers are there--you just need to scratch beneath the surface.
-Laura Garnett, author of Find Your Zone of Genius