Question marks painted on an asphalt road

Have you ever asked yourself a question like this?

What did I do to deserve this? Why did [insert name] get [insert thing] and not me?

These are the answers we’ll likely get to questions like these:

Answer to first question: I must have really screwed up.
Answer to second question: Life isn’t fair.

Any question you pose in your mind is answered by your brain whether you realize it or not.

Negative questions and negative responses get us more of the same. This type of inquiry can spiral down into thinking and results that don’t serve us and keep us stuck.

What are you asking yourself? Stop. Listen.

Check in with yourself first thing in the morning. Ideally, you ask yourself questions like: “How can I make it a great day?”

The key is to pay attention.

When I started checking in with myself. I was surprised at how often I was asking, “What’s your problem?” This is NOT a great question!

Even, innocent sounding questions like, “What should I do next?” can be tricky. Beware. The word should generates hidden land mines of naysaying. Here’s another way you could ask what’s next: “What can I do next that will forward my progress?”

How do you know if you're asking a negative question? You'll know if the answer to your question feels bad.

If you ask yourself: What happened today that made me feel good? You probably created at least one positive story from that question, however, that question is past-based. The questions on the "Feel-Good" list below will help you with how your day goes today.

These feel-bad and feel-good questions show how we can create positive feelings or negative feelings. They can help you teach the concept to your kids, and help you both get started with generating amazing days on purpose. Try it out!

FEEL-BAD QUESTIONS

  • What's wrong with me?
  • Why am I so fat?
  • Why don't I have any money?
  • Why is parenting so hard?
  • Why is life so unfair?
  • Why won't my kids behave?
  • When will things get better?
  • Why do I make so many mistakes?
  • Why am I so dumb?
  • When will he start _______?
  • Why won't they ________?
  • What is my problem?
  • How long is ________ going to last?
  • Why aren't I more ________?

FEEL-GOOD QUESTIONS

  • What can I create today?
  • How do I want to feel?
  • What can I learn from this?
  • How is this perfect?
  • What's great about this?
  • How can I create what I want?
  • How can I figure out a solution?
  • What's funny about this?
  • How can I make today fun?
  • What do I love about being a parent?
  • What's great about my kids?
  • What's positive in my life?
  • What makes me happy?
  • What can I give today?
  • How is my body strong?
  • What's right about me?

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About The Author

Katie McClain SEP's picture

Katie McClain, SEP is a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner, author, and certified life coach. She’s been coaching for 25+ years and uses Somatic Experiencing®, a gentle body-mind method, to support her adult and child clients in releasing stress, growing self-compassion, and restoring goodness to their lives. Katie’s book, How to Tame Your Thought Monster, is available in multiple formats (English, Spanish, coloring book, and app) and presents mindfulness and positive thinking tools for adults and kids so they can feel better and do better. Visit Katie at her website, www.katiemcclain.com, follow her on Facebook  and Instagram.

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