Episode 100: 100 Questions that can change your life
I was trying to think of a topic befitting today’s milestone for the podcast. It’s the 100th episode and I’m just so proud of the show, I love that so many of you are listening in and emailing and really connecting to the tools and applying them to your life. And I want to give you a gift today that has the potential to inspire, elevate, expand, and cultivate what this show is all about – quiet confidence.
Now it is the 100th episode and you all know that every 10th episode I spotlight a teacher, someone who has inspired me, a book, etc – because I love that we can all uplift and influence each other. So I’m not taking from just one book or just one person but a collection of people and teachers and authors, friends, family, and my own that I’ve been collecting some amazing questions from – these questions have helped elevate my life and I want to give that to you today as well.
This is a podcast you’ll want to grab the transcripts notes for or have a pencil and paper ready so that you can dive in and really take your growth and awareness to the next level. So with that said, let’s dive in!
I’m going to way back and start with the stoics who I’ve learned so much from and it’s not that they’ve given me the answers but rather they’ve asked the right questions that have prompted such awareness and self-growth. The first aspect of the confidence model is just to KNOW – to get to know yourself in every detail possible and a part of me giggles a little inside when people scoff at that. They think they already know themselves really well but every day we’re triggered with new circumstances and every day we change, every day we’re influenced by others around us and our environment so our journey to getting to know ourselves is a daily, every minute endeavor. Socrates said, “I know that I know nothing.” Here was a man who devoted his life to philosophy and digging deep with everything and what he is certain of is that I know nothing – and I might piggyback on that and add from Michelangelo in his late 80s was to have said, “I’m still learning”
So question #1: Who are you?
2.) Do I examine myself and my life enough?
3.) Am I taking the time to step back into awareness and with curiosity ask myself, why did I make it mean that?
4.) Why did I react or respond that way?
5.) Is that what I really want?
6.) if not, what do I want? How can I respond with love?
7.) What changes for me when I know who I am?
8.) What changes for me when I know who’s I am?
9.) Who do I want to be?
10.) Who am I becoming?
You could easily take one question a day and use it as a journaling prompt. There is so much power and insight in those first ten questions alone. I highly encourage you to do so. President Russell M. Nelson once told us that the answer to any of our personal challenges is in knowing your Identity. It’s worth the time and investment to pause and think about those questions. It’s the building blocks of confidence.
Okay area number two that I’m taking our next batch of questions from is from Marianne Williamson that said,
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson
11.) What light, what talents do I have?
12.) Do I let myself offer those to the world or do I shy away and play small?
13.) In what ways am I showing up small?
14.) Why do I believe that me shrinking will help others not feel insecure around me?
15.) Why do I feel insecure around them?
16.) What would happen if I let my light so shine?
17.) What would change for me if I believed I was powerful beyond measure?
18.) Why do I believe that I shouldn’t be “brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous”?
19.) What do I make that mean about me?(prideful, conceited, that I shouldn’t…but why?)
20.) What would change for you if you gave yourself permission to shine?
I used to struggle a bit with that quote because for so long I thought, no, my deepest fear is that I’m inadequate, not powerful! But then I came to realize that it wasn’t what I was thinking – it was that I had just learned to focus on my perceived weaknesses for so long that I wasn’t aware of my strengths at all. I only saw through a critical lens. My brain learned to only see my perceived flaws and inadequacies. So let’s switch that for a minute. Let’s do the next 10 from this line in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because we love Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling. Mad-Eye Moody (who we named our dog after) tells Harry:
“Play to your strengths.”
“I haven’t got any,” said Harry, before he could stop himself.
“Excuse me,” growled Moody, “you’ve got strengths if I say you’ve got them. Think now. What are you best at?”
21.) What are your strengths? Don’t gloss over this question. No one is listening to your list – go through you strengths and then when you think you’ve exhausted all areas make yourself think of 5 more. They’re there. I promise you!
22.) What strengths do you THINK you have – do you want to believe you have? This is interesting because I always teach that you’re not until you are.
I wasn’t a morning person until I was, until I said I was, until I thought I was. There’s a difference between what your strengths ARE – what you have proof and evidence for (which is usually that someone validated you and gave you permission to believe that’s a strength) vs what YOU personally believe your strengths are – a lesser known to other people.
23.) What strengths do you admire about in others?
24.) What evidence can you give yourself to prove that you have or are developing that strength in you as well?
25.) What strengths do you want to cultivate?
26.) What would change for you if you had that strength?
27.) What happens when you turn your focus on your strengths that you do have vs believing that you don’t have any or many?
28.) When your brain offers you a weakness – what happens when you ask yourself, what else is true?
29.) For each perceived weakness we think we have there are MORE strengths – how is that true for you?
30.) How can you make it a daily practice to focus on what you DO have – the strengths you already have instead of the culturally accepted belief that we need to play small?
Now you all know that I love Marie Kondo and her Sparking Joy philosophy and it’s so true here as well. I’m taking three quotes from her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She says,
“The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.”
“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.”
“The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”
Now take all of that in terms of self-confidence.
31.) What is my mental space like?
32.) Is it a place designed for my past and harboring thoughts of who I was?
33.) Or is it a place built for a future me I’m becoming?
34.) When a thought arises what happens when I ask myself, does that spark joy for me?
35.) What is joy? How do you define that?
36.) How can I discard of thoughts that aren’t serving me?
37.) What thoughts can I choose to focus on instead?
38.) Why do I want to make things more complicated than they need to be? If a thought doesn’t spark joy why do I want to keep giving it energy and indulging in that?
39.) What thought then do I want to indulge in? What does spark joy for me?
40.) What kind of life do I want to embark on? Can I give myself permission to reset as often as I need or want to?
Our next set of questions is inspired by Steven Pressfield who will for sure have his own episode in the future because I’ve learned a lot from his books over the years and one of his quotes just is so beautiful and gives me a lot of comfort and assurance which we know is a stepping stone to confident living. His advice was to get out there and try things. He was saying that we get so caught in this time scarcity mindset that we don’t try new things. We worry that we’re too old or that we’ll be too old, or it’s too late for us, or whatnot and quoting directly from him he said,
“You’ve got all the time in the world. You’ve got lifetimes ahead of you. Don’t worry about your friends ‘beating’ you or ‘getting somewhere ahead of you. Get out into the real world and start failing. Why do I say that? Because the goal is to connect with your own self, your own soul…who are you really? What do you really want? Get out there and find out.”
41.) What would change for you if you believed you had lifetimes left to live?
42.) Do you have evidence of others in your life that have “lived” multiple lives? Tangent: I went to a funeral service of a gentleman in my area over covid and I was just blown away at all the things he did in his life – now, this isn’t to say you have to go and do anything – this is just to say that if you want to, you have time. I’m constantly amazed at the vast variety of careers people have, the talents that they’ve refined and worked on, the wide expanse of people’s hobbies or interests. You’ve got time.
43.) What would you want to do with your lifetimes?
44.) What do you really want?
45.) Who are you really?
46.) What would change for you if you weren’t worried about comparing yourself to your friends?
47.) What would happen if your main focus was on connecting to you?
48.) What changes when that’s your goal?
49.) What would you want to try first?
50.) What would change for you if failure didn’t have to mean something negative?
Aren’t these great questions? I hope you’ve got a pen and are going to town writing these down and entertaining them for a bit. It fuels me with excited energy to think about all of these questions.
Okay, next up: Speaking of knowing who we are I can’t not talk about David Brooks and his book, The Road to Character. He’s another one that I’ve got a podcast waiting to devote to the things that I’ve learned from him and how beautifully it’s added to my life but I’m just going to take a small snippet today and read this quote from him:
“We live in a society that encourages us to think about how to have a great career but leaves many of us inarticulate about how to cultivate the inner life.”
His book focuses on developing our character rather than our accolades and I love it so much because it reminds me of the quote from Ezra Taft Benson that reads:
“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature. Christ changes men, and changed men can change the world.”
51.) What am I focusing on? Accolades or Awareness?
52.) Am I more intrinsically focused or extrinsically based in my goals?
53.) Do I find myself comparing myself to others often?
54.) What would change for me if there wasn’t a scale to compare to?
55.) What would change if you could go and do simply because you wanted to and not because you believed you needed to?
56.) We all want and need to feel special and set apart but we often do it from a worldly perspective – so what changes then when you focus on cultivating your inner life rather than your outside achievements?
57.) What changes when you focus on how your life feels verses how your life looks to others?
58.) What would change for you if you didn’t need approval from others?
59.) What would change for you in each circumstance if your sole focus was on your character and who you are over what you’re doing and how you look?
60.) What changes when we let Christ change us and because of Him, we change our circumstances?
I love all of that so much because it really allows for JOY to be present and fulfillment over this scarcity mindset of not enough – not enough time, talents, money, recognition, validation – we get to live a life of beauty and joy. It’s really good.
Okay, our next spotlight is Brian Grazer who wrote a book called A curious Mind that I really enjoyed but I want to take the next 10 questions based on just one of his quotes:
“WE ARE ALL TRAPPED in our own way of thinking, trapped in our own way of relating to people. We get so used to seeing the world our way that we come to think that the world is the way we see it…Curiosity—asking questions—isn’t just a way of understanding the world. It’s a way of changing it.”
61.) How have you seen yourself being trapped by your own thinking?
62.) How did it feel when your perspective was opened or widened and you could see more information?
63.) What would happen if you allowed yourself to be curious in all circumstances?
64.) How does curiosity change the world?
65.) How have you seen curiosity changing your world?
66.) How can we liberate ourselves through asking questions?
67.) How can I know what questions to ask?
68.) How does it feel when I allow myself to be curious?
69.) When was a time curiosity lead me to understanding and my understanding then changed the circumstances?
70.) How can I make more of an effort to incorporate curiosity and questions into my daily life?
Now I can’t talk about curiosity and questions without bringing Sheri Dew – this woman is incredible and a huge example to me. I loved her book, Worth the Wrestle and I’ll ask the next 10 based on this quote from her book:
“None of us are entitled to revelation without effort on our part. Answers from God don’t just magically appear. If we want to grow spiritually, the Lord expects us to ask questions and seek answers…The Lord loves inspired questions asked in humility and faith because they lead to knowledge, to revelation, and to greater faith.”
71.) How does asking questions help me to grow spiritually?
72.) Why do I sometimes feel entitled to personal revelation?
And we all do at times – we want to know why that happened or didn’t happen or what to do next and sometimes when we don’t get answers as quickly as we’d hoped – or maybe not even that – we’re just not in a position to Hear Him answer us we feel entitled to just have it handed over but why do we do that?
73.) How do I hear Him?
74.) How can I asks questions with a backdrop of faith?
75.) Can I make room to ask questions not from a doubting perspective but from a desire to believe?
76.) Are my questions asked with the assumption that there are answers? (that’s straight from her book)
77.) Are you willing to trust the Lord and give Him the benefit of the doubt? – sheri Dew
78.) are you willing to engage in the wrestle? – Sheri Dew
79.) What would change in your seeking if you adopted a practice of intentional questioning with a backdrop of faith?
80.) How can I ask inspired questions? What are inspired questions to me?
Questions lead to personal revelation which helps you understand more of who you are and what your purpose is which creates a layer of quiet confidence. All of these questions invite you to get to know yourself better and on a deeper level which builds self-trust and confidence.
I loved Arianna Huffington’s book, Thrive as she talks about cultivating a life of love, character, and fulfillment vs achievements, accolades, and recognition. It sounds simple on the outside and yet so many of us restrict our ability to feel confident because we don’t have that one thing yet – we think we’re missing something, that book, that degree, that paycheck, that position, that award and so it’s a hard inner sell when you’re trying to live a life of quiet confidence because the world around you is screaming with their insecurities trying to prove they’re good.
Here’s a quote from her:
“If you look at the best research on parenting, it comes down to one thing and one thing only. Not what you teach your children or how much time you spend with them, or if you read to them or not. What it comes down to is who you are, because we teach who we are. You read, your child will read. You watch too much TV, your child will. You do service in the world, your child will do service in the world. So the best way to get past all the worries is to be the best you that you can be. And forgive yourself when you are not. And not to hold unrealistic expectations of your children when you are in no way showing them the behavior you demand from them. Be an example to yourself that your child can be proud of.”
81.) It’s worth asking again – who do you think you are?
82.) What do you spend your time doing?
83.) Who do you spend your time with?
84.) Who do you look up to?
85.) What qualities or traits do they have that you want to develop?
86.) Do you give yourself permission to forgive yourself?
87.) Do you practice what you preach?
88.) Are you the example you want to be?
89.) What are you proud of that you’d like to see them emulate as well?
90.) What are you teaching those around you by who you currently are?
Aren’t these good questions? I love being inspired by all these incredible humans on earth and giving myself an opportunity to look deeper and guide and shift my life to be in alignment with what I really want and who I really want to be. If you notice most of these questions are about your identity and your purpose and I can’t say that phrase without talking about President Nelson who taught us that the answer to any personal challenge was to know their identity and purpose.
The last stretch of questions I’m going to take from him and ask you:
91.) Do you know who you are?
92.) Do you know what your purpose is?
I believe we have many purposes in life but ultimately one takes precedence – one takes priority and I believe it’s different from the way the world thinks of purpose so let me ask you:
93.) What do you think of when you think of your purpose? What does that mean to you?
94.) how is knowing who you are and your purpose the answer to any challenge?
95.) Are there any examples that you can think of where someone fictional or not was able to go and do more once they found out their true identity?
(think Moses, Peter, Moana even right?)
96.) What is your true identity?
97.) How does it feel to you when you think and ask yourself these questions about your identity?
98.) How can you know or learn more about your identity?
99.) When you think about your identity what feelings or attributes are strengthened? For example, when I think about who I am and whose I am I’m filled with security and courage to go and do more
100.) What would change for you if you believed you were a child of God of Infinite Capacity?
I promise, if you spend just 5 minutes a day thinking about these questions – just pick one a day and ponder on it you will be filled with empowerment, courage, inspiration, and confidence. I love questions. I love asking myself questions and then making myself answer them – especially the hard ones because my brain doesn’t always want to expend the energy to do so but it always leaves me better than before, more full of energy and light, and more centered on my purposes, and in alignment with my identity.
Thank you for being on the show with me. This was a fun episode to create and to bring to you – now ask yourself all the questions and see what amazingness happens in your life because of it. Okay, catalysts! Talk to you next time!