If I could show you how to get crystal clear about your goals and effortlessly start taking action in the right direction, would you be interested?
In this article we’re going to go through seven powerful questions that will not only help you get clear about what you want, but also identify the obstacles and eliminate them.
These are some of the questions I use in my coaching sessions to help you get clear about what you want and make it so effortless for you that you can’t not take action.
What you’ll really love about these questions is how simple they are. I recommend you grab a pen and a piece of paper and follow along.
This will help you integrate them and make progress in your life, which is what you want, right?
For the purposes of this article, I’m going to travel back in time to when I wanted to start Wake Up Cloud, so you can get a concrete example of how these questions are used.
1. What do you want?
What is it that you truly want? If you were a client, I’d dive into this question more deeply because there are always multiple layers, but for the sake of this article, I’ll keep it brief.
Before I started Wake Up Cloud, my heart was telling me to just go ahead and start. I wanted to help people, share what I knew, and also make a living doing what I love.
I had a yearning to do something else than be a professional poker player. Looking back now I see that I’ve always wanted to do this, but I just wasn’t ready, until now.
2. Why do you want that?
The next question focuses on the purpose. Why do you want what you want?
You’re writing all this down, aren’t you?
I wanted to start Wake Up Cloud because I wanted to feel fulfilled. I wanted to feel good about myself, and I felt like it was something that I was drawn to do.
That is the simplest way I can put it.
3. What stops you?
Next we come to a really interesting question, which helps you identify the obstacles that stop you from taking action right away.
What stopped me was that I didn’t believe I had anything to share with the world. I looked at other personal development bloggers, authors and speakers, and they seemed to know so much and I so little.
It took me a few years to finally reach the point where I got mad at myself and took action even though I wasn’t sure I had anything to contribute.
And I’m glad I did.
4. Why is it like that?
Once you’ve identified what stops you, it’s time to look at why you have the obstacles in the first place. Where have they come from?
My obstacle was that I didn’t believe I knew enough. I wish I had known what I know now, because it would’ve helped me tremendously in getting started faster and with more confidence.
Why did I believe that I didn’t have enough to share? How did I know that was the case? This is where it gets tricky for me. Many of these questions really make you think.
We often take our beliefs and thoughts for granted. Once you start really looking at them, they start breaking down if they aren’t useful, and you become free from the shackles of your mind.
I believed that I wasn’t enough because I went inside and tried to compare myself to people that had been doing this for years. It didn’t match, which “told” me that I wasn’t good enough.
These kinds of limiting beliefs are what usually stop people from going after what they truly want.
5. How have you been perceiving this as a problem until now?
How have you perceived this to be a problem in your life? I mean, I could’ve just decided to not start Wake Up Cloud and the problem would’ve been solved, right?
The problem was that I wanted to do something that I knew I could do, but I was comparing myself to other people and stopping myself from taking action.
Funny how that works, isn’t it?
One part of me was saying, “Go for it!” while the other was saying “Wait a minute, you don’t know enough. What if you fail?”
The funny thing about a split like this is that usually both parts want the same thing. They want what is best for me.
6. What would you like to believe?
What would you like to believe instead of the limiting belief? This is an interesting question, because it lets you discover that you have choice, and that you’ve always had choice.
In my case, what I would’ve wanted to believe at that point is that I do know enough, and that I can learn whatever I need to know as I am taking action.
This question helps you imagine what you want and look at the future differently. We can often get stuck in one way of thinking, so jumping out of that can begin to break the spell of the old belief.
So imagine, what would you like to believe instead? How would it feel if you believed something more positive and empowering?
And how would your future look different if you did that now?
7. What would happen if you could?
Last, but not least, what would happen if you could? This is an eye-opener for many, because it may open your eyes to something terrifying.
What I mean by that is that you may be afraid of success in some way.
For example, what would happen if I did start Wake Up Cloud? My thoughts at the time would’ve probably been that I then would have to put myself out there.
I might have to do interviews, create products, and learn all kinds of new stuff. This is all unknown territory which had the potential to evoke a lot of old fears.
So in some way, my limiting beliefs were helping me stay away from this. Once you’ve identified what’s going on, you can deal with it and starting flying toward what you truly want from life.
Some good questions to ponder here Henri. Breaking a goal down and seeing what is really holding you back is incredibly freeing.
Do you have any tips for figuring out what you want?
That has been my roadblock. I don’t know what I want–I just know it’s not this.
I haven’t let myself dream because it all seems so impossible and impractical.
That’s a tough one, because I don’t know your specific situation, but what I can say is to look at what you feel like doing.
What did you like when you were younger? What would you do if you couldn’t fail? And if you still don’t know, then imagine that you did know and start there!
Hi Karen…If you are having trouble figuring out what you want, you’ll probably do fine describing what you don’t want. Put in everything you hate about anything and everything you’ve experienced or can imagine. What makes you miserable, what kind of tasks do you hate, what type of people do you prefer to avoid? Include what kind of activities you dislike doing, where you would be doing them, and with whom. Negativity can help break the pressure and allow that part of you that is refusing to help you decide what you want throw a small tantrum. Once you get it out of your system, you’ll be able to relax and use your energies to flip the negatives! This list of everything you don’t want is the perfect map to guide you to what you do want. Simply take every detail of what you don’t want — the places, things, people, activities, attitudes, weather, feelings — and find their exact opposites. If you said you didn’t want to work inside change it to you work outside along a beach, for example. Once you have flipped all the negatives, convert the flips into an outline or story and watch your dreams emerge! Have some fun with this and good luck.
Joe Wilner says
These are very solid steps and considerations. I think the major factor in achieving goals for many people is staying motivated and overcoming limiting beliefs. When we run into obstacles how are we going to handle these? It’s important as you mention to consider what has been preventing us and what difficulties we may encounter. As well, making change requires we acknowledge many things that are painful. All very important ideas that you cover here!
Just stopped by to see how WUC and you are doing? Keep up the good work, your writing efforts really inspire me 🙂
The Wake Up Cloud is floating higher than ever. Thanks for stopping by, Diggy. I really appreciate it!
Brian Cormack Carr says
I’d like to suggest an 8th powerful question, to be inserted between 1 and 2:
“What is it you like most about the thing you want?”
This can encourage us to think beyond what we *think* we want, and to explore what lies behind it. I might want to be a brain surgeon, and then get discouraged because I don’t have the right qualifications.
If I find out what I want most is to help people, I have the option of finding other ways of helping people (without the brain-surgeon qualification); if I find that what I want most is to be an expert in the field of brain surgery, I know that I have to roll my sleeves up and get on with getting that qualification!
I find this question helps my clients again and again – and I always remind them that they can always have the *heart* of what they want, no matter how unlikely it may seem.
Just went through this article of yours and asked myself these questions and ended up knowing exactly what i have to do. This article really delivers what it tells it will. Appreciate your works Henri 🙂
Good stuff, Akhilesh!