8 Powerful Questions we should Ask Ourselves Immediately.

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“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”

~ Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay

For much of my life, I struggled to discover who I actually was.

I lost myself in relationships, in family and in friends. Instead of living the life that suited me, I became a chameleon, constantly changing to suit each environment and desperately trying to sit on each high pedestal that others had placed out for me.

I compared, compromised, blended and sold my soul time and again.

I frantically searched for answers to unlock the secret to my unhappiness and in doing so I accused, blamed, demanded and found replies in all the wrong places.

So, I turned it around on myself. If others weren’t at fault, was it I? I had choices. Everything that was in front of me was there because I, and I alone, had put it there. It was time to call myself out and to face up to myself.

Looking in the mirror I had no idea who I was. How could I possibly expect anyone else to value me when I was a confused and distorted mess, a mixture of everyone I had allowed to penetrate me, along with all the negative self-beliefs I had somehow inflicted on myself.

My insides ached with under-nourishment and I realised the reason for this was that I was not living the life destined for me, I was living for everyone else and was doing a pretty bad job of it.

I needed to change and in doing so, I needed to figure out how. I knew it wouldn’t happen overnight—I had taken a long time to become who I was and to change, was going to be a process. Although I didn’t expect miracles, when I asked myself each of the following questions, I noticed immediate changes taking place on the inside.

1. Where do I want to be in five years time?

I looked at my relationships, my career, the area I lived in, my health and education. I thought about places I wanted to visit and all the things I wanted to experience. I realised that although some of these changes were not possible immediately, there were so many things I could work on one small step at a time.

I enlisted in courses, changed my eating habits, found new hobbies, read the books that I needed and focused more on cultivating important relationships. I didn’t set a destination for the outcome; instead I set a feeling.

2. How did I want to feel on the inside in five years time? Where would I be emotionally, physically, mentally?

I considered all the things in my life that weren’t healthy and how I could make the changes needed. I realised that nothing was out of reach and it was up to me to take control of my life and that anything was possible. When I didn’t add to much pressure by expecting instant gratification for the changes, I allowed everything take a natural pace so it sunk in. Instead of crashing and burning I slowly absorbed each new thing.

3. What bad habits do I need to stop?

I made a list and didn’t expect an overnight miracle. Instead I worked on them one by one. With some, I went cold turkey and others I phased out over time. For each one accomplished, I rewarded myself with something that was good for me instead. Alongside the list I added a replacement for each one. Something to look forward to at the end of each achievement.

4. What mistakes have I made today?

Instead of excusing or blaming my behaviour, I took responsibility. I made the decision to turn every negative into a positive. Each time I messed up, I confronted it face on. Why, what and how had these things happened? What would I do differently in the future? What have I learned?

I realised that I was stumbling over the same problems over and again and I would keep coming face to face with them until I accepted where I was going wrong. Whenever I made errors, bad judgements or was careless, I thought about what part I had played in allowing the mistake to happen.

I discovered that when I lived in the present moment, I was far less likely to keep tripping up. Although I still would, I would rectify things sooner and understand the reasons behind the mistakes. I also have learned that I will always, always make mistakes, regardless of how much I learn, and so I forgive myself each time and vow to try harder in future.

5. Who do I envy or admire? What qualities do these people have? In what way can I learn from them? What is it about them that inspires me?

I wrote down a list of the people that have the je ne sais quoi that strongly resonated with me. What elements was I drawn to? I wrote down all the characteristics that made those people what they were. I read their autobiographies and learned how they had succeeded and what steps they took to get where they were. I used the admiration to motivate me and to help me reach my own life goals.

I found that it was shared similarities that had drawn me to those people and I realised that I could set the bar however high I chose and then just take whatever necessary steps needed to get there. I learned so much through others from animal activists to successful entrepreneurs. Although I may not reach the same high levels with everything, I realised that my destiny was it my own hands, just as it had been in theirs, it was up to my how hard I was willing to work.

6. What stories have I told myself?

So much of my self-belief was bad conditioning. I had convinced myself that I was worthy of this and not worthy of that. In doing so I attracted all kinds of wrong people and rubbish into my life. I immediately made a conscious decision to stop filling my head with negativity about myself. I was unique, different and worthy of the very best life had to offer me. I just needed to keep telling myself this until it finally sank in and I believed it.

As soon as I unlearned all of the rubbish and relearned how magical I was, I began to attract exactly what I believed. My soul was a mirror and whatever was going on in the inside, was radiating out and attracting similar reflections. The more love I gave to myself, the more love I received back—I discovered that like attracts like.

7. Who do I love and who loves me?

I thought long and hard about those that I loved and those that loved me. Did I let them know what they meant to me? Was I making them a priority in my life? How could I spend more quality time with them and show them how valued and important they were? I realised that often I would take people for granted and assume they already knew their place in my life. I made a conscious decision to appreciate each one of them more and let know regularly with actions rather than just words.

8. If no one judged me, who would I be?

This is probably the most powerful question I asked myself.

It made me realise how much I was living a lie, living according to society’s expectations of me. So much of what I said and did on a daily basis was done to fit in line with high standards placed on me by people I didn’t even know. I realised my life was limitless. I could be whoever and do whatever I chose to be. Those that truly loved me would accept me all the same and those were the only ones that really mattered.

I realised that to live free from judgement, I also had to stop judging myself. I stopped caring about what people thought about me and started caring about what I thought about myself, about what I needed to do to be fulfilled and also what made me happy on the inside. When I went places, I stopped caring if people liked how I dressed, what I said, or valued my opinions.

We are all different and we are never going to be accepted by everyone.

Someone, somewhere will always disapprove regardless of how hard we try. I stopped trying to please the masses and instead worked on pleasing the only person that really mattered—myself.

As soon as I mastered this, other people’s opinions and judgement faded from my thoughts and I no longer cared. As long as I believed in myself and trusted that I was living as morally and ethically as I could, the judges—I truly couldn’t give a f**k about. It was liberating and refreshing and simply the best and most loving thing I ever did for myself.

I started asking myself these questions on a daily basis and each day, I found new answers.

I realised I was trapped in an existence that I didn’t like, and yet, I already had all of the answers to free myself. It was that simple. These questions transformed my life completely, I didn’t just feel different, I became a different person.

I became me.


Bonus: Byron Katie is the ultimate pro at suggesting mindful powerful questions to ask ourselves:

Relephant reads:

Is He or She “The One”? Ask these 2 Questions. ~ Kimby Maxson

2 Questions We Can Ask Ourselves to Reclaim Balance in Our Relationships. ~ Elizabeth Isis Ziogas

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Author: Alexsandra Myles

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Tareck Raffoul/Facebook

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janetjourney Jan 15, 2019 10:03am

Thank you . I needed this today.

anonymous Jan 19, 2016 8:48pm

This is helpful . 🙂

anonymous Nov 5, 2015 3:16am

Thank you much for sharing this .. Few seconds before this I was crying over something and now I am smiling ,filled with so much energy after reading this .. I so wanted something like this to motivate me ryt now … Bless you .

anonymous Sep 5, 2015 5:33pm

Love your writings. They are thought provoking and truthful. Thank you.

anonymous Jul 28, 2015 2:31pm

You are the teacher I’ve searched for, the guidance I need daily, your words are truly powerful and genuine. Taking responsibility of own mistakes and learning from them shows your maturity, steps we all should take. How many times out of pride we haven’t faced up to mistakes ? I admire you and you inspire me. Hugs Collette

anonymous Apr 17, 2015 3:23am

WOW. The most on the spot article i've read in a very long time. Should be handed out with every High School diploma, college diploma and marriage certificate. Thank You.

anonymous Mar 23, 2015 2:09am

Thank you very much for the wonderful article,it is really inspiring and helpful especially when you are trying to discover who you really want to be in life..thanks

anonymous Mar 22, 2015 4:33am

Well posted! This the first time I came across and read this! So powerful and true! This worth a five (5) star rating!!!!!!

anonymous Mar 21, 2015 8:56pm

I really like this article… For a long time I have been struggling to find the real me.. These eight questions are very good… But on number 5… Does the person or people I admire or envy have to be famous?? I have family and friends that I admire… This is going to help me focus on my soul and help me figure out the path I’m supposed to be on. Thank you for writing this.

anonymous Mar 10, 2015 8:57pm

Your words strike a chord deep inside. All I can say right now is “Thank You.”

anonymous Mar 10, 2015 11:12am

What an inspiring article. I can tell you that some of these I am already doing. I've stopped smoking, made more time for people I love, started challenging the negative thoughts I have about myself, I'm graduating this year. I am looking for work after recovering from an illness and I'm planning a beautiful wedding in New Orleans with my partner and my daughter.Even though we are only saving now. I have a clear goal to get driving lessons done and to pass my test by the end of the year. It is so true like attracts like. Determination, passion, ambition, love, compassion are all qualities I admire and cultivate in my life. Learn the lesson for each trial in life and move on. Don't forget to cry and it is not a sign of weakness or defeat if you do have blips and crappy days. Life is far too short to have hang ups. I really enjoyed reading this . Thnk you

anonymous Mar 9, 2015 8:48pm

My heart is pounding. I too, need to look into my self as well. I’ve been so unhappy for so long and this article really opened my eyes to what I need to do now for my future. I deffently need to work through these questions and do what I need for me. It’s hard to love others when you don’t love yourself first. It’s time I make a change. Thanks so much for the eye opener.

anonymous Mar 9, 2015 5:36am

Gosh this really hit home, I’ve printed this one out to devote some serious thought to and to share around
Thank you thank you Alex X

anonymous Mar 6, 2015 9:48am

Great post! I especially love your last question to yourself: If no one judged me, who would I be? It reminds me of a question I like to ask myself: What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

anonymous Feb 18, 2015 11:26am

Excellent website. A lot of helpful information here. I’m sending it

to a few friends ans additionally sharing in delicious.

And obviously, thanks for your effort!

anonymous Feb 18, 2015 2:47am

Thank you! This came to me just at the right time. Just what I needed!

anonymous Jan 21, 2015 9:43am

Such perfect timing for me to read this. Though I'm right in the flow in my life at the moment and ecstatic with it, I just released fifteen years of work as an illustrated pdf this morning (to a tiny audience but still)…and as the adrenaline rush of bringing it all out was just beginning to fade into a fear of being judged.
All your steps are valid and helpful, but with 'if no one judged me who would I be' I really felt that shell I was just beginning to fabricate completely dissolve. Thank you! I'll definitely re-visit this 🙂 shen, returntotheway.org

anonymous Jan 15, 2015 1:38pm

I've learned a great deal from you about introspection, honesty, freedom and appreciating the moments as they happen. I'm always excited when I run across your writing, and I look forward to more of it.

anonymous Dec 16, 2014 9:44am

Wow! Thank you for this writing! I feel much of what you said here coming to life for me as we speak. Reading this helps to have faith that I am on the right track. Much love. I would love to connect with you sometime to talk more about your story if you are open to it.

anonymous Dec 9, 2014 12:30pm

This is very nice for introspection. And yes, we do have to choose our goals, the time-frame our expectations follow, and who-what we want to be when we grow up. We also choose our distractions and down-time.

Not only do we not fit into everyone else’s plans, they don’t necessarily fit into ours, long-term or short-term. Sometimes we mend fences, sometimes we don’t. I’m my most content when I am focused >outward< toward other people who reflect gifts and qualities I want to cultivate in myself.

But navel-gazing gets old after a while; and the need to minimize distractions these days demonstrates to oneself that I really intend to actually get down to work, especially doing the hard stuff it's so easy to avoid. Let's clear the desk.

anonymous Dec 9, 2014 12:20pm

I have stopped thinking about what ¨ I Have¨.
Now Im focused on what ¨ I Am¨

anonymous Dec 9, 2014 5:42am

thank you….it was very inspiring

anonymous Dec 8, 2014 3:20pm

amazing article I even took notes and did my piece of homework! Thank you it was an eye opener and from time to time is great to remind ourselves that we are unique magical beings 😀

anonymous Dec 8, 2014 9:02am

Wow. I gobbled this up. Your words amount to a good road map for me. I need practical, yet inspirational thinking – and a little nudge in the right direction. This did the trick. I am fairly happy with my life, but always need to be learning, growing and improving. Conversely, I can be pretty hard on myself…but really, this behavior isn’t justified. Your words will help me with this.

I don’t print much…but this one is worth printing. I hope the paper becomes tattered from many years of daily handling, reading and reminding. Alex, thank you so much for your thoughts.

    anonymous Dec 11, 2014 4:57pm

    Thank you for your comment, so completely humbled that you like it enough to print!! That's made my day 🙂

    And also thank you for letting me know that it is inspiring. I am the same as you, happy with my life but always on the lookout for new ways to grow and expand my mind. Even though I wrote all this, I still need to remind myself regularly as it's so much harder to put it all into practice.

    I have lovely visions of my writing being printed and read for years to come now, I really do appreciate you responding and giving such awesome feedback! Thank you, again…

anonymous Dec 8, 2014 8:44am

Hi Jessie, Thank you so much for taking the time to read it and also for your beautiful comment! I agree totally with you, I too searched and searched and then found I had to stop and look inside. As soon as we really listen to ourselves and figure what we really want, we start to live the life that is meant for us. It took a huge life changing period of my life for me to fully realise that when we close the doors each day, we are the ones that matter. No amount of outside influence would ever make me happy, it had to come from me and me alone. I still struggle, of course, but step by small step I am happier by the day. Thank you so much. Your words are what makes writing worth while <3

anonymous Dec 8, 2014 5:06am

thank you so much for this beautiful piece of writing.
i am blown away, i felt each word leaped off the screen and into my soul. i have been looking for the answer to the question for a while now and here laid out in front of me as I'm sure i have seen a million times, the answer is simply…begin. begin with a question to find your answer, don't ever stop asking, for the day you cease to ask is the day you stop seeking your truth. thank you

Carrie Alcock Aug 4, 2018 5:51am

Brilliantly put, thankyou!

Caroline Mary Moore Apr 25, 2018 3:01pm

I almost feel I wrote this myself! Thanks for reminding me of how far I have come, not to mention there are some great points to go over again, Thank you so much xx

Mary Hall Apr 25, 2018 2:46pm

Really glad I stumbled upon this right now. Making a big life decision and these questions are helpful in that process! The quote at the top is one of my favorites! BTW, it’s originally F. Scott Fitzgerald

Cat Simmons Aug 12, 2016 12:49pm

Oh, Alex, I ADORE this. Thank you so much. I am excited and inspired! You are a phenomenal woman! Big love! <3

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Alex Myles

Alex Myles is a qualified yoga and Tibetan meditation teacher, Reiki Master, spiritual coach and also the author of An Empath, a newly published book that explains various aspects of existing as a highly sensitive person. The book focuses on managing emotions, energy and relationships, particularly the toxic ones that many empaths are drawn into. Her greatest loves are books, poetry, writing and philosophy. She is a curious, inquisitive, deep thinking, intensely feeling, otherworldly intuitive being who lives for signs, synchronicities and serendipities. Inspired and influenced by Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla, Anaïs Nin and Paulo Coelho, she has a deep yearning to discover many of the answers that seem to have been hidden or forgotten in today’s world. Alex’s bestselling book, An Empath, is on sale now for only $1.99! Connect with her on Facebook and join Alex’s Facebook group for empaths and highly sensitive people.