4 Qualities of Powerful Questions
You've taken action because of the siren song of these questions, traveled to specific ports of call in search of an answer, the answer. The recurring questions have paved the pathway of your life's adventure.
What are those questions that tug at your heart and beckon your being? Take a moment to allow those questions to arise here and now and jot them down.
Your recurring questions are the sacred flame of your soul's purpose. They engage your inner compass and guide you, thus shaping your outer world. What if these questions weren't so much a place to go, or a thing to do, but instead the rocket fuel of your evolution? The good news is that you have everything at your disposal to navigate the shifts, as you seek to engage and embody the answers to the deeper questions.
Questions express the reality that change, like life, can sometimes seem difficult and unpredictable. When you look for answers, often you'll find you have more questions. The ever deepening inquiry can seem like a rabbit hole at first, but it's this inward movement of engaging the deeper questions that creates a shift in awareness. These kinds of questions elicit a grander response. And it’s why questions are essential on your soul’s journey.
Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it,
you will live along some distant day into your answers. Rainer Marie Rilke
4 Qualities of Powerful Questions
The intent of a powerful question is to reveal more, to learn more, to open you up to see new possibilities and new solutions; thus, powerful questions lead to greater creativity. What is it that makes a powerful question, the kind that changes or shifts your life in a new direction?
1. Powerful questions are simple. A powerful question is usually short and seemingly even “dumb.” For example, “What outcome do you want?” or “What's the next step?” or “What did you learn?” They appear simple on the surface. These questions cause you to become introspective and more reflective; thus, you are able to get to the heart of the matter. Finally, the question involves only one important issue so that you can experience movement.
2. Powerful questions are open-ended. They move a conversation forward because they require reflection and more than a “Yes” or “No” answer. Their intent is to go beyond getting information, it's purpose is to provide focus and to help you gain both insight and clarity. Notice the difference between: “Why can’t I ever get this right?” vs “Is what I'm doing working?” Notice that these kinds of questions do not start with “why.” They start with what, how, when. They invoke thought, recall, and introspection. They do not feed defensiveness.
3. Powerful questions are provocative. You will often feel uncomfortable, even experience a little anxiety. It will thrust you out of reaction mode, and move you into a long period of silence. That's because you've just disrupted your automatic thinking and response and introduced a ‘brain interrupt' that requires a shuffling and re-orchestration of previous patterns. It can instantly illuminate a truth, leading to fresh approaches and new ways of being.
4. Powerful questions are relevant. A powerful question taps the immediacy of your situation. Why does it matter now? You must want and need to bridge the gap of understanding. The question must instill an urgent call to action, and gets you to begin to move forward. A powerful question almost always creates a vibrancy, which did not exist before.
“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering,
by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small
scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.” Anais Nin
The quality and depth of your questions dictates the landscape of possibility in your world. This is a wondrous playground where dreams come to life as you entertain the questions that are etched in your heart. Engage the deeper questions and plumb the depths of your creative caverns. Within the depths of your being you'll discover these questions are yours to bring to Life!
Ready to navigate the questions that matter? Schedule a discovery session and let's dive into the most meaningful playground for you right now!
About the Author
Adela Rubio writes and speaks on awakening your creative essence with the power of collaboration and community. She’s hosted 20+ Women’s Writing Circles, 30-Day Adventures, and Telesummits.