What kind of questions do you ask of yourself? Do you even know? It’s really important because the answers that come of those questions are creating your life. Yes, the quality of your life is created by the quality of your questions, which is what this episode is all about.
Bonjour, and welcome to The French Kiss Life Podcast, where personal development meets style. I’m Tonya Leigh, certified master life coach and the hostess of this party, where we explore how to live artfully and well. Each week, I’ll be sharing inspiring stories, practical tips, and timeless wisdom on how to elevate the quality of your everyday and celebrate along the way. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
Hi, beautiful friends. How are you doing? I wish you could see me right now. I am in my robe, in the bed in Aspen, holding a microphone, recording a podcast. It’s quite the scene. But I ended up here because I asked myself a really good question this morning. I asked myself, how can I relax today and get it done? And the answer that popped into my head was, go lay in bed and record the podcast.
And I must say, I’ve had a very productive morning. I’ve gotten done everything that was on my list. I’m recording my podcast. And that leads me to what this episode is all about. I want to talk about the quality of your questions.
Here’s the thing, you all. Your life is being determined by the quality of your questions. And most of you are asking the same questions day after day and you’re getting the same answers. Do you even know what questions you’re asking yourself?
I really want you to pay attention because you may be surprised as to why you’re feeling anxious or stressed or overwhelmed or doubtful. If you’re feeling those types of emotions on a regular basis, it’s probably because you’re asking poor-quality questions.
One of the things that I’ve noticed about people that I admire, people that are successful in how they are living their lives, they ask themselves really good questions. So, I want to explore with you the difference between a low-quality question and a high-quality question.
And the best way for me to do this is to give you an example of a low-quality question and then I’m going to give the criteria for a high-quality question and you’re going to see how the quality of your questions are either serving you or not.
So, I’ve been collecting your questions, you all, the questions that you send me, the questions that I coach you around. And I’ve created a list of low-quality questions, questions that you’re probably asking yourself maybe even subconsciously that you don’t even realize are sabotaging you. One of them being, “Why can’t I lose weight?”
How many of you ask yourself that, “Why can’t I lose weight?” And I want to give you the criteria of a high-quality question so that you can see how this question is not serving you. So, with a high-quality question, you’re going to be offered new insights and solutions.
Going around asking yourself all day every day, “Why can’t I lose weight?” does that offer you any new insights, any new solutions? Probably not because the brain is always going to attempt to answer the question that you ask of it. and if you’ve been asking the question in the same way, day after day, year after year, you’re just getting the same old answers. There’s no new insight. There’s no solution.
A high-quality question will also require that you expand. Asking yourself, “Why can’t I lose weight?” does that cause you to expand anything other than your waistband? I know, when I used to ask myself that question, it made me feel defeated. It made me feel like something was wrong with me. And guess what I would want to go and do… eat.
It didn’t offer me any insights and it didn’t require that I grow. I just kept repeating the same questions and getting the same answers. And the answer was usually something like, “Because you have no self-control. Because you like food too much. Because you just don’t know how.” It didn’t give me any kind of answer that served me on any level.
A high-quality question will also have your dreams and desires at your best interest. Asking myself, like, “Why can’t I lose weight?” that didn’t have my dreams and desires in my best interest. It didn’t have my dream of being healthy and happy and vibrant at my best interest. It was offering me answers that made me feel a lack of energy, a lack of motivation, did not move me forward. It will also be kind and loving, walking around focusing on my inability to lose weight was not kind and loving. It kept me stuck in an overweight body and feeling bad about myself.
It will require that you take personal responsibility. Asking myself why I couldn’t lose weight made me feel like a victim. It made me feel like the weight was happening to me. It did not require that I take personal responsibility. It will provide a useful answer. That question never provided me with a useful answer. It just gave me more reasons to feel bad about myself and to beat myself up.
It will challenge you to leave your comfort zone. That question didn’t challenge me to leave my comfort zone because I kept asking the same thing day after day, thinking the same ways, feeling the same ways, and doing the same things. And it will require that you come up with new answers.
So, I want to read to you some of the low-quality questions that I’ve certainly asked myself, and I know some of you are asking yourself right now. And here’s the thing, you all. Whenever I go to create something new, I can see my brain wanting to ask me terrible questions. Questions like, what if this doesn’t work out? What if this fails? What if everyone laughs at you?
Now, I want you to imagine, if I spend my time and energy answering those questions, what is going to be the product of that And what I know from years of experience of asking myself these kinds of questions, the product is me creating the very thing I don’t want to create because when I ask myself questions, like, “What if this doesn’t work out? What if no one likes it? What if people make fun of it? What if people don’t like it? What if I fail?” What I end up doing is producing answers that produce anxiety and worry and doubt and a lack of confidence.
and guess what I want to do when I’m feeling that way? I want to go hide from the world. I want to get in my closet, close the door, turn the lights out, and just hide. And so, I end up producing the very thing I don’t want to produce. But now, I’m onto my brain and its crazy ways.
And I know, any time my brain is trying to ruminate on terrible questions I just need to flip it. I need to ask myself better questions; questions that will provide me answers that excite me, that expand me, that motivate me, that inspire me, that bring me joy. Answers that create beauty and love and all of the emotions that I want to experience. Because then I’m going to show up in a completely different way.
So, let me read off some of these questions to see if they may sound familiar to you. “What if I made the wrong decision?” So, tell me how that serves you on any level? You’ve made a decision and now you’re spending your time doubting that decision.
I consider this to be a low-quality question because the answer is not going to provide anything useful to you. It’s only going to scare you. It’s going to make you doubt yourself. It’s going to just chip away at your self-confidence.
What would be a better question? And the question that I always ask after every decision that I make is, “How do I want to feel about this decision?” I tell clients all of the time, I’m like, the most important decision is the decision after the decision, deciding how you’re going to feel about your decision.
And the moment you’re like, “How do I want to feel about this decision?” you’re requiring your brain to come up with answers that are going to move you forward instead of causing you to stay stuck in doubt and potential regret.
Another one is, “What if this doesn’t work out?” Not a good question to ask yourself when you’re doing something new or you’re thinking about trying something new, “What if this doesn’t work out?” What’s a better question to ask? “What if this does work out? What if this is the best thing ever? How can I make this work out?”
Because sometimes, we’re so passive in our lives. We act is if life is happening to us, not realizing we are the ones creating it. Whenever I am starting a new venture, whenever I’m trying something new, I love to ask myself things like, “Who do I need to be to make this work out? How can I guarantee that this will work out? How will I have my own back?” And those kinds of questions, as you can tell, they build confidence, not cause me to doubt myself.
Other questions I’ve heard is, “What if I get sick?” Especially this year. It’s been a big one that you all have been asking yourselves, “What if I get COVID? What if I get sick?” And I just want you to ask yourself, how does this question serve me? Walking around asking myself, “What if I get sick?”
Here’s the thing, you all. We tend to create what we focus upon because that’s what we’re giving our energy to. And so, what would be a better question to ask yourself to cause your brain to come up with better ideas, better solutions, better answers?
In this case, “How can I be healthy?” Now you’re focusing on health and you’re thinking about ways to create more health in your life, versus walking around being afraid of getting sick.
Another one that I used to ask myself so often was, “Why can’t I figure this out?” And then my brain would tell me all of the reasons why I couldn’t, “You’re not smart enough. You’re not good enough. You don’t have what it takes.” Not really useful answers if you’re trying to figure something out. And so, what would be a better question in this example?
And for me, it’s going to questions like, “What am I clear about? What’s stopping me from figuring this out? What am I scared of?” Now I’m getting some useful data that I can actually use to work through obstacles, versus just focusing on how I don’t have what it takes to figure it out. Because that was always the answer that my brain wanted to spit out every time I asked, “Why can’t I figure it out?” Not a really useful question.
“Why am I not good enough?” That is a terrible question. Do not ever ask yourself that question ever again because it’s not kind and it’s not loving. But some of you are walking around subconsciously asking yourself this. Like, why am I not good enough?
I want you to be asking yourself, “How am I amazing? How am I good enough? How do I have what it takes?” And force your brain to come up with better answers. Don’t have a lazy brain and ask lazy questions.
Other terrible questions to ask yourself are questions like, “What’s wrong with me?” a different flavor of, “Why am I not good enough?” There’s nothing wrong with you. But if you ask your brain that question, it will come up with some answers. And they’re not going to be answers that serve you on any level. So, instead, ask, “What’s right about me? What’s great about me? What’s amazing about me?” Force your brain to find what it is that you truly want to find.
Other terrible questions that I’ve certainly asked myself and I’ve heard some of you ask yourselves, I’ve coached you – one yesterday, a woman asked on our coaching call on my membership site she was like, “What if I fall back into bad habits?” That’s a terrible question.
Really think about that. When you ask yourself a terrible question like, “What if I fall back into bad habits,” what is the feeling that that produces? What are the answers that you come up with? You’re probably going to come up with, “Well, you’re just not going to be able to create what you want to create. You’re just not good enough. You’re not strong enough. You don’t have enough willpower.”
Producing a lot of anxiety, a lot of worry, a lot of doubt within yourself, which guess what will happen, you’ll fall right back into bad habits because that’s what you are focused on. A better question would be, “How will I guarantee that I create good habits for myself?” That’s a much better question because now you’re forcing your brain to come up with some solutions to, “How do I create good habits for myself? And how can I guarantee that I will do it for myself?”
Another question is, “Why can’t I stop procrastinating?” Now, really think about that one. If you’re a procrastinator and you ask yourself that question, you’re going to come up with answers like, “Because you’re lazy. Because you don’t have what it takes. You don’t have the willpower.” So, you play around with that. What would be a better question, other than, “Why can’t I stop procrastinating?”
I’ll offer you my suggestion, “How can I be a woman that shows up when I say I’m going to show up? How can I be a woman that follows through? How can I set myself up for success? How can I make myself proud today? Those kinds of questions are going to offer you very different answers versus asking yourself, “Why can’t I stop procrastinating?”
Another one is, “Why does this keep happening?” It might keep happening because you keep asking yourself why it keeps happening and you keep expecting it to happen because you’ve had some things happening in the past and now that’s what you’re focused upon. And now you’re in this loop in your brain thinking things are going to happen, “Bad things are going to happen. Why does this keep happening?”
It’s not a good question to ask yourself, versus, “What do I want to happen? What am I excited about happening?” Energetically you’re shaking yourself up and you’re getting yourself to a higher energetic state because all of this is about energy, right? There are certain questions that you can ask yourself that scare you, that cause you to have doubt, that wreak havoc on your self-confidence.
And so, energetically you become a match for circumstances to match how you’re feeling. And then there are certain types of questions that you can ask yourself that excite you, that give you confidence, that motivate you. And when you start asking yourself more of those questions, you’re going to start creating very different results for yourself.
Another question, and I hear this one so often is, “Why is this so hard?” And the moment you proclaim something as hard, it will be your experience. It will be hard. And your brain’s going to come up with all of the reasons why it has to be so hard.
But a better question is, “How can I make this easier? How can this be easy?” And now, all of a sudden, your brain’s having to look for new evidence of what you’re asking from it. It’s just like me, sitting in this bed, recording a podcast. I asked myself a quality question, which was, “How can I have a relaxing day and get it done?”
Now, imagine if I would have gotten up this morning and let my brain be lazy and start saying things like, “What if you don’t get it all done? Why is this so hard? Why are you so overwhelmed?” I would have collected a lot of evidence and a lot of data and a lot of answers to those terrible questions.
But I don’t want to seek the things in life that I don’t want to experience. So, I’m constantly having to manage my brain by asking high-quality questions. And for whatever reason, our brain always wants to go to the familiar, to the questions that will cause us to stay in the cave, to stay small. Our brain, quite innocently, tries to scare us.
In fact, any time I go and try something new or I make a big life decision or I decide to create something new, my brain instantly wants to ask questions like, “What if this doesn’t work out? What if people hate it? What if this isn’t as good as you think it is? What if you’re making a huge mistake? What if you fail?”
And I instantly turn it around. In fact, right now, I’m creating something that I am so excited about and I’m going to be announcing it in the next few weeks. But in this process, I’ve had to really manage my brain because it’s been asking terrible questions.
And I instantly just turn it around and I’m like “How is this going to be the most amazing thing ever? How is this going to have an even bigger impact on women’s lives? How am I going to make this extraordinary? What if this is the best thing that ever happened to me and this community?”
And you can imagine the difference in the answers that I get from the low-quality questions versus the high-quality questions. The high-quality questions excite me, motivate me, inspire me, build my confidence. And from that energy, I think about and create the thing that I’m so excited about.
But if I were to sit around and answer those terrible questions all day, I would be scared. I would be full of doubt. I would slow myself down, if I showed up at all. And that’s the thing with poor-quality questions. They keep you stuck. They keep you anxious. They keep you overwhelmed. They keep you in the known.
And you’ve probably heard me say this on the podcast, if you’ve been listening for any amount of time, anything you want and don’t yet have is going to require that you step into the mystery of life, into the unknown. And that’s why asking yourself high-quality questions will give you the courage to do that because high-quality questions are going to inspire high-quality emotions and high-quality actions. It’s going to move your life forward. It’s going to give you that new insight. It’s going to build your confidence.
And so, if you’re someone that’s experiencing overwhelm, anxiety, if you feel like you’re stuck in your life, I just want you to pay attention to the questions that you’re asking of yourself and begin to ask yourself better-quality questions that will give you new answers, that will inspire new action, and over time, will create new results in your life.
It is time for a J’adore, the part of the show where I get to share something that I love with you. And since I’m traveling – I’m actually in Aspen for two weeks. This is the place that I come every summer. It’s one of my favorite places in the states. And I know that Aspen is known for its wintertime activities, but I think Aspen is its best during the summer. It’s so beautiful here.
But I am traveling and so I was sitting here looking around. I’m like, what am I going to share that I haven’t shared before? I’ve told you about my favorite luggage. I’ve told you about my makeup organizer that I travel with, I’ve told you about my travel steamer.
And then I looked over and I saw this shirt that I’ve been wearing almost every day. And I realized how much I love this shirt. And I love it because it’s elegant, it’s classic, it’s versatile, and it’s simple. Which allows me to be able to use it in many different ways.
It’s a shirt I bought at the beginning of the season for the summer. It’s an oversized linen shirt. And so, I love linen because it’s a natural fiber and it’s very breathable. But I can wear this shirt in so many different ways. I can wear it long, since it’s oversized, as a coverup down by the pool, or I can tie it up, button it up, and I can wear it with a pair of jeans or a skirt.
It has many different uses. Which, to me, it makes for the best investments, the best pieces in my wardrobe. So, if you want to see this linen shirt that I’m bragging about, that I’m so glad that I invested in, head over to frenchkisslife.com/linenshirt. And until next time, my friends, go out there and French Kiss Life. Cheers.
If you enjoyed this episode and you want to dive even deeper into the French Kiss Lifestyle, let’s start with a makeover; a mindset makeover. You can download my free training, The Three Mindset Makeovers Every Woman Needs, by visiting frenchkisslife.com/mindset. Because, after all, mindset is the new black.