It can be hard to get unstuck, or to make yourself care when life feels overwhelming. While many of us have tried and true ways of kickstarting our own personal motivation, we asked some of the coaches in our Catalyst Coaching Collective to share their own personal favorite questions that they use with their coaching clients to spark creativity and get unstuck.
This is called The Miracle Question: "If you woke up one morning and there had been a miracle and all of your hard work had come to fruition; how would you know?" What is the first thing you would notice that would signal to you that your future vision had come to pass?
Visualization is key. A question I love to ask is “How do you see yourself?” The response is either what they see now, how they would like to see themselves or my favorite, the best, grandest version of themselves they have already seen! In any scenario the answer provides solid building blocks for uncovering, discovering or pioneering the path to, hopefully experiencing awareness.
One of the main questions I ask clients is, "What are your strengths?" When someone feels stuck or afraid to make the changes they desire, starting with our strengths is a impactful way to begin. It might feel like bragging, but it's not. We ALL have several strengths that we naturally possess and sometimes discount. Owning our strengths and sharing them out loud starts us on the path to change, growth and life we want to be living.
Coach Marie Senizaiz
I've been coaching a group of woman in a program I created that first has them quickly acknowledge and recognize that they DO have a best version of themselves. Then, from that place of truth and power they begin to share choices and changes they're ready to explore. Regardless of the topic my initial question remains the same, "What would you have to set down in order to walk that out... even if just for that scenario?" The words, "only for that scenario" and "set down" seems to bring up less resistance, doesn't trigger the I-have-to-let-go-and-lose-something mindset nor the black/white thinking mindset. This allows the client an amount of self awareness, clarity as well as a way to try a new way of being.
One of my favorite coaching questions is: "If you woke up tomorrow and knew that failure was impossible, what would you do?" I love this question because it can uncover dreams trapped below our fears and perceived limitations.
It makes us investigate if what we are currently doing is aligned with our true desires, and opens the door to living life more on our own terms.
Coach Chris Clark
Question: "Can you feel the answer inside your body?"
When facing uncertainty or a difficult decision, the first place most of us turn to is our reasoning mind. We make pro/con lists, run scenarios, question our instincts, and ask other people for advice. In weighing options, I invite my clients to also notice what their body has to say.
What does "yes" feel like - an energetic humming? How about "no" - a sudden constriction in the throat? By decoding the subtle information communicated to us through our physical sensations, we're often able to better hear and trust our own internal authority.
Coach Ann Syson
The biggest and my most favorite question to ask clients is "If there were no limits, what would your ideal life look like? Dream big!" This puts a positive spin on things, and creates a small flicker within. If I can get that little flicker going, all we have to do is fan the flame to make it grow! Anyone who knows they need a change, but can't quite put a finger on what the change should be, will benefit from this question. I want to create fires of passion in my clients!
Coach Elena Douvanis
At the risk of sounding cheesy, the most important question is the one that changed my life: “What makes you passionately angry?” This is the very same question that my coach, Dan Mason, asked me, and it was such a lightbulb moment that I will use it with my own clients going forward. Especially for someone struggling with purpose and life direction, this one covers all the right bases. It works so well because it makes you think about what lights you up, but also what makes you fiery enough that you want to act on it.
What is the first thing you are willing to do today towards your goal? This is one of my favorite questions because it gets the client into an action oriented mindset while simultaneously initiating the process for creating SMART goals (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Timebound). I named my private practice Action Based Healing because I believe we must act in order to heal. Over thinking creates so many ailments of the human condition.
If you can get your client acting, and out of their head, and into their life; the momentum created is like powerful domino affect where the sky can become the limit. Action allows you to prove the lies your brain has been telling you wrong. Action is the solid foundation upon which any comeback, breakthrough, or life goal is achieved.
“Are you willing to invest in yourself?” This question usually appears early in the coach/coachee relationship and, depending on the answer, can determine the commitment of the coachee. It is a very difficult decision to reach out for help, but when money comes into play people tend to retreat away from spending financial resources on self-betterment. If you are not willing to invest in a program financially then it is unlikely that you will commit physically and emotionally to the relationship of coaching.
What question can you ask today to get the ball rolling in your own life?