It’s no secret that we almost always have an internal dialogue with us. We constantly discuss with ourselves on various topics, discuss something with ourselves, try to convince ourselves of something, persuade ourselves to something … Listen to your thoughts, and you will see that this is so. And this is completely normal. Maintaining an internal dialogue is quite natural for a person. The only question is how effective is your internal dialogue?
Actually, to understand how effective your internal dialogue is quite simple. After all, the way you live is largely a direct result of your internal communication, your internal dialogue. Look at the reality surrounding you, evaluate your standard of living and its quality, and you can draw a conclusion about how effective and productive your internal dialogue is.
The effectiveness of internal dialogue primarily depends on those questions that you ask yourself. This is somewhat reminiscent of coaching: the effectiveness of coaching also depends on how effective and timely questions the coach asks. The only difference is that in the internal dialogue you ask yourself questions. But the essence of this does not change. If you ask yourself stupid questions, it is naive to expect that the answer to them will be smart. Conversely, asking yourself the right questions will most likely get the right answers.
It is especially important to correctly ask yourself questions in all kinds of difficult situations: when making decisions, in a time limit, in situations of choice, in cases of force majeure, and so on. Although, of course, it would be better if the right questions get into your habit, and with their help you will conduct an internal dialogue in any conditions.
So, let’s look at what the right questions should be for an effective internal dialogue from the point of view of life management.
- First of all, the questions should be positive. That is, they should not be focused on getting rid of something, but on the acquisition of something. To be directed not from something, but towards something. “How do I get rid of the disease?” Is an ineffective question. It would be much better to ask yourself the question: “How do I recover?” Try to ask yourself these two questions in turn and notice how different thoughts come to your mind. As you can see, the right questions are very closely related to a positive way of thinking.
- Questions should be decision oriented. Yes, of course, it can be very useful to figure out what happened and who is to blame for the situation. But it is much more important to determine what can and should be done now to get out of this situation and to prevent it from happening again. The past has already passed, the present has already arrived, you cannot influence them. But you can completely change your future. Therefore, it makes sense to focus on it. “Well, why did it all happen?”, “And did it creep me out?”, “Well, how so?” – these are absolutely ineffective questions. What will they give you? What are the benefits of answering them? As a rule, such questions only worsen the situation. “What can I do in this situation?”, “How can I best solve this problem?” – these issues are much more effective, you must agree.
- Questions should include a clear and concrete answer. These are questions such as “What?”, “How much?”, “Where?”, “When?”, “How?” And so on. Although, the question “How?” Is still better to replace the question “How?”. If you conduct your internal dialogue using these questions, it will be clear, concise, structured and, as a result, effective. But the question “Why?” Is ineffective, and it is better not to use it. If necessary, it would be better to replace it with the question “Why?”.
I have given here only the basic criteria for the effectiveness of the questions, but for practice this is more than enough. It is not enough to know how to ask yourself the right questions; you need to introduce this into everyday practice. Accustom yourself to ask the right questions! It is only a matter of desire and discipline. Practice and practice again! Moreover, you will get the first results very quickly.
Of course, mindfulness is very important here. Indeed, most people simply do not realize that they are conducting an internal dialogue! Oddly enough, but for many it becomes a revelation. So for starters, just be aware of your inner dialogue. Just listen to how you conduct it, what questions you ask yourself and how you answer them. Realize it! Perhaps you will learn a lot for yourself.
Well, then start a little adjusting the questions you ask yourself. Ask yourself the RIGHT questions. And, of course, answer them! Correct the questions that you asked incorrectly, reformulate them again and compare the result. And you will very quickly see the difference between how effective questions work and how inefficient ones work.
Starting to ask yourself the right questions, you will very quickly notice how your decisions become more effective.