In this post I am going to share with you the concept of “lofty questions” and explain how powerful an impact they have had on me and my own journey and why I believe they can help you too.
Over the last few years I have focused a great deal of time and energy in learning, understanding and growing my own self-awareness, resilience and mind management. Essentially coaching myself from a place of desolation and upset to a place of calm and contentment. From yoga and meditation to improving and understanding my relationships with people, money and life goals I have opened myself up to growth in the way a young plant reaches for the sunlight – desperate to leave behind the enclosing and limiting pot and reach the bright open sky.
One of the most positive and effective tools I’ve been using has been the concept of “lofty questions” as Vishen Lakhiani of Mindvalley fame champions. But before we focus in on why lofty questions are so powerful, first we need to know what happens to our brains when we are asked a question, either by others or ourselves, as this is central to understanding the power of the ‘lofty question’.
What happens to our brain when we ask it a question?
Neuroscience has helped us understand so much about how our brains work, respond and grow. One of the discoveries has been to answer why humans are able to continue to grow, to solve new problems and find new ways of accomplishing tasks. Essentially the reason humans can keep coming up with new solutions and new ways of doing things is because our brains are designed with flexible pathways within them. This flexibility is called neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity means our brains are able to physically change to encourage new knowledge and creativity. The neurons in our brains can move into new locations as we learn. And, one of the best ways to trigger this movement is to ask our brains questions. The question becomes the catalyst for change and creativity.
This means that when your brain is asked a question, by yourself or others, the brain whirs into action. As it reflects on the information serotonin is released (serotonin allows the brain to relax) encouraging intelligence and information to move from all areas of the brain – sparking insight. The brain moves closer to finding an answer to the questions as new neuronal connections are made between all of the information and insights that have been moving around the brain; providing an answer to the question.
The burst of insight and inspiration you get when you find an answer you’ve been seeking is a release of serotonin which gives you energy as your brain ‘bursts awake’ with answers. Whilst this burst of energy is short lived, by giving yourself practical next steps you can hold onto that burst of energy long enough to put into action the solution you’ve found.
If you’re ever struggling to find an answer to a problem or you’re with someone who is, ask an open ended question and get those neurons firing!
What are lofty questions?
Lofty questions are positively phrased questions you ask of yourself, and crucially are answered by yourself too. The question asked is designed to help you find insight, solutions or helpful answers.
Why do they work?
How many times have you asked yourself negative questions? Things like, ‘why am I rubbish at my job?’, ‘why am I so unlucky?’, ‘why am I always alone?’ I’m sure you’ve been able to come up with a lot of answers to these questions and my guess is they are always negative, defeatist and leave you feeling down, sad and despondent. That mood can last for a while and trains your subconscious to have a negative view of both yourself and your opportunities for growth and positive change.
Well, lofty questions or positive questions, as I like to think of them, are the exact opposite in every way and they work because they fire up your brain to find positive, supportive and new creative answers. They encourage you to find answers that are insightful and work with your intuition. Boosting you and your mood and helping you to take proactive and positive steps forward by encouraging your subconscious mind to make a positive identity shift. This in turn helps you move from a place of negativity and feeling stuck to a place of growth and openness. These help you manifest more effectively with the Law of Attraction. Lofty questions are a powerful tool to replace unhelpful and negative self-talk with positive, helpful and inspiring talk supporting you in experiencing a much more positive life.
The answers that you discover through asking yourself lofty or positive questions will give you a pathway out of your current situation and into the future or new scenario you aspire to for yourself.
5 tips on how you can embrace lofty questions
1. Make the question positive
The key here is to always ask yourself a positive question – so really consider what or where you’re trying to get yourself to and ask the question to help you find a pathway to that point.
The first key is to phrase the question in a positive way. For example, rather than asking ‘why am I always nervous and scared?’ you instead ask, ‘why am I always calm and confident?’.
2. Open with a ‘why’ and prevent negative back talk
Opening with a ‘why’ helps you because it makes sure that any self-doubting back talk you might respond to a statement with is stopped in its tracks. It’s a question, not a statement so it tricks your subconscious and reduces the sound of that doubtful internal voice in your head that questions or challenges new positive ideas.
Taking the example from number 1. If you say to yourself ‘I am always calm and confident’ that little annoying voice in your head will probably pipe up with ‘no you’re not, you’re always scared and nervous’. But, if you ask yourself the question of ‘why am I always calm and confident?’ that voice has nowhere to go, and your subconscious begins to whir into action to find the answer.
3. Use infinites like ‘always’
Now there’s very few times I encourage using infinites like ‘always’ or ‘all the time’ but this is one instance when I think it’s really powerful Because your training your subconscious that this is a consistent thing in your life moving forward.
4. Relax yourself before asking the questions
Personally, I like to ask myself lofty questions when I’m in a relaxed and half-awake / half-asleep state. It’s a lovely way to come to or drift off – all that positivity and encouragement. But, the main thing is to be relaxed and open to the question and whatever answers come back (sometimes they don’t straight away – but the main thing is you’re asking the question). If you have a meditation practice adding lofty questions into this is a good or doing some breathing exercises can be great to relax into the moment as well.
5. Repeat, repeat, repeat, practice makes perfect
You’re training your brain and your subconscious in positivity and creating growth and new ideas and this takes time. Consistency is key here. Think how many years and how many times you’ve taught your brain to be negative, it didn’t happen overnight. It happened over time. And, that’s exactly the same deal as with training your subconscious to be positive by using lofty questions. Repeat and practice on a regular basis.
Examples of loft questions
There are an endless amount of lofty questions so here’s 14 to get you started…
1. Why am I surrounded by joy and happiness at all times?
2. Why am I always able to learn positively from any experience?
3. Why do I always use what is happening in my life to become the best version of myself?
4. Why do I always do the right thing for my mind, body, spirit, and relationships?
5. Why am I always surrounded by people that love, support and respect me at all times?
6. Why am I always so good at attracting the perfect relationship to me?
7. Why do I always have more than enough money flowing into my life to live contentedly today and save for my future?
8. Why am I always in demand for my excellent work as a (fill in your role or desired role)?
9. Why am I always so good at welcoming money into my life and ensuring it stays with me?
10. Why am I always able to achieve all my goals each day?
11. Why am I always so committed at knowing what my body, mind and emotions need from me to be healthy and happy?
12. Why do I always take effective action to achieve the life of my dreams?
13. Why am I always so brilliant, so clever, and so able to develop creative ideas through my intuition?
14. Why does the universe always guide and look after me?
Lofty questions are one of the tools in your wellbeing kit that can help you discover a more positive life experience. They can help you to discover new ideas, answers and practical solutions to find new pathways towards the life you’re dreaming of.
As a coach specialising in working with professional women in their twenties and thirties who are questioning the direction of their lives, fulfilment and opportunities both personally and professionally I have found that lofty questions are an incredibly powerful way of seeking out answers to some of life’s big and most daunting of questions in a kind and positive way. If you’re interested in finding out more about coaching with Alcea email me today at: firstname.lastname@example.org