I’m always looking for ways to expand my knowledge and skill set as a certified Health Coach so that I can better help my clients achieve their wellness goals.
Recently, I’ve been teaching my Healthy Mojo team, an official team of the Whole Life Challenge, about Intuitive Eating and we were on a zoom video call together discussing the Intuitive Eating Principle #4 “Challenge the Food Police” where you identify the various inner voices that either harm or help you in your relationship with food, weight and body image. The first step is identifying which voice is speaking and becoming aware it’s happening, then what it's saying, which can then lead to a series of why inquiries.
That's when the real work begins – going deep into your inner world!
We can’t change what we’re not aware of, so by becoming aware of these voices like the Food Police, we can challenge and transform those thoughts and beliefs.
The transformation process happens when we practice self-awareness techniques like inquiry, that is, asking ourselves questions from a genuinely curious and non-judgmental place.
The questions we’re often taught by professionals like me are rooted in “why” – because asking why helps peel back the layers of life experiences and indoctrinated or conditioned beliefs. Once dug up, you have the power to not only change the harmful thoughts and beliefs, but also hear the wisdom within - the answers that have been buried inside you and drowned out by the noise of life...until now.
It's difficult, but exciting and massively rewarding to do the inner work.
During the inquiry practices, what if asking “why” is missing the mark?
Having an always a student mindset opens me up to admitting that when I learn something more useful and valuable, I admit it to myself and then start putting it into action. So here goes!
I’m freely admitting this TedTalk entitled “Increasing self-awareness using this fix” by Tasha Eurich has opened my eyes to finding the answers within in a better way than asking why. The real question and perhaps more helpful question is what.
The TedTalk is 17 minutes long and worth the watch, but if you’re short on time, here’s some of the highlights (and for more, you can read this article).
- Self-awareness defined as: the ability to see ourselves clearly, understand who we are, how others see us and how we fit into the world. Self-awareness gives us power even when we don’t like what we see.
- Those who are skilled in self-awareness are more fulfilled, stronger relationships, more creative, more confident, better communicators, less likely to lie/cheat/steal, promoted more and more profitable in business.
- Two types of people: those who think they’re self-aware and those who actually are! 95% of people believe they are self-aware, but studies show the actual number is closer to 10-15%.
- If you’re not in the 10-15% of truly self-aware individuals, it’s because you’re probably doing introspection wrong.
- Those who spend the most time in self-reflection or introspective, have been found to be more stressed, depressed, less satisfied with their jobs and relationships; less in control of their lives.
- Self-analysis can trap us into fixating on what happened vs. moving forward.
- The pursuit of self-awareness isn’t a waste of time, but it can lead to making a mental hell of our own making because thinking about ourselves isn’t related to knowing ourselves. Huh? Scratching your head yet?
- The reason: we ask why?! It may lead us towards the truth of ourselves, it can lead us away from it.
- Two reasons we may not want to lean on asking “why”:
- Due to our humanness, it’s impossible to excavate our unconscious thoughts, feelings and motives – instead we invent answers that feel true, but are often wrong.
- Leads us away from our true nature; asking why can create alternative facts and may cloud our self-perception. Our brains don’t always lead us to rational conclusions.
- Yes, introspection and self-awareness are helpful and useful to growth and better health, but we need to do it a little bit differently to have more success. Change Why to What!
- For the conclusion…you’ll need to watch the TedTalk. Conclusion starts at minute 12!
So what will this mean for you as you go forward with your personal development? Send me a comment or your feedback here.
I know for me, in my personal self-care practices and in my coaching practice, I’ll be leaning more on what than on why to better guide my clients to unearth the answers that lie within and accelerate their success.
In good health,