Questions for self-reflection

2010

From time to time I receive feedback about my pieces. This is usually in response to the piece itself, but not always. Sometimes, it is the list of "questions for self-reflection" following the piece that attracts comment.

These latter comments can take the tone of: "interesting," "different," "provocative" and the like. However, from time to time someone tells me that the questions make them feel uncomfortable. It's to these commenters that I reply, "good!."

The reason I'm so pleased when I hear this is that no real growth or lasting change can take place while someone remains in their comfort zone. For true and real change to happen, you need to experience discomfort in some way, shape or form - a discomfort that awakens you to an "Oh, this is me and I never saw or felt that part of my self before"-type of experience - an AHA moment, a moment of self-discovery.

The process of seeing, knowing and discovering can often be uncomfortable, even painful (physically, emotionally, psychologically, and/or spiritually). But, change does not usually arise without it.

The beauty of self-reflective questions is they draw us out – support us to go deeper and deeper inside (if we choose) to see what our truth is below the surface – and it's not always a pretty sight.

Self-reflective questions introduce us to the parts of us that are unfamiliar – parts that live in our subconscious and in our intuitive self – parts that need to be seen, acknowledged and explored if we choose to experience true and real change and transformation.

This week I came across a book that blew me away - a book with questions. It's called If – Questions for the Game of Life written by Evelyn McFarlane and James Saywell. (I have no connection with these folks in any way, BTW.) It contains more than 500 tantalizing and provocative questions that make you think.

So this week, rather and our usual reading and my "questions for self-reflection," I want to offer you 20 self-reflection questions from their book. See where they take you, and enjoy the journey.

(Hint: once your initial, perhaps even knee-jerk, response comes up, consider taking some additional time- self-reflection time - to see if that's really, really your final answer, i.e, the truth).

1.If you found out for certain there was a Heaven and a Hell, how would you change your life?

2.If you had to name the one most important ingredient of human beauty, what would you say it is?

3.If you could rid your family of one thing, what would you choose?

4.If you were to prescribe a cure for grief, what would it entail?

5.If you were to select a moment when you were convinced an angel was watching over you, when would it have been?

6.If you could have had one person in your life be more candid with you than they were (or are) who would it be?

7.If you were going to die in ten minutes and could confess only one thing in order to pass with peace of mind, what would you say?

8.If you could change one thing about the way you were disciplined as a child, what would you alter?

9.If you had to eliminate one emotion from your life, which would it be?

10.If you could stop loving someone, who would it be?

11.In retrospect, if you could have been nicer to one person in your life, who would it be?

12.If you could free yourself from one burden in your life, what would it be?

13.If you had to name the single most important thing in your life, what would it be?

14.If God were to whisper one thing in your ear, what would you like Him to say?

15. If you could tell your mother or father one thing that you haven't, what would it be?

16.If you could have your spouse(partner) say one thing about you to friends, what would you want him or her to say?

17.If you had to describe yourself as a child in one word, what would it be?

18.If you could go back in time and undo one injury you inflicted on someone else, what would it be?

19. If you could change one thing about your marriage (relationship), what would you alter?

20.If you could be emotionally closer to one member of your family, who would it be?

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About The Author

Peter Vajda
Peter Vajda

Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D, C.P.C. is a seminar leader, workshop facilitator and speaker. He is the founding partner of True North Partnering, an Atlanta-based company that supports conscious living through coaching, counselling and facilitating.