The Power of Questions

Young Woman Holding A You Can Do It Sign

For years we’ve been hearing about the power of affirmations to affect our thinking and our behavior. In fact, one of the definitions of affirmations is this:

Affirmations are sentences aimed to affect the conscious and the subconscious mind so that in turn, they affect our behavior, thinking patterns, habits, and environment.

It’s true that the things you say to yourself have an enormous impact. When it comes to promoting your book, statements like the ones below can be helpful. Pay attention to your internal reaction as you read each of them out loud to yourself:

  • It’s easy for me to toot my own horn!
  • I love working on my book!
  • Reaching out to journalists and producers to secure interviews is fun!
  • I love marketing!
  • I love getting myself out there!
  • Technology is easy for me to learn and I enjoy upgrading my skills!

How did you do? What was your gut reaction to each statement? Did you feel really good about yourself as you spoke each affirmation? If so, congratulations. Your conscious mind and your unconscious mind are lined up and flowing in the same direction. That’s what you want. It eliminates that pesky resistance or procrastination.

Or was there something else present? If there is a part of you that doesn’t believe the statement you’re reading, instead of feeling motivated by hearing your affirmation, “It’s easy for me to toot my own horn!” Or, “I love pitching my book!” another part of you might respond by saying, “BS! I do not!” That can slow you down.

Affirmations can work, but it seems like you have to repeat them for a long time for them to work, and to tell you the truth, I have found something else to be much more effective.

Here is my little secret:

Rather than affirmations, tap into the power of questions. I learned about this from Dr. Richard Bandler, co-founder of NLP who has written tons of books. In fact, I had the great pleasure of helping him promote Get the Life You Want, and Richard Bandler’s Guide to Trance-formations among others. His latest book is Thinking on Purpose.

When you ask yourself a question, your brain automatically goes on a search looking for the answer. So, for example, if you ask yourself something like, “What’s wrong with me that I can’t do well in interviews?”, your brain is going to answer that. And because there is a presupposition embedded in the question itself–that there is something wrong with you and that’s the reason you don’t do well in interviews–the answer you get is never going to be an empowering or helpful one. When you pose a question to yourself your brain is going to give you an answer, so ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.

How about asking yourself, “How can I do better in interviews?” or, “What kind of training could I get that would ensure I do incredibly well in interviews?”

These questions are much more empowering. Notice how when you ask the question and pause for an answer, an always answer comes.

Let’s look at the earlier affirmations again, and then tweak them to be questions:

Affirmation: It’s easy for me to toot my own horn!
Questions: How can I make tooting my own horn fun? Or, How can I make tooting my own horn something that is helpful to others?

Affirmation: I love working on my book!
Questions: What can I do to be inspired while working on my book today? How can I make working on my fun the most enjoyable part of the day? What five things can I do today to promote my book in the most effective way possible?

Affirmation: Reaching out to journalists and producers to secure interviews is fun!
Questions: What can I learn about reaching out to journalists and producers so that it becomes easier? What do I enjoy about the process of reaching out to media?

Affirmation: I love marketing!
Questions: How can I enjoy the process of marketing? What can I do to make marketing my book something I genuinely look forward to doing each day? If marketing is telling my story, what part of my story is the most impactful to others?

Affirmation: I love getting myself out there!
Questions: How can I make getting out there on behalf of my book fun? How can I make the idea of becoming more visible something that motivates me to want to jump out of bed in the morning?

Affirmation: Technology is easy for me to learn and upgrade my skills
Questions: Is there a way that I can feel smart while learning more skills around technology? What do I love about technology? What do I love about learning? Why am I so good at this?

Important point

As you ask each of your questions, pause and wait for the answer to come. Ask the same question more than once and see what additional answers bubble up. Then be sure and jot down the answers.

Consider expanding questions into your morning routine

There has been a lot written about morning routines in the last few years. Entire books have been dedicated to how many of us get up and get going at the beginning of the day. Daily Rituals by Mason Currey is one of them.

Part of my morning routine is asking myself important questions, so I thought I’d share a few of them with you here. If any strike a chord with you, please feel free to borrow them and see if it makes a difference.

Some of my morning questions include:

  • Who do I love and who loves me?
  • What am I excited about today?
  • What am I grateful for today?
  • How can I create more wins today for each of my clients?
  • What do I have to do today that can’t be done at any other time?
  • How productive am I going to be today?
  • How can I be more focused today?
  • What is the most useful thing to do right now?
  • What can I do right now that is going to help my future self?
  • What can I do today to publicize my book and impact other people’s lives?

Remember, as you ask each question, give your brain time to answer. Wait for two or three answers before moving on to the next question.

Then, make a list of your own important morning questions, and if you feel like it, share them with me. If I have your OK, I may include them in an upcoming Savvy Sunday News.

Bottom line

Asking yourself the right questions will produce results faster than saying affirmations over and over again. Affirmations are a great tool and they have their place, but if you want to change what you’re doing this very moment, ask the right questions. Your brain, whether you’re aware of it or not, is giving you answers.

How can you have fun coming up with a fantastic list of questions about promoting your book?

To your success!


P.S. Helping authors become Media Darlings is one of my favorite things to do. Understanding media helps.






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