Imagine being able to ask yourself questions that would push you forward, and help you to change the way you live your life for the better.

The questions we ask ourselves have the power to do this. If I could show you how to structure your questions and reframe them in order to get more of what you want in life, would you be interested?
Questions that hold us back

Have you ever asked yourself questions like this:

Why do I always get stuck in traffic?
Why can I never get the things I want in life?
Why do I always pick the wrong partner?
Why can I not find the job I want?
Why do I never have any money?

These questions seem fairly innocuous and are questions a lot of us ask ourselves day in and day out. When we really stop to look at questions like this, we notice that there’s a structure to them. It’s this structure that sets our brain into gear and actually perpetuates the very thing we want to avoid.

Okay, that might seem a little confusing so let’s take one of the questions above and break it down.

Why can I never get the things I want in life?

The very first word ‘Why’ sends the brain a message to start looking for answers as there is a question coming up, it effectively gets the brain moving into first gear.

‘can I never’ – Now the brain has been told to look for reasons. The brain has now moved into second gear and will be searching the memory bank for reasons.

‘get the things I want in life?’ – The question is complete and the brain is now in 4th gear, and already throwing you answers to that question: ‘You’re not good enough’ ‘You don’t have the knowledge’ ‘You’re not tough enough’ ‘you don’t try hard enough.’

The brain really gets into 6th gear later on as it starts to recall all the events from your past when you haven’t managed to get the things you want in life.

How do you think you would feel when your brain starts to bring up all these events from the past and all the reasons why you can’t get the things you want in life? I am willing to guess that you wouldn’t feel that great.

What you are effectively doing, by asking questions like this, is keeping yourself stuck in your past and present situation. If you continue to ask yourself this question, you’ll never get the things you want in life.

The structure of a great question

It’s totally fascinating to learn that questions have structures, and when we know the structure for great questions we can start to ask ourselves better questions that move us forward in life.

Here are the five components of a good question:

1) It should look toward an outcome.
2) It is simple and clear
3) Opens new possibilities
4) It is thought provoking
5) Generates energy

Now we know what the structure of a good question is, lets put that knowledge to use.

We know that the question: Why can I never get the things I want in life? Does not fit within the framework of a good question. So what we have to do now is reframe the question so that it fits our new framework.

So now we turn Why can I never get the things I want in life?


What can I do to get more of the things I want in life?

Can you see the difference here? The difference is huge. The reframed question has an outcome, it’s simple and clear, it opens new possibilities, it’s thought provoking and generates energy.

Your brain kicks into gear immediately and will start to look for answers to this question and throw up all kinds of possibilities. This is why it is so much more positive and more likely to help you take action toward changing your life.

Why questions look for reasons

Why questions are great to ask in certain situations, mainly for educational purposes. Children ask great why questions: why is the sea blue, why do birds fly, why can’t we fly (only trouble is, the questions are so good we don’t know how to answer them). So ‘why’ questions are great for gaining knowledge in everyday life. However the why questions we ask ourselves tend to throw up answers that focus on the past, or give reasons as to why we don’t have something or are not good at something, and therefore make us feel bad about ourselves.

Try it for yourself: Ask yourself a question that focuses on you that starts with ‘why’.

Now it’s over to you. You know how to ask a great question, start practicing and see how much it can change your life.

Steve Aitchison is the creator of Change Your Thoughts (CYT) blog and love writing and speaking about personal development, it truly is my passion. There are over 500 articles on this site from myself and some great guest posters. If you want to learn more about my products you can check out or check out my books and Kindle books on Amazon