I recently forgot the importance of trusting my inner voice. My life was changing, which meant there were decisions I needed to make, but instead of deciding I found myself reverting back to an old habit of overthinking everything. I was spending too much time in my head wrestling with the choices, weighing the pros and cons and searching for guarantees that didn’t exist.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed by the need to make big life decisions I cling tightly to what is familiar and comfortable despite knowing that change is necessary and inevitable.
Realizing what was happening with me I reached out to a friend and was reminded I needed to go back to the blank page. I am an avid journal writer but instead of writing, I was trying to figure out everything in my head. This gentle reminder led me back to my journal and to one of my favorite techniques called the Four Questions. These questions without fail always help me to gain clarity about what matters most and to reconnect with what I already know to be true about my life. Often times we become confused and unsure about what we want because fear and doubt have tried to rob us of what we already know.
The Four Questions are best explored in a space of silence and solitude. It’s important to create an environment that allows for your inner voice to be clearly heard. The willingness to listen deeply and to put on the page what your soul is speaking to you is also required.
THE FOUR QUESTIONS
What do I want? The answer to this question resides in the deepest parts of your soul, it’s what your heart desires the most. Often times the answer to this question is one you may have dismissed as illogical, crazy or impossible. As you answer this question refrain from dismissing anything that comes up. Be willing to look at your desires from the lens of possibility without judgment.
Why do I want it? Explore why this particular thing(s) is important to you. Your answer serves as a reminder to help keep you grounded and focused. It redirects you when you go off course and is a motivator to keep you moving forward when times of doubt and fear creep in to tell you that what you want is impossible.
What is in the way of me having it? This question asks you to look internally and externally at the things, people or circumstances that stop you from achieving your goals and dreams. Some external blocks include time, money and support from others. An internal block includes the stories we tell ourselves about why we do not have the life we say we want to live. This question also invites you to explore feelings such as guilt, anger, fear, and doubt which often can be more of a roadblock than external factors.
What am I going to do about it? This final question is rooted in the actions you are willing to take, what you willing to let go of and what help you are willing to ask for. It addresses the blocks identified in question three by assigning intentions and action steps to them.The change we seek for our lives can only happen when we start doing the things that are necessary for change to occur.
The Four Questions will help connect you deeper to yourself and to your life.They provide you with the opportunity to become clear about what you want, why you want it, any perceived blocks and limitations and your plan of action.The next time you are feeling stuck or confused about the direction of your life, use the Four Questions and begin to unravel yourself.
Tara C Pray writes over at wordsbytara.com and is the creator of the Pen*Paper*Write Journaling Series. She is an advocate for journal writing and pursuing your dreams.