The 7 questions to ask on the road to self improvement
By Jon Michail
Everyone wants something – to be wealthier, happier, healthier, thinner, successful, famous … the list goes on. The need for self-improvement lies within all of us, but not everyone acts on it. Why not?
It’s fear. Our ultimate goals are not our problem. We’re blocked by an inability to simply get on and do whatever it takes. If we didn’t have fear stopping us from taking positive action, we’d all be physically fit, at our goal weight, raking in the profits from our successful companies, taking an overseas trip every three to six months, and living in houses that make others drool with envy.
How does fear stop us from achieving great things? Fear exists only in our minds. Your fear is not my fear. Our fears are what we believe to be true in our worlds and it constrains many of us, no matter what form that fear takes. Our fear makes it the absolute truth where in fact it’s only as we see it. For instance, if fear has blocked you from travelling by plane because you perceive the plane will crash, you’ve created a situation that limits you from doing many more things than simply flying from place to place.
This is great news for the ‘victim’ orientation that exists in some parts of the self-help industry and for that matter other industries as well. People keep coming back because if they don’t learn how to change their thinking, further development will be impossible. It takes an expert coach, one that has ideally done it first themselves and with the background in cognitive behaviour change, a good conscience and the courage and wisdom to make people aware of their fears and then to remove the iron bars they have placed around themselves.
What do expert image consultants do? If they are truly holistic in their approach (as opposed to flimsy and light weight), they are able to dig deep with questions designed to bring our fears and their effects to the surface. The questions that follow may seem quite innocuous, but they are powerful in their effect. For instance:
- Where are you now? Can you answer this honestly without dragging in some of that self-delusion that’s been holding you back?
- What do you like? Have you even considered what you like – and what you’d like to be like? Fear can be so limiting that you may have been unable to think beyond its constraints.
- What do you dislike? Is this question going to open the floodgates and expose everything that has contributed to your fears? Are you able to focus on what really matters as far as your image and personal brand is concerned? Are you able to see yourself as others see you?
- Where do you want to be? Is it really the trappings of success or the latest television reality show that attract you, or is there something more intrinsic that would help to progress you to where you want to be?
- What is missing? You may be so bound up in your perceptions of what and who you are that you may not have consciously thought about the things you are lacking. All you are aware of what is you haven’t been able to do.
- How will you get there? This is the thing. If your fears are holding you back, what will you have to do to face up to them? How can you deal with your fears, rather than attacking their symptoms? And what will happen if you do nothing?
- Why you have to choose to change? This is the most important question if you are to start the change process and then continue. Is it for your partner, kids, family, boss or … you are now ready to play a new game in your life. Discovering your ‘why’ will help you stay on track when everything / everyone pulls you in different directions.
As a client, your image consultant will see things within you that you have never considered. They will help you to find ways to healthy and grounded positive thinking to set achievable goals and a self image that is congruent with your visual image. They will help you to look inside yourself so that you can see what you have to deal with. They will create a pathway for you to proceed and be there every part of your journey.
Then it’s up to you. As long as you are open to the possibility that change is possible, with a little support you can find ways to transform your perceptions and yourself. It’s all there within you.
I look forward to hearing about your experiences, what did you do?
Jon Michail is Group CEO of Image Group International, Australasia’s No 1 image coach. Image Group International supports executives, entrepreneurs and their organisations to become iconic and monetised leadership brands.