20 Empowering Questions to Explore Possibilities

Written by on July 30, 2014 in Self-Awareness, Sense of Purpose

Empowering Questions


Did you know that your mind loves it when you ask questions? The right questions can give you direction and have the ability to change your focus in an instant, transforming your state of mind from limiting to empowering, and opening doorways to new opportunities.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Of course the critical factor here is your attitude, because no matter how powerful the intention or how good the question is, if your attitude going in is “this is a waste of time,” then the process is going to feel like trying to drive your car with one foot on the gas and one on the break, which means you’re sabotaging yourself before you ever even begin.

Remember, it’s not the events of your life that determine how you feel and act but, rather, the meaning you create from your life’s experiences. Learning to ask empowering questions – especially in moments of crisis – is a critical skill that will ultimately shape the meanings you create, and therefore the quality of your life. ~Anthony Robbins

The Nature of Empowering Questions

While it may seem obvious, it’s nevertheless important to state that the kind of questions you ask yourself will trigger specific types of responses; but let’s consider a couple of examples to see how this can play out for better or worse.

What if you were to repeatedly ask yourself questions such as “Why am I always so unlucky?” or “Why didn’t I know better?” or “Why am I always the loser in these situations?” Such questions are self-defeating, and the answers you get with them will naturally be disempowering.

On the other hand, questions like “What can I learn from this experience?”“How can I do this differently to come up with a better outcome?” or “What really matters most to me at this moment?” and (my personal favorite) “How can I make this happen?” are empowering and provoke you to think in terms of possibilities, immediately setting you on the path to a better, more resilient life.

Listed below are twenty questions designed to inspire you to think about your life now, consider unexplored opportunities, and challenge you to really consider what it will take to grow into your best possible life.

20 Empowering Questions

  1. What do you love most about yourself?
  2. What do you do really, really well?
  3. What would you like to learn to do really, really well? What can you do today to begin?
  4. What gets you truly excited about life?
  5. How do you define your purpose in life?
  6. When was the last time you did something for the very first time?
  7. What are your top 5 values? Are you (honestly!) living those values every day?
  8. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  9. What do you imagine yourself doing 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years from now?
  10. What will your success look like?
  11. What has the fear of failure stopped you from doing? What one step could you take today to begin overcoming that fear?
  12. Do you have healthy boundaries or do you let people take advantage of you?
  13. What motivates you to do your very best?
  14. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What are you waiting for?
  15. Who do you need to forgive?
  16. What is your number one goal in the next 6 months?
  17. What self-limiting belief have you been clinging to? How would your life be better if you banished this belief?
  18. Right now, at this very moment, what do you want most? What are you going to do about it?
  19. What is the biggest obstacle that stands in the way of your happiness?
  20. How would you describe your future in 3 words?
At the end of the day, the questions we ask of ourselves determine the type of people that we will become. ~Leo Babauta

Questions have a dramatic effect on everything you do in life. Whatever you focus on the most will eventually become your reality.

By training yourself to consciously ask empowering questions, regardless of your circumstances, you will be able to direct your mind to focus on new possibilities and solutions.

Will you be the passenger or the driver in your life journey?
About Marquita Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living click here.


Thank you for sharing!

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  1. Great list of questions, Marty! I’ve copied them and will go through them when I get home tonight. The answers will help me to do another assignment given to me this afternoon… to write a bio of me 5 years from now, reflecting my ideal, what I really want.
    Willena Flewelling recently posted…A Helping HandMy Profile

  2. Chery Schmidt

    Hello Marty, Wow what an awesome list of empowering questions! I do like to put myslef on the spot and aks empowering questions but none like these..

    I copied them all and will go though them one by one and see what kind of answers I come up with.. This is like a fun homework assignment.. Love it..

    Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted…Finding Your Passion!My Profile

  3. Marty, You are so right to remind us to ask uplifting and motivating questions, not questions that are so self-defeating that our immediate response is to give up. I love the question “What motivates you to do your very best!” Not everything motivates me to do my best. For some things I can just do the bare minimum and feel okay about it. Competition usually gets me going. Accountability helps too, when I know someone will be checking on me. Public declaration helps too because it is embarrassing to not live up to what I said I would do.

    I will have to review the rest of the list again and think about my responses. Once question about what do I imagine myself doing 1 year, 5 years and 10 years from now, is an important question that I never ask. I have thought in terms of goals I have set but not in terms of actually imagining myself in a particular way.

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted…The Neuroplasticity of RelationshipsMy Profile

  4. nick catricala

    you got me thinking.. and I found out that of all the 20 questions you listed… I asked my self very few of them.. soe of the questions have been asked by others.. and I found out a few that I asked my self after someone crossed my path with some not so nice comments (as it happen today with one of my next door neighbour) I was placing some veggies scraps in my composter that I have between our properties and she commented.. I guess that is why we are not selling our home (they have listed on the market) .. and my answer was “you are more intelligent than that, are you?”.. and after I start asking my self.. why in the world a ground up woman talks like that? Probably I should ask my self “why not put my home for sale really low so I can move from a neighbour like that? so here is a new question for your list:-)

    Very interesting list of questions that is good to keep in mind… to communicate with ourselves and refraining our thoughts and thinking..
    nick catricala recently posted…A Lifetime Commitment -Part 6 of 6My Profile

  5. donna merrill

    Hi Marquita,

    What a wonderful way to ask ourselves questions! I do it often, but find this list you wrote a good place to find where I am in life and where I want to be.

    Lately, I have been so caught up in “business land” that I’m not taking enough time to re-evaluate my life in general. I did make tons of changes for the better, but it doesn’t ever stop.

    I’m taking this tip! I know it will be very helpful to take the time and do a little more inventory with myself and my business.

    donna merrill recently posted…Blogging vs Facebook PagesMy Profile

  6. Sebastian Aiden Daniels

    These are fantastic ways to go about reframing your thought. I think it’d be fabulous exercise to take an hour and write out the answers to all of these : D. Start to get to know yourself.
    Sebastian Aiden Daniels recently posted…The Amazon Release of Please Save Me From MyselfMy Profile

  7. Dave

    I never realized exactly how our mind treats questions until I tried out a few of these. To be quite honest, there was one question in particular that really lifted a huge weight off my shoulder and helped me to see some enlightening things about myself.

    #8 – What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

    The answer to this question is unimportant (although I had some pretty interesting answers). What was important was the feelings it stirred inside concerning how I deal with change and external perception of that change.

    I suppose that looking back, when I have asked myself questions in the past, it has served me quite well. Having you bring that thought to the front of my consciousness along with the excellent set of questions to ask is going to bring me back to doing this on a more regular basis. Bookmarking these questions now, thanks SO much for sharing 🙂
    Dave recently posted…UnchartedMy Profile

  8. Alli Polin

    Some great questions here! It’s always helps when we feel the most stuck and out of answers to ask a better, more empowering question. Suddenly, new paths open and give us new places to explore. Thanks!
    Alli Polin recently posted…Paying Dues at Work or Investing in the Future?My Profile

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