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The Primary Question

There actually is a so-called Primary Question that we ask ourselves many times each day, whenever we assess a situation. This primary question is connected to our beliefs and as such it can have empowering or disempowering influence on us. Examples of disempowering primary questions are:

  • Why am I not good enough?
  • Why doesn’t everybody love me?

Both questions state a negative absolute belief.

Sometimes the question has a negative presumption or negative consequences in the long run. “How can I make this better” looks like a great question – doesn’t it? As a consequence though, if you ask yourself this question all the time, nothing will ever be good enough and you will become a perfectionist who is never satisfied with anything. 

“How can I make this person happy” looks like a helpful question to ask in a relationship, but when you realize that ultimately it is not in our power to make another person happy, you find that you might be setting yourself up for an impossible task. That does not mean that this is a bad question all together, but there is a danger associated with it. 

Examples of empowering primary questions are:

  • How can I appreciate this moment even more?
  • What can I do right now to support myself and others?

The first one has the positive presumption that you appreciate this moment already. The second one reminds you to look after yourself and others?

When assessing a primary question, we should look at the following:

  • What are the most powerful and driving positive / empowering beliefs that cause us to consistently ask this question?
    • If you achieve the object of your focus – what will happen?
    • How will you feel?
    • What will you get?
    • How will others be impacted?
  • What are the most powerful and driving negative / disempowering beliefs that cause us to consistently ask this question?
    • If you do NOT achieve the object of your focus – what will happen?
    • How will you feel?
    • What will it cost you?
    • How will others be impacted?
  • What emotional references from the past triggered this question?
  • What needs are you trying to fulfill through this question?

Does this sound like this is your destiny no matter what? There is hope! You can change your primary question by creating a new one which is more empowering and helps you to fulfill the same needs as the old one did.

Please share in the comments: What is your primary question? How is it serving you? What are possible downsides when you consistently ask this question? 

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