"Questions hold the power to cause us to think, create answers we believe in, and motivate us to act on our ideas. Asking moves us beyond passive acceptance of what others say, or staying stuck in present circumstances, to aggressively applying our creative ability to the problem." - Tony Stoltzfus
When I was introduced to the world of coaching, I had no idea how my sessions should be. Some coaches would want me to set the agenda beforehand on what I wanted out of the session. Frankly, it was challenging for me to set the agenda on what I wanted because that's exactly what I was trying to figure out through coaching :-)
Until I started touching into the world of transformative coaching, it was such a breather that the methodology here was completely different.. As someone who has been a driven, high achiever, and perfectionist throughout (It has a lot of cons, though), it was a relief to get into this type of coaching finally. Whether I had an agenda or not, did not matter; sessions were fluid, yet highly insightful, with many AHA realizations. Please see my article on "Do you need a coach and how do you choose one?" for more information on different levels and types of coaching.
I did not have any set milestone for accomplishments. I was not chasing any goal to get coached. I started coaching as a way for me to end my inner-struggles, as I came from an accidental medical-surgical trauma background. Going through some PTSD was really difficult, and I was looking for non-western methodologies to gain balance in my life or even gain my life back.
Once I worked through these issues and found stability within, my next phase was more about what I truly desired. The first stage of healing that I did with my transformative coach was by understanding the way we operate and what is within us, and this helped me to clear so much of my unwanted conditioning. From here on, it really felt like a new me.
Much, much has changed in my life. I will not go into the details, but all my transformations have happened by inquiring into these powerful questions. I am listing the top 4 that have had a significant impact on shaping who I am.
The top 4 transformative coaching questions to start with:
What are you afraid to feel?
This is one of the go-to questions if you have a background of suppressing your emotions and feelings, which most high achievers have. If you have been a perfectionist or have a tendency to constantly strive and be driven, wanting to be in control and getting things always right, you are likely suppressing a lot of your emotions and feelings. You believe, that emotions can come in the way of what you need to achieve and the best thing to do is to suppress them. Deep down, many high achievers have hidden fears like worthlessness, the need to feel significant and be recognized, fear of being an imposter, fear of failure, etc., that manifest as these behaviors. When you inquire into this question recursively during coaching sessions, you will understand why and how you operate, both personally and impersonally. Having this awareness is the beginning for a true transformation. This also helps in healing a large chunk of what's keeping you stuck in the inner-struggle.
What do you want?
The next question is to try to kindle the creative potential within you. You get so much buried in your day-to-day living, stress, and exhaustion that you may not even want to ask this question, and even if you do, you might resist the answer, as you might be afraid of what's even going to show up. So when you start working with this question, you may often shift between this and the first question to truly open up that creative spark within you. A skilled coach can bring the best here.
Why do you want what you want?
I employ a "C.U.R.E.D" Inquiry technique that digs past your conditioning to unearth that truth within you, a truth that's found when you connect beyond your conditioned thought and belief patterns. This "C.U.R.E.D." is a five-pillared approach that uses inquiries like Challenging, Understanding the Utility of your conditioned thought process, Recursive questioning, Excavating hidden childhood traumas stored somatically, and Dialoguing, so you get to the place of authentically wanting what you want, rather than any conditioned wanting. Any other experienced transformative coach can lead you to this genuine aligned desire coming from your soul.
What can you do NOW to get what you want?
Then we reach this place of aligned action which feels effortless. What can you do in this moment, is to create a simple action plan (this comes from a place of inspiration rather than motivation). The coach will work alongside you like your cheerleader, at times supporting you and other times, even questioning your BS. But the intent is this - you are given the space to go with whatever shows up through acceptance, compassion, trust, and engagement with life.
These four questions become the foundation for getting started, leading to many more inquiries. In Transformative coaching, we use both the masculine (doing) and feminine (being) energies to renew, reclaim, reignite and re-engage with life, both personally and professionally. In the end the goal of transformative coaching is alignment, creativity, and inner effortlessness.
Let me know what transforms WITHIN you when you start with these 4 super power questions!