50 Tough Questions You Never Ask Yourself, But Should

This original article was written by Marla Tabaka for INC

With the dawn of every New Year, pledges are made by hopefuls everywhere to do or change something big in their life and business. Most of these commitments are shelved or forgotten altogether soon after we ring in that very same New Year.

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
–Carl Jung

An annual attempt at implementing meaningful change isn’t the answer. It’s a commitment to continual, deep levels of introspection that brings successful, happy people to the top. If you want results, begin with what’s on the inside instead of pushing to control what’s on the outside.

The questions below will get you started. I promise you, the discoveries (if you dig deep and are honest with yourself) can lead you to meaningful change and the things you want most in life.

1.     What is my ideal definition of success?

2.     Is this definition well-rounded, to include all of the important aspects of my life?

3.     What are my top three values and how do they apply to my business?

4.     Do I factor in these values when I make business and personal decisions?

5.     Do I feel good about the way I treat the most important people in my life?

6.     Do I feel and express enough gratitude and appreciation for what I have?

7.     Is my stress level too high?

8.     What are three things I can do regularly to reduce stress? What stops me from doing them?

9.     What do I most often choose to ignore?

10.  What are three things I want to pay closer attention to in 2018?

11.  Can I be a better listener?

12.  Do I carefully consider other people’s suggestions before I dismiss them?

13.  If I had a realistic magic wand, what would be my top three wishes?

14.  If there were any negative consequences, or fears, related to achieving my success, what might they be?

15.  When I ask the people I most respect to describe my leadership skills and qualities, what would be their top five responses?

16.  When I ask those same people about areas of improvement, what might those be?

17.  What are top three money-making activities I don’t devote enough of my time and attention to?

18.  Other than money, what stops me from getting the systems and people in place to give me adequate freedom to scale my company?

19.  What is the single, most significant change I can make in 2018?

20.  What do I need to grow my business, but don’t have?

21.  What actions can I take to get closer to, or acquire the things I need to grow?

22.  If I’m really honest with myself, how strong is my confidence and self-worth?

23.  Am I willing to consider that there are things I can do to improve my life/business, but don’t have the confidence to take action? What would those things be?

24.  What would I be risking if I did some of the things that are outside of my comfort zone?

25.  What am I risking by not doing these things?

26.  On a scale of 1-10, how optimal is my self-care?

27.  What single and achievable commitment can I make to improve my self-care?

28.  What enjoyable activity do I not engage in often enough (or at all)?

29.  Are there any relationships that I want to repair or improve?

30.  Are there any toxic, extremely negative people in my life?

31.  Do I have enough support from friends, family, mentors, and my coach to help me achieve the personal and professional growth I desire?

32.  What are the most amazing things I’ve achieved in the last year?

33.  Do I acknowledge and celebrate my wins, even the smaller ones?

34.  Do I remain a victim to an experience or belief that I’ve been unwilling to let go?

35.  Is there anyone with whom I feel angry or resentful?

36.  How does it benefit me to hold on to these feelings?

37.  In what areas of life and/or business do I feel most vulnerable?

38.  What am I most proud of? Do I give myself enough credit?

39.  If someone were to observe the inner workings of my business, would my values and a healthy culture be visible to them?

40.  Do I verbally express praise and thanks to my employees, and others who support me?

41.  Do I easily get frustrated or angry with people who don’t do things the way I do them?

42.  Deep inside, do I know that there is more than one way to achieve the same outcome, or better?

43.  Might it serve me well to trust people more? Am I overly controlling?

44.  Do I believe that everything must be hard, or that things never go right for me?

45.  When was the last time I had a good laugh?

46.  Do I feel guilty about not spending enough time with my kids–or others who are important to me?

47.  Do I have every confidence that my business is scalable, or do I have doubts about it?

48.  What am I most afraid of? Is my worse-case scenario really likely to happen?

49.  Am I living my passion?

50.  Am I willing to ask for (and in some cases pay for) the support I need?