Most people have a question they would love to ask, but won’t. Many people perceive asking questions as a sign of weakness or vulnerability. They do not want someone to know they need help, or they do not know the answer. For many, the question leads to something even bigger, the possibility of rejection and disappointment.

When working with people all over the world one of the activities I have them do during my 3 day live workshop is ask 20 questions to people in the next 48 hours. Twenty questions that are personal like; “Can I borrow your car?, May I have half of your sandwich? Can you help me set up my website?. The reaction in the room is absolute silence when we begin this conversation on Day 1. However on day 3, there is a buzz on this topic that no one ever expects.

As we review our experiences everyone discovers that people often say yes more than they say no when you ask a question. In addition, they learn something even more valuable. They learn that when someone says no it does not kill them, defeat them, or even end their relationship. So what is all the refusal about?

Truthfully, most people enjoy being a contribution to others. It makes them feel good. Is it possible your asking may even be a gift to someone? I wonder what a shift in perception related to asking the big, personal questions can create for you and others in the world.

Do you know you judge someone from the moment you meet them? by Donna Martuge

JudgementAs we grow up we learn that when we meet someone we shake their hand and we ask that person some very specific questions. The first question often is; “What do you do?”. We all have structures and rules we internalized growing up and we use them to judge people. Often when we hear what someone “does” for a living, we sort through our rules and put the person into a category in our mind.

One process we may be less cognizant of is we use some of those same structures and rules to judge ourselves all throughout our day. Think about your thoughts after you hear what someone does for a living, or you hear about someones accomplishments. Have you ever compared yourself to another person? Possibly put yourself down for not having done enough? Decided if you and this new person you met are compatible as friends, business associates, or even in the same “social circle”? All of these decisions and rules are the foundation for our judgements of ourselves and others.

How does judgement impact your life? We make many decisions using our judgements all throughout our lives. This influences our self talk, who we allow in our lives, jobs we may look at or choose not to consider, places we may visit or choose to live and so much more. At times these judgements show up as decisions, conclusions, and doors we choose to close or not open. Judgement is something that we use to limit ourselves and to cut off receiving and connecting with others.

We do have a choice. We can choose to be more conscious of our thoughts and stay in question. We can learn the difference between awareness that something is off, and judgement based on beliefs that you may not even agree with anymore. What could this create in your life.

Next time you meet someone for the first time, or hear yourself judging you or another person, ask some questions of yourself. Is this an awareness that is helping you, a belief you bought into that you never thought about, a form of separating yourself so you can avoid connection?

If you are willing to ask some questions and be aware of your thoughts and decisions you may find you increase your allowance and have more joy in connection and relationships. Take your relationships to the next level just by becoming more aware of what you are choosing as you speak with yourself and others.