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The Power of Self-talk

Building your self Esteem

By Kayode Olufemi-Ayoola
UK Certified Coach

2010
• Question – Einstein asked, “what would
the universe look like if I were riding on
the end of a light beam at the speed of
light (thought experiments).
• James Watson & Francis Crick asked,
“What might DNA look like in 3D form?”
Led to the discovery of the double helix
and forever the scientific landscape.
• Ray Kroc asked, “where can I get a good
hamburger on the road” – McDonalds’ Fast Foods.

2
• The word “question” comes from the
Latin word, “Quarrier”, which translates
to mean “quest”.
• Thinking is nothing but the process of
asking and answering questions.
Everything we think & do is generated
by questions.

3
• All the answers we ever get are
responses to questions. The questions
may not be evident to us, especially in
everyday affairs, but they are there
nonetheless, doing their work – their
work, of course, is to design the form
that our knowledge will take and the
direction of our lives – the shape of our
lives represent the cumulative answers
to all the questions we’ve ever asked
ourselves – Neil Postman (1976)
4
•Most people believe
the best way to fix a
big problem is to go on
a hunt for answers?

5
95% Asking / 5% Answering
80% Being / 20% doing
• If I had an hour to solve a problem and
my life depended on the solution, I
would spend the first 55 minutes
determining the proper question to ask,
for once I know the proper question, I
can solve the question in less than 5
minutes – Albert Einstein

“The point is to develop


the childlike desire for
recognition and to guide
the child over to
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important fields for
society.” —ALBERT EINSTEIN
Letters to a young poet
• ...I would like to beg you dear sir, as well as I can,
to have patience with everything unresolved in
your heart and try to love the questions
themselves as if they were locked rooms or books
written in a foreign language. Don’t search for the
answers, which could not be given to you now,
because you would not be able to live them. And
the point is to live everything. Live the questions
now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you
will gradually, without even noticing it, live your
way into the answer - Rainer Maria Rilke

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Framing Questions
• How a question is framed limits the answer to that
question. Hardly ever do we spontaneously alter
the formulation of a problem that is presented to
us in a reasonably clear and complete way (we
always try to solve a problem as it is presented)
Massimo-Piatelli-Palmrini (MIT Researcher)

• If you can’t solve a problem, its probably because


you’re stuck in a “rule-rut” – ingrained patterns of
thinking we mistake for truth...
• The formulation of a problem is often more
essential than its solution, which may be merely a
matter of mathematical skills. To raise new
questions,...to regard old problems from new
angles... Einstein
8
25 YEARS

• It is no coincidence that virtually all


major discoveries in physics were
made by those under the age of 25
years. When you are under 25, you
don’t know what you don’t know.
• Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate

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• The most important thing is not to stop
questioning. Curiosity has its own
reason for existing. One cannot help but
be in awe when he contemplates the
mysteries of eternity, of life, of the
marvellous structure of reality. It is
enough if one tries merely to comprehend
a little of this mystery every day. Never
lose a holy curiosity. Einstein
“... It is curiosity (...the holy curiosity of
inquiry...), initiative, originality, and the
ruthless application of honesty that
count in research – much more than feats
of logic and memory alone. Julian Huxley
“The only thing that interferes with my
learning is my education.” —ALBERT EINSTEIN
The issue…

• The tragedy of adult life is that we are


much more likely to fulfil our perceptions
about how the world works than we are to
fulfil our goals, ideals and visions
Richard Pascale

We don’t see things as they are, we see


things as we are –Anais Nin

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Framing & reframing
Empowering Questions Disempowering Questions
How else can I think about this? Is this how I want to feel? He makes me so angry?

What's the worst thing that can happen & how can I What's wrong with me?
handle it?
What am I happy about right now? Or what could I be How can I prove I am right?
happy about if I wanted to be? What am I really excited
about?
What can I learn from this? Why bother?
How can I turn this around? How can I make this work? Why me Lord?

What’s great about this, or what could be great about this? What’s the use?
Or what’s really great in my life right now?

What are my most treasured memories? Why do I always sabotage myself


What am I truly grateful for Why doesn’t anybody like me?
What’s not perfect yet? Why am I such a failure?
What am I willing to do to make it the way I want it? I’m tired?

How can I do this & have fun doing it? I’ll never get a raise?
If I don’t change this, what will this cost me in the long Everyone takes advantage of me?
run/term?
What do I not know, that If I did know, could transform this They’re always making fun of me?
situation for the better?
What action steps can you commit to? No one ever cuts me any slack?
Will this matter one year from now? Every time I take a risk, I get slammed
Mindsets
Empowering Mindset Disempowering Mindset
Accepting of self & others Judgmental (of self & others)

Responsive & thoughtful Reactive & automatic

Appreciates not knowing Know it already

Accepting & supportive Judgmental & intolerant


Flexible & adaptive Inflexible & rigid

Inquiring, critiques Self righteous, criticizes

Values differences Fears differences


Multiple perspectives Own point of view only
Questions assumptions Defends assumption
Possibilities seen as unlimited Possibilities seen as limited

Primary mood: curious Primary mood: protective


Relationship are win-win Relationships are win/lose

Feedback seen as helpful Feedback seen as rejection

Dialogue Debate
Seeks to resolve & create Seeks to attack or defend
Cont’d
• What did I learn today?
• What questions did I ask today?
• How can I use today as an investment in my future?
• Are my relationships more important to me than
proving I am right?
• How can I improve this? How can I turn this
around?
• What am I committed to becoming right now in my
life?
• What action could I take immediately to instantly
change the quality of my thoughts & feelings
• How many books have you read in the last 90
days?
• Am I reading the books that are taking me where I
want to go in 5 years (relative to my dominant
thoughts).
Cont’d
• What is the most valuable use of my time right now?
• What’s impossible that I am going to do today? (challenge
yourself everyday with something uncomfortable)
• Identify 20% of your activities that contribute the most
value to you and do twice as many of them
• If wealth is what you take from the world, and worth is
what you give back, what is your current net worth?
• What do I have to do to earn & deserve the key
relationships that will get me where I want to go in 5-
10yrs?
• How can I be the person that I hope my children become?
• IF on the day of your funeral someone were to speak a
single word/phrase that captured the essence of your life
– what would you want that word/phrase to be & what
are you doing today to become that person.
• What do you care about enough to defend in conversation
with people you respect (relationship)
QUESTIONS

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