For the last in my series on the “self-communication” context of The 3 Levels of High-Performance Leadership Communication you are going to learn a powerful strategy for your self-talk and internal dialogue that can transform the results you achieve in business and life.
In the previous three blog articles here you’ve read about:
- The 3 Levels of High-Performance Leadership Communication
- The Power of Self-Communication to Help You Master Your Emotions
- Why Traditional Affirmations Don’t Work & What To Do Instead
Now you’re going to learn about a strategy that drives it all.
It’s called The Primary Focus Question.
Interestingly, each of us has a Primary Focus Question.
Yet, few people realize they have one and what it is doing to them, or doing for them.
For example, way back in 1997 I was going through a divorce from my first wife while also dealing with a professional emotional crisis after coming to the realization my first passion for a career in professional baseball was no longer a passion, but a drag.
A coach I was working with brought to my attention that there was a Primary Focus Question driving my thoughts, feelings and actions which was keeping me in a state of fear, uncertainty and self-doubt.
At the time we identified Primary Focus Question as “What is the next phase of my life?”
Questions like that are impossible to answer. They are what is called “endless loop questions.”
Your mind never gets an answer. The question just spins around and around in your head.
In that state it also saps your confidence and your self-esteem as you begin to believe you have no answers for your future.
At least that’s what it did to me.
Most people’s Primary Focus Question is not serving them postively, mine certainly wasn’t.
In my current Communication Power for Leaders Master Class participants this week identified their Primary Focus Question.
Most of them were in this vein:
- Why can’t I get anything right?
- Why does no one recognize me and my value?
- What if I make a mistake and look stupid?
- What if I fail?
- Why am I not good enough?
- Why haven’t I accomplished anything in my life?
Do you recognize any of those?
The scary thing about the Primary Focus Question is that it is not a question that pops up from time to time at significant challenges in our life or business.
No, the Primary Focus Question is a question that permeates our mindset ALL the time. Under virtually all circumstances it is a driver of every thought, decision and action.
It is powerful in its influence over us and is at work even when we are asleep.
Once I learned this I worked through a process to transform it to something more empowering.
You do this by identifying the purpose of the question and the meaning behind it.
What do you want this Primary Focus Question to do for you?
We ask this Primary Focus Question because we believe asking it will help us achieve the desired result(s) we’re looking for. But, it won’t and it can’t. It can ONLY keep us stuck and stressed.
After much self-reflection on what I wanted and needed my Primary Focus Question to do for me, I came up with this:
How can I take what I’ve learned during my baseball career and use it to make a difference in the world doing something I absolutely love and enjoy?
That question was the genesis of my leadership and workplace communication coaching, consulting and professional speaking business.
It’s been 15 years since that question began driving every decision. It’s been tweaked here and there over the years, but its essence hasn’t changed.
So, what is your Primary Focus Question and what is it currently doing to you, or for you? If it’s doing the former change it, if it’s the latter make it even better now!