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Episode 269: Change Your Career Direction- Ask Empowering Questions

core work Jan 31, 2024

Private Coaching

Changing your career direction by asking Empowering Questions. 

I'm going to start with a quote from Anthony Robbins, “quality questions create a quality life.”  

Successful people ask better questions. And as a result, they get better answers.  

And this is how I work as a coach. I ask you quality questions so that you can create a quality career. 

Because I do believe that successful actors are asking better questions of themselves. And, as a result, are getting better roles.  

So, let's unpack this a bit.  

What are Empowering Questions?  

They are questions. We all know what a question is, but these are a little bit different. These are powerful. 

These are open-ended.  

Now, what that means is it's not a yes or a no.  

How do you feel about going to the store? Why do you want to go to the store? Those would be open ended questions.  

Also, Empowering Questions are clarity seeking. They are clarity seeking, so they're looking for clarity. The other thing is that they are probing. They are probing questions. In other words, they're really trying to get in there. 

And this is a lot of the core work I do because this is the thing, I want to know what your motives are. And if you have some sort of a thing that you constantly do, put yourself down or something like that or have anxiety.  

My question is what is the payoff? So, see, if I ask you what is the payoff for your anxiety, or what is your motive for becoming a successful actor, those are very much Empowering Questions that are seeking clarity. 

They also are, I think you'll find, challenging.  

They're challenging. They're not easy questions necessarily. But that's what we unpack. That's what we figure out. And think of it when, you know that phrase, you've heard it so many times, you've heard me say it a lot of times, unpack. I want you to think of a duffel bag. 

Okay, think of a duffel bag with a bunch of stuff in it, but you don't necessarily remember or you don't necessarily know what's in that duffel bag. So, what we need to do is let's take out every item in that duffel bag and look at it, examine it and ask it Empowering Questions.  

The other thing is, and this is what I think to be one of the most valuable parts of Empowering Questions, is that it's thought provoking. 

In other words, it makes you think. Because one of the things that I have found around actors who are stuck, or just, quite frankly, people who are stuck, is they're stuck in that same cycle of thinking, and they're not getting out, and the problem is it's almost impossible for them to get out of it because they're stuck in their own head because they're not letting anybody in to say, “Hey, what if you thought of it this way?” 

The other thing is that they are future directed.  

In other words, we're always looking to improve upon where we are at now, looking at where we are at now, but more so where we are going.  

And I love this about Empowering Questions. They are solution oriented.  

Why am I not getting auditions? 

Why am I not booking?  

In other words, they're looking for the answers to those questions so that we can get some real movement going here. They cause you to search for answers. 

Because this is the thing, if you keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result, that's the definition of insanity.  

So, what we do with Empowering Questions is that we help you to search for new possibilities so we can get new answers and new results.  

And this, I love this, and as an actor, we all would love this, is that they spark your imagination. 

Now, this is a really neat little thing about Empowering Questions.  

Once you start to learn how to ask yourself Empowering Questions as a human, you can start to ask them of your characters, which will spark your imagination. To open up a whole new world to your character. How exciting is that? How exciting is it that you can use the things that make your life better? 

Make your characters better, your acting better, your skill set better. 

And again, they get you to think. And in terms of an actor and asking Empowering Questions of your character, they get you to think like your character, which is one of the things, they talk about when you really understand a language, you start to dream in that language. 

You start to think in that foreign language.  

So that's what I'm talking about.  

So, if you think of a character almost in terms of a foreign language, imagine thinking like the character, like you would think if you were learning, I don't know, Japanese. So, you start to think in Japanese, but not think in English. 

How cool is that?  

The right questions at the right time for the right reason, in the right format to get the right response. 

This is what Empowering Questions are all about. Imagine having the right questions asked at the right time, asked for the right reason, asked in the right format.  

So, in other words, that your brain understands how to get the most out of them to get the right response.  

And you can think of response as being result. You can think of response as being reaction. But reaction as in the good way, because I always am talking about how I rather have a response than a reaction, but this way, I mean like a reaction of how people are reacting to you and your career. 

They are value seeking questions. Yes. Empowering Questions are value seeking questions.  

I'm going to give you just a few examples to sum up this empowering question segment.  

What can I do about that?  

You have a situation, and you ask yourself, this could be any situation in life What can I do about that? 

And I do, I'm a big one about starting this kind of stuff off with really simple things.  

Like finding a parking space. I can't find a parking space. And I have an audition in 15 minutes. Okay. What can I do about that? What are my options? 

What about that makes it work?  

So, once you have some kind of an idea what about that would make it work? What about it? would make it work.  

What other choices could I make? I was talking to a friend about finances and I said, this is an exercise. She's going to give you this exercise. 

And I love this exercise because it starts to get really silly, which also opens your brain up, which is write down a hundred ways that you could make money.  

It can be like the most ridiculous thing that you would never do, but write it down. Because what starts to happen is you see the possibilities. 

So, what other choices could I make?  

What's another way to look at that? Now, that's a kind of question that it's really helpful to have someone with you going back and forth on that. But what's another way to look at that?  

How could you reframe that? And you can think about it as refocus. 

How can you reframe that to help you move on? I just went to the optometrist and they were testing me out for new contact lenses and new glasses. And, they give you the, what's better? A, B, 1, 2, and you go through that and what they were doing was reframing the way I saw the, I don't know, A, C, Q, R, 7 on the board, and that's, that was it because this is the thing, it's just like blurry vision Empowering Questions are just putting different glasses in front of my eyes so I can see things differently.  

Just like Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”  

And this is what's so exciting about Empowering Questions. 

Again, not only as a human being, but I think you take it even further into acting. And I think that is just so exciting.  

What is your next step? What is your next step? Let's explore that. What is your next step?  

And what have you accomplished in the past? And how were you able to accomplish that task? 

In other words, I talk about that as being a strength story.  

If you go to my second episode of this podcast, episode 102, what is your strength story? 

I tell a story about getting over my anxiety and really learning about my anxiety and sometimes looking in the past and asking what is a situation that was similar to this one, and how did I get myself out of it? 

And sometimes it's not even the how; it's showing yourself that, oh, you actually got yourself out of it. So, if you got yourself out of that, you can get yourself out of this.