With a coaching and counseling background, I have been exposed to a lot of excellent resources that help people create better relationships with themselves, with their partner, and with their family. I liken all of this education and knowledge to a tool box–there are all kinds of different tools therapists and coaches can use to help you live a better life. Part of this tool box consists of different types of therapy used for marriage and family therapy. A type of therapy that is similar to coaching is solution-focused brief therapy. You focus on the solution, not the problem (and, yes, it’s usually a brief amount of time you spend in therapy).
When you ask good questions–and this is not just for coaches and therapists–you can get answers that inspire, motivate, challenge, inform, and do all kinds of things that promote self-reflection, growth, and understanding. For example, asking yourself, “Why did I get so triggered?” when you have an argument with your partner can lead to insights such as “This reminds me of something that happened in childhood, but I haven’t been conscious of it before.” “Oh, I feel really vulnerable and close–and that’s really uncomfortable for me. Picking a fight puts distance between us.” Or, “I’m not getting my needs met, I don’t know how to communicate my frustration, and I unconsciously act it out.” Maybe you don’t feel heard. Whatever the reason, it’s an insightful practice to ask yourself questions regarding your thoughts, actions, and behaviors–especially when they affect the quality of your life.
One question that can affect the quality of your life is the Miracle Question. This is used in solution-focused brief therapy. Have you ever noticed that many people tend to dwell on a problem instead of focusing on a solution? This question elicits something different…
The Miracle Question
Suppose one night you went to sleep and while you were sleeping, your fairy godmother came. With a wave of her magic wand, she made all of your problems disappear. You didn’t know she visited and performed this miracle, but you knew when waking up that things were different.
If a miracle occurred and wiped away your problems but you didn’t know this miracle occurred, what would be different for you the next morning as you woke up and went about your day?
How would you be feeling–lighter, happier, more peaceful? How would you be behaving? What would you be doing? And, what would your thoughts be like?
So, let’s say you have an ex-partner who is driving you crazy. Ask yourself the miracle question and think about how life would be different if you no longer had that problem. Would you wake up happier? Focus on more positive things? What would you be doing differently? What would you be thinking about?
Many problems do not exist moment-to-moment except in your mind through your thoughts. As these thoughts continue, they become stories of your life. Your stories have themes. One of these themes is the type of character you play in the stories. Are you the hero/heroine of your life? Or, are you a victim? Both stories exist to you–the hero and the victim–which one do you choose to think about and ultimately live?
Stress and worry can become habitual. You may have a great life, but wake up a lot of mornings primed to be stressed because that’s how you’ve always been. What if you woke up and the first thing you thought about were the things you were grateful for–when you felt these things, and not just thought about them? I like to tell my clients to say to themselves first thing in the morning, “This is going to be a good day! This is going to be a great day! This is going to be a fantastic day!” And, really feel that–get excited!
The miracle question is a great tool that helps you switch your thought process almost immediately. You begin to realize that you can fill your thoughts with whatever you choose–it’s your choice. We create meanings and stories about the challenges in our lives. We can create empowering meanings and dis-empowering meanings–that is your choice. Life’s challenges are interpreted through the filters of our minds. If, through your filter, you see challenges as a victim would, you will feel differently than a person who views themselves as 100% responsible for their thoughts, words, and actions.
Think about this, this week: How would a victim view their problems? How would someone who felt empowered? By the way, problems are just learning opportunities in disguise.
If you know someone who can benefit from this or if you like this article please like or share this on FB, tweet it, link to this, and/or leave a comment. Thanks! Let’s get the word out on what it takes to have an extraordinary relationship! My mission is to help as many people create loving and long-lasting relationships as possible!
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If your relationship needs some attention, and you’re not sure just reading articles like these and books will help, I invite you to discover relationship coaching. You can find out more by clicking here: Relationship Coaching.
My passion is to enrich people’s lives by helping them create extraordinary relationships. I am a certified life coach, have a Master’s degree in psychology, and am a Marriage and Family Therapy Candidate. I am the author ofTransforming Divorce, the Transforming Divorce Workbook, and co-author (with my husband Don Nenninger) of The Secrets of Loving Relationships, and The Art and Science of Parenting: How to Act When Your Kid’s Acting Out.