As a coach, I know that the gateway to personal transformation hinges on the power of the questions we ask ourselves.

For many years I had a paperweight on my desk with the question “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”.

I can now see that this is not a powerful question.

Failure and heartbreak are real and omnipresent. When we truly inhabit our courage, and our vulnerability we will experience both – frequently.

Failure hurts – but it’s an essential ingredient in the process of learning and growth.

A far more powerful question is this one:

What do you yearn to do, despite the possibility of failure?”

Or this one:

What makes you feel truly alive and gives you the courage to try your very best?”

These questions guide us to our essence – the powerful and unique way the very best of human nature expresses itself through us.

When we create (and co-create) tethered to our essence, the things we bring into the world cannot be replicated. When we reconnect to our essence at work, we feel uplifted and alive. We are no longer sleep waking through our days, the fog lifts and life feels vivid.

Our essence is the fuel that activates authentic empowerment.

Preservation of the human spirit and our own souls at work depends on our individual sense of awareness and connectedness  to a deeper, unquantifiable, enduring part of ourselves – however we describe and define it.

When I ask myself the question “What makes me feel truly alive?” a big part of the answer is being creative in service of guiding others to experience authentic empowerment.

It took me three years to write my fist book SELF-FIDELITY. Over that period my two young sons asked me about 143 times “Mummy, do you love your book more than you love me?”. At the time, all I could do is stop typing, give them a big cuddle and remind them how much they were loved.

When I start working on my second book this Summer holidays, I have a better answer.  I will be able to explain to my two sons that writing sparks joy in my heart. And that when my heart is full of joy, I can love them the way I want to love them – and the way they deserve to be loved.

Being a writer, a creator and an activator is core to who I am. When I suppress these elements of my essential nature for long periods, it feels like a cheese-grater on my soul.

What elements of your essential nature yearn for greater expression?

Self-Fidelity Practice To Play With This Week

This week I invite you to find a few quiet moments to reflect on these powerful essence-activating questions:

What makes me feel truly alive and activated?

What does my heart yearn to do, so it can love the way it yearns to love?

All my life, longings lived inside me, rising up like nocturnes to wail and sing through the night. Bless the largeness inside me, no matter how I fear it… When I am dust, sing these words over my bones: she was a voice.

Sue Monk Kidd, The Book of Longings