Questions for a Thrive Path

If you've been following this month's blogs and practices, you know that any conversation you have while in a thriving mind will be more productive than one you have in a survive mind. This week's practice focuses on how to shift yourself from a survive mind in which your 'traitor' characters take hold to a thriving mind in which your 'angel' or 'inner coach' is in charge.

Though we might not like to admit it, the survive mind takes over when we feel threatened, even when we aren't aware of it. The moment that happens, whatever comes out of our mouths is potentially inflammatory. Statements or questions spoken from the survive mind can come across in negative ways that we don't really intend. Rather than staying in a survive mind and working hard to say the 'right' words, it is more advantageous to put your energy into shifting into a thrive mind. From that state, comments or questions come out differently in terms of content and tone.


  1. Notice when you start to feel a little bit triggered.
  2. Use breathing, relaxation, and anchoring practices to calm yourself down.
  3. As you experience yourself quieting down, imagine how you can ask the other a question that is a thriving question. Rather than “Why didn't you...” or “What in the world made you...”, translate what you think into an open-ended and positive-facing question. “Why didn't you...”" or ”What in the world...” could change to, “Will you explain how you got from there to here? I'm curious and would like to understand how you're thinking about this.” While you're speaking, make eye contact and allow yourself to really connect with the other.
  4. Thank the other for his/her response and give yourself an internal pat on the back for shifting to a thriving, angel perspective.

Practice this at every opportunity, no matter how small and seemingly innocuous. As you practice in situations that are not highly charged, you are creating new neural networks and are helping yourself develop a new habit.

Enjoy, and please send in your experiences as you have them.

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