In order to grow as a person, uncomfortable questions need to be asked, and Pandora’s box needs to be opened. I’ve come up with 5 important questions that I feel we all need to ask ourselves if we want change to occur.

1. How is this going to benefit my long-term physical and mental health?

Health is our most precious possession; without it we are screwed. Taking drugs might improve your mood short term (and thus you might say your mental health), but long term it can lead to serious mental health deterioration. When I lack motivation—eg, to go to the gym, or drink bentonite clay, I always remind myself of the health benefits that I will experience. Moreover, this question can lead to ending toxic relationships, as they have a drastic effect on impact mental health. When you are feeling healthy you are able to experience life to the fullest.

2. Which emotion am I acting through: fear or love?

This question can follow every action we take. Did I gossip out of respect for the person, or did I gossip to feel better about myself? Did I assume a stranger looked at me because I am ugly, or because they were admiring my outfit? Did my partner shout at me because he hates me or is it because he had a stressful day, and has his own fears to deal with? When we identify the times we act through fear, we can start to question the reasons and insecurities behind the action, and start to change.

3. Are my decisions based on present facts or previous experience?

Am I reacting to a person based on all the previous experiences I have had with that type of person (same gender, race, or religion), or am I reacting to the person by how he or she has treated me? Yes, at times, we need to relay on our previous experience to survive (a commuter got hit by a train a week ago and therefore you are using that information, and deciding to stand behind the yellow line), but at other times we should restrain from attaching a belief that all people from one type of group posses the same characteristics.

4. How can I make the world a better place?

Everything that you put out to the world come right back to you. Decide to be kinder, recycle more, volunteer for a charity, or be nicer to the people you encounter. This question doesn’t have to be answered with big-world-saving propositions.

5. What are my beliefs?

Be honest with yourself—seeing a long list of limiting beliefs can be disheartening, but realising you have them is the first step to change. Write a list on your beliefs, put the reason you think you have them, and the steps you could take to get rid of them. When I did mine I felt like the most screwed up person in the world, but it gave me an insight into my personality, and I developed an acceptance to other peoples beliefs.