5 Questions Smart Women Should Ask Themselves Every Single Day

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Woman wearing glasses making a peach sign

Forget the horoscopes, the fortune-tellers, and even the long-winded wine-downs with friends; the real answers to your life’s most difficult questions are easier to obtain than you might think. They're right there inside of you.

Whether you’re looking for an answer about your love life, job, or that big move, all smart women should ask themselves these five very simple questions daily; if you do, you’ll never have to put your palms out again.

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Here are 5 questions smart women should ask themselves daily:

1. Who am I? 

No, you haven’t time-traveled back to philosophy class, and there won’t be a graded test at the end, but think about it: when was the last time you sat down and thought about who you are right here and now?

Not the person you were, think you are, have been told you are, or want to be, but the person you are now? You know, the one you live with 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If it’s been a while, it’s time for a check-in. Whether writing thoughts, feelings, and values in a nightly journal or taking quizzes, there are several ways to get to know and understand yourself better. Make no mistake: it’s not just self-indulgent navel-gazing, either.

The more we know who we are and what we stand for, the more protective we will be and the easier it will be to identify what and who is right for us and what and who is not.

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2. Are my actions reflective of who I am?

Gandhi once said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

This a simple sentiment that can ignite some complex feelings in those of us who aren’t exactly feeling the serenity of synergy in our lives. The reality is that many of us are walking around in confinement, moving through the motions dictated more by habit than by true consciousness. Perhaps many feel so out-of-sync with their homes, relationships, jobs, friendships, and surroundings.

When you push yourself to say “yes” instead of “no,” be bullied by fear, continue down a path that feels wrong, or force yourself to smile politely when you feel insulted, you betray yourself.  You also send those around you an inaccurate message about who you are, what you think, and your values and boundaries.

See how easily that can derail the many moments that make up a life?

3. What do I really want out of this?

OK, I am the queen of starting and stopping things—for example, the Paleo Diet.

I start it on Monday and rock the Caveman menu until about Thursday when I can’t live without some delicious wheat fix and before I know it, I'm pouring the wine and promising myself that come Monday, I will make a solid commitment.

After too many bread-binges and a huge physical argument with my favorite pair of jeans, I talked with myself (though, not in public because unless you have your headphones in, that doesn’t go over so well).

“Self,” I asked, “What do you want out of this?” Did I binge on bread every few days more than I wanted to look like Jennifer Nicole Lee, or did I want the body bad enough to chill on the bread for a few weeks and see how I looked and felt trying something new?

I asked myself this question not once but every time I had a craving. Guess what? Giving myself the choice — without judgment — was enough to keep me on track and feeling good about my decision.

This question can be used in all kinds of situations smart women get into, from sleeping with that sexy-but-oh-so-bad-for-you-ex or choosing to go to bed and save up for that dream vacation instead of blowing up your bank account on cocktails and cabs.

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4. What is the point of this?

Confession: Back in the day, I was a massive drama queen (those who know me are questioning the “back in the day” opener, but I assure you, I was worse then). Whether it was indulging mean-girl snark attacks or personalizing the projections of a boss that had no business in a leadership role, I often found myself in a state of angst over what amounted to pointless nonsense.

After plenty of sleepless nights and scary panic attacks, I decided to question my reactions by forcing myself to come up with a logical and productive reason to stress, worry and participate in various situations and conversations.

Yes, sharing information is an important part of relationship healing and building, but allowing your mind to participate in chaotic situations that are ultimately pointless is not only a waste of time, but it’s also dangerous.

5. Why can't I?

I know what it feels like to sit next to friends and colleagues who are enjoying experiences and achievements that I hope to enjoy one day. Watching a dear friend play with their new baby while praying the clock keeps ticking long enough to meet someone worthy of my next 50 years (and fathering my baby to boot) used to send me into a “why can’t I have that in my life?” frenzy.

But a simple change of emphasis changed everything. One day, I was laying in my bed, thinking about how the lives of most of my friends had all moved through marriage to baby and home while I was still hitting the town four nights a week, enjoying the single life and watching classic movies with my adorable Chihuahua.

The “why can’t I” theme song came on when it hit me that I was being completely ridiculous. Why can’t I still have that, but allow myself to enjoy more “me” time before I have it? Boom.

From that moment on, every time I would find myself feeling sorry for myself I would make myself answer why I could not have what I wanted. Guess what? I've never had a good answer.

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Brenda Della Casa is the author of Cinderella Was a Liar, The Managing Editor of Preston Bailey and Gotham Bandit, a Huffington Post Blogger. and the founder of BDC Life In Style.