Questions are powerful. They force answers.
Compelling questions force us to think deeply and examine ourselves. Sometimes they challenge our beliefs about what we "know" to be true.
As a coach, I use thoughtful questions to help clients elicit insights, uncover buried beliefs, and reach conclusions about who they are and what they want for their lives. Often I will ask a question, and the first comment is one of surprise -- "Wow, that's a great question. I've never thought about that."
Then they have to ponder the question, which often leaves an uncomfortable silence, requiring them to articulate what comes to mind. In that uncomfortable space, the subconscious mind goes into action, and often small breakthroughs and "aha" moments are the result.
Once during a particularly stressful and confusing time, my sister asked me the question, "What would happen if you let go and just allowed the universe to catch you?" In essence, she was asking what would happen if I stopped fretting and trying to control events and rather simply let life unfold?
It was a profound moment for me, as it forced me to realize two things. First, my stress and worry wouldn't change the way life happens. Also, I realized if I did let go of control, I wouldn't die. Nothing would happen that I couldn't cope with. The only control I have is over my own reactions.
You don't need a coach or family member to trigger these insightful moments. If you know the right questions to ask, you can ask them of yourself to encourage the same insights and self-awareness.