Talking about your PLE’s

Pivotal Life Events may be difficult to identify. So here are a few examples to get you thinking: fleeing from a war-torn country, being born into a family that is desperately poor, and dropping out of school at an early age.

The three I have listed obvious tilt towards the negative side, but you may have some pivotal life events that are very, very positive as well. Notice that you will have complete control over some pivotal life events, and no control at all over others. Notice also that some pivotal life events may be more pivotal than others.

These questions are designed to be used (surprise, surprise) with the Pivotal life event post. The goal is to make sure that you are intentionally responding to major or pivotal life events in a positive way. Please note, that it may be wise to discuss some of these questions only with very close and trusted friends.

1. Name the person who has had the greatest positive influence on your life and why. Name the person who has had the greatest negative influence on your life and why. What did each person do or say? Why did you perceive their words or actions to be good or bad? How did you respond in each situation? How is your response effecting your life right now?

2. Name the event, or the situation, that has had the greatest positive influence on your life and why. Name the event, or the situation, that has (again) had the greatest negative influence on your life and why? Try to understand the situation. Why did each one effect you the way it did? Did you respond positively or negatively? How could you improve your response?

3. Of all the words that have been said to you, which ones have been the most hurtful or the most helpful? Have you ever told anyone about these experiences? Can you think of someone you would trust enough to tell? What might be the purpose of talking to someone about these kinds of things? Could refusing to talk about these things hold you back?

4. To what extent were your needs (i.e. physical, emotional, spiritual, etc.) met or not met as a child? What was your greatest need as a child? On a scale of 1-10, how positive was your childhood? How has your childhood shaped you and made you who you are today? If your childhood hasn’t shaped you, what period of your life has?

5. How healthy are you as an adult? Are you ready to take on adult responsibilities? What may be preventing you from moving ahead? If you could change one thing about your life up to this point, what would it be and why?

6. How have you been affirmed in your life so far? Do you have any skills or abilities that are often affirmed by others? Do you have stronger skills and abilities that have not been recognized or affirmed by others? How has affirmation or lack of affirmation affected you?

7. Do you have any pivotal life events that have not been addressed by these questions? What events are you thinking about, and why do they seem so important?

8. Have these questions helped you to recognized strong negative and positive influences in your life? If not, what kind of questions might help you do that? What do you wish you would have been asked?

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