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Published on December 22, 2020

50 Best Journaling Questions For Self-Reflection

50 Best Journaling Questions For Self-Reflection

Did you use questions for self-reflection during your younger years? If you enjoyed your teenage years, you should know how journaling made you feel. It allowed you to open yourself up to a new you.

However, it also allowed you to access a part of you did not think you had and aligned your priorities. The most important aspect of journaling as a young adult was capturing moments that you could self-reflect on and improve on you.

Today, we are so busy that journaling is now an extension of our office work. Self-reflection is part of growing up. Most times, we are locked up not by the attitudes and actions of other people but by our perception of what is or what is supposed to be

These questions of self-reflection allow you to pause, access, analyze, and take the necessary step forward. Believe it or not, it is a cleansing process that scraps off the dirt that is covering and overwhelming the real you.

Why Journaling? Well, because it is your private space and you can do whatever you want in it. Do you remember that song by Lesley Gore, “It’s my party?” Journaling allows you to express your true emotions without prejudice or pressure.

Also, questions for self-reflection enable you to develop a sense of mindfulness and management of your space. It is a path to self-discovery, self-reflection, and acceptance of your capabilities while in tune with your inner self.

So, without wasting time, here are 50 journaling questions for self-reflection you should ask yourself. If you need serious self-reflection of your life and actions, these 50 questions should get you started.

1. Would You Consider Yourself a Spiritual Person?

If yes, how would you describe the impact of spirituality in building a better you? If no, what are your reasons for not accepting spirituality, and how it can be remedied to improve the better you?

2. Do You Believe in Dreams?

Do you believe that dreams are your subconscious speaking to you about your present realities? Are there any repeated pattern or message that spooks you out? Do you have any reoccurring dreams, and what have you thought or done about it?

3. Would You Describe Yourself as Unique?

What are your five best attributes and five worst ones? Explain why you have chosen these particular qualities instead of the others.

4. When Was the Last Time You Had a Good Cry?

What made you cry—was it your fault or another person? Have you healed and understood the situation, or did you just accept it? Have you found forgiveness in the healing? If not, why are you holding on to hurt?

5. Are You Where You Wanted to Be From 5 Years Past?

If yes, would you say you achieved it alone or had assistance getting there? If no, what obstacles prevented you from attaining the goals set by you?

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6. Are You a Diehard Fan of Loyalty Regardless of the Circumstance?

Do you stick to a situation because you feel you have to be there? Or do you feel obligated to make a change? Either way, expand on your decision to be even in negative situations

7. Describe Your Ideal Morning—How Would the Setting Be? What Time Would You Wake Up?

What would the activities of the day be, and what would be the most interesting activity of the day? Do not forget to detail how the rest of the day would be, including retiring to the best.

8. If Money Was Not an Object, Would you Change the Life You Are Living Right Now?

If yes, why? What is wrong with it? If no, why? Do not be afraid to face reality here.

9. Do You Believe in Tit for Tat?

Do you forgive easily or hold a grudge or revenge at act? How has each one affected you as a person, your relationship, and career or business in life?

10. Do You Have Fears That You Are Recycling in Your Life?

Why are you holding on to them? What steps do you need to break free from them?

11. Are There Limitations or Thresholds You consider Not for You?

It can be in business, career, relationship, education, or anywhere. Is there a limiting factor you have created or accepted that is stopping you from achieving or expressing your capabilities in life?

12. What Are You Most Grateful for Today?

What do you wish could be different too? Why?

13. Do You Think Your Success Hinges on Your Relationship With Others?

If you think so, explain why and devise means to improve your self-esteem and confidence.

14. How Do You Get Away From a Negative Energy Space?

How do you reset your mindset from the valley to a mountain top?

15. What Have You Achieved This Year?

List out 5 of your accomplishment this year. Do not forget to also include those that you were not proud of.

16. Do You Have a Role Model?

Why did you choose that person, and how has the person helped up improved your life? Include all areas that have been positively impacted by that person, too.

17. Where Do You Want to Live?

If you could live in 5 places on earth, where would those be and why? Remember to write at least three reasons why you chose them. And if you have not visited them yet, what is stopping you?

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18. Do You Feel Calm and in Control?

What makes you feel powerful, calm, and in control? What conditions or circumstances could shift you out of these spaces? How do you keep it together to maintain a good headspace?

19. What Are the 10 Things That Inspire You?

List 10 things that inspire you, list 10 things you would love to say no to, and 10 things you would love to say yes to. List 10 words that motivate you and why they make a difference in your life.

20. Who Are Your Family?

Do You Have Any Family? Are you away from your family because of a career choice, marriage, or relocation? Have you maintained communication with them or not? If not, what and why have you abandoned this relationship? And can it be remedied?

21. What Is Your Motto?

Describe yourself.  What rules do you live by in life and will not bend regardless of the situation? Would you consider them rigid or your attitude strict?

22. Are You in Love With Yourself?

Are you comfortable in your skin? Is your inner being in alignment with your outward appearance, if not why and how can you change it?

23. Do You Want to Go Back in Time?

If you could do so, at what age would you stop and why?

24. How Do You Face Challenges?

Think of the most challenging situation in your life, how did it affect you, and how did you overcome it? Do you think you could have handled it any differently looking back now?

25. What Advice Would You Give Your Future Self?

Write down 5 pieces of advice you would give your high school self about the future. Also, write five questions you wish you had asked at that age.

26. Is Your Childhood Good Enough for Your Children?

Would you say that you lived a successfully happy and fulfilling childhood worthy for your kids, whether you have them now or in the future?

27. What Is Happiness?

What makes you happy? Remember a time you were truly happy. Can you recall the reason and how long it lasted?

28. Do You Get Envious?

How do you maintain that balance between envy or jealousy and happiness when a colleague gets a position or promotion you feel yours deserve? Do you still celebrate with them or make snazzy comments with a hug?

29. Do You Live a Balanced Life?

Do you think you have created the perfect balance between your mental, emotional, and physical health in your life today? If not, which is taking precedence and which is lacking?

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30. Can You Keep a Relationship?

How long is the longest relationship with your partner? Are you still together? If yes, who compromises more? If it is you, why do you feel the need to do that?

31. Have You Ever Contemplated Suicide?

What was the reason? How did you overcome that thought? And how has life been since then? Better? Or did you gain more understanding?

32. What Greatly Impacts Your Life?

Sincerely assess how the following has impacted your life and every aspect of it.

  • Social media
  • Career
  • Lifestyle
  • Belief
  • Relationship
  • Morality

Are there any changes you would like to make? If yes, what are they and why?

33. Who Represents Your Personality?

Choose a TV personality, a cartoon character, a superhero, and a villain that personifies you. State three reasons each why you have chosen them to represent your personality.

34. Are You in Your Dream Job?

Do you think your current position represents your efforts and sacrifice at your job? What can be done to make your boss notice you for that well-deserved promotion?

35. Have You Been Promoted Already?

If your promotion delayed or ignored, what is the problem?

Answer the following points sincerely:

  • Do you qualify for the new position?
  • Do you have the skills or professionalism to handle the requirements of this level?
  • Have you added any new certification to help you achieve the new position?
  • Do you have professional strengths to live up to the company’s values?

36. What Do You Want to Talk About?

If the world gave you five minutes to talk about one topic dearest to your heart, what topic would it be? Why did you choose it, and what would you say? It can be anything—no limits, no criticisms.

37. How Is Your Inner Circle Doing?

Would you say your inner circle is complete and perfect? If no, what is missing or what needs to be changed?

38. What Do Your Friends and Family Say About You?

Pick out five of your friends and family, write down three sentences that each one would say about you. Is it good or bad? Do not assume. Ask them if possible, and do not get angry.

39. How Do You Discuss Arguments?

Are you the type that feels the need to have the final say in an argument? Why do you do that? And is silence an option you are willing to try out?

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40. What Are Your Similarities With Your Parents?

List out all the characters you have in common with your parents. Separate them into good, great, and bad. Can you improve the good and make changes to the bad?

41. How Is Your Current Lifestyle?

Would you consider your current lifestyle a building platform for a successful future of your choice? If not, what aspects need change to enable you to achieve the goals for future hope?

42. Would You Say You Are Living Your Best Life?

Do you like what and where you are today? What value do you impact in your world daily, and how has it affected you too?

43. How Are You?

Let’s talk about you. How do you stay happy? What makes you excited? What is your idea of fun and how do you enjoy that you live a happy life regardless of the situations around you?

44. Are You Stressed?

Do you have any emotional connection to anything that is draining your positive energy? Do you give off negative vibes that are not you? How have you changed people’s perception of you?

45. Are You a Goal-Getter?

If yes, have you achieved those goals you set for yourself in 2019/2020? If no, what is holding you back? And what motivation would make a difference?

46. Do You Care Too Much?

Would you consider yourself too caring or too responsible for others and how they feel? Do you always blame yourself for how people treat you? Do you feel the need to apologize every time?

47. What Legacy Do You Want to Leave to Your Grandchildren?

Write a short story about a page that you would tell your grandchildren about yourself if they ask tomorrow. List five attributes of your personality that can help your grandkids become better people in their future.

48. How Would You Describe self-Love and Self-Care?

Are you caring for yourself? and what is your ideal way of doing it?

49. Are You an Organized Person?

Or are you unorganized? How is this affecting you and your life?

50. Do You Know Your “Why”?

Are you speaking your truth or living somebody else’s truth? What is your “why”?

Final Thoughts

Well, I hope you have your journal ready to answer these questions on self-reflection. This is not an exam. Hence, just write your thoughts down as they come to your mind. Do not worry about grammar, punctuation, or handwriting. Instead, endeavor to write a good journal by understanding and contemplating these questions for self-reflection.

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Featured photo credit: Sorin Sîrbu via unsplash.com

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Jacqueline T. Hill

Writing, Blogging, and Educating To Guide Others Into Happiness

How to Learn to Be Alone and Happy About It How to Find Inner Peace and Lasting Happiness How To Deal With Inner Conflict And Free Yourself How to Develop Different Perspectives on Life How to Express Your Feelings in a Healthy Way

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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

10 Self-Exploration Practices to Discover Your True Self

10 Self-Exploration Practices to Discover Your True Self

Discovering your true self is a lifelong journey. It doesn’t happen in one day or one revelation, but it is still worth the pursuit. When you find your true self through self-exploration, you know what you’re meant to do and are no longer afraid. Rising up with authenticity, you can overcome anything.

What is your true self? Is it the person you were as a child? When you felt the happiest? When you learned that important life lesson? When you achieved that goal? When you helped that stranger? Or when you acted according to your values regardless of others’ expectations?

The answer is all of these things make up your true self. The key isn’t discovering your true self. It’s remembering.

Here are some self-exploration practices to help you get started.

1. Act Authentically

When you act authentically, you are stepping into your true self. You are walking with wisdom, rather than worry. People come to you because they know you’re the real deal. You are flawed but fierce. You are enough as you, where you are, with what you have.

When you are authentic, you make choices that come from character. When you stay true to who you actually are, you learn that nothing can bring you down. That’s because you aren’t looking for external validation, and when you know what you have, you can do more with it.

When you act authentically, you are also acting in the best interests of everyone around you, because you care more about the right things. A better you means a better world.

2. Use Self-Affirmations

Say the following: “I am enough. I am strong. I am a victor, not a victim. I have what it takes. I will overcome. I will keep going, even when it seems impossible. I am not perfect, but I am human. I am allowed to rest, not to quit. I am not alone. I am good. I am grateful. I am at peace.”

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When you say these things, you accept them as true. You feel them, and you become them. You discover your true self in finding your power through self-exploration.

When you tell the world who you are, obstacles and opposition will move out of the way. When you are confident, you see opportunities, lessons, and wisdom. It makes you proactive, rather than reactive.

3. Confront Your Inner Critic

If all anyone did was listen to the negative voice in their head, nothing would ever get done. Einstein wouldn’t have discovered the Theory of Relativity and more if he listened to his teacher once tell him that he didn’t have what it took. The world would be robbed of that one person, who would change so many things.

The inner critic comes from fear of the unknown, of not being good enough, or of loss and lack. However, fear doesn’t have to decide what happens. You can overcome fear by not listening to your inner critic.

Instead, you can thank your inner critic and say, “I think what COULD happen…” and spin it into a positive sentiment. Fear can make sure you wear your seatbelt, practice before performing, make good choices, etc., but it doesn’t have to control you.

It may not go away completely, when you confront your inner critic, but you can reassure it and ultimately release it.

4. Don’t Hide Your Imperfections

It’s easy to wear a mask and say, “This is who I want people to think I am.” Instead, it’s more fulfilling to take off the mask and say, “This is who I actually am, and I am proud of that person.”

Through self-exploration, you can live freely by owning who you are. That will make you more responsible and more impactful. When you tell your story and say your truth, people will listen and be inspired to find their own truth. Self-discovery can then spread.

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5. Find Who You Are NOT

If you want to find out who you are, find out who you are NOT. What part of your past has defined your present? What about your culture, religion, family, friends, people around you, etc? What is truly you and what is them? You’ll never be finished discovering yourself, but you can use differentiation[1], where you separate yourself from what isn’t you by finding the sources of your views to become independent.

When you differentiate, you do not discount or minimize the effect other things have had. You just become aware of it, and what you are aware of, you can bring into the light of acceptance, where you can do something to change it.

What are your unique goals, interests, values, and ideas? Once you figure out what you are not, start there. Self-exploration is a journey of understanding how you have been shaped and molded through life and by what.

It’s okay that things have influenced you, but have you ever asked yourself why? If you can answer that question, you can start to find out who you are and set yourself free from the things you aren’t.

6. Log Your Life

Journaling is a great tool for self-exploration. All you need to do is write down your thoughts, either as free writing or following prompts. If you can’t think of anything to write, start simply: Write down your mood and the date.

What causes you to feel better or worse? What are your triggers? What makes you triumph?

When you discover what makes you tick, you learn how to better manage yourself and your life. You have a safe space where you can be your true self, and only share entries if you feel comfortable. You can pour it out daily, or just check in.

You can also observe what’s around you, letting your mind go and flow. Focus on your feelings, and allow pauses and moments for reflection before resuming writing. Let the end of it come naturally, when you feel like you have nothing else to say.

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As long as you keep some sort of log, you can learn how your mind operates, and you can pick up unhealthy patterns, which will help you regain control of your life.

You can check out more benefits of journaling here.

7. Focus on What Is Right With You

Maybe your mind ruminates on what you don’t like about yourself and what you think others don’t like. Maybe you feel like opportunities pass you up because you are not worth it. If that is you, know that you’re not alone. Everyone has a negativity bias[2] where they tend to believe more in the bad at first then the good.

Recognizing your mind may lie to you is the first step in seeing the truth. When you focus on what is right for you, you counteract those thoughts telling you that you have nothing to offer. If you have control over what you think, you have greater control over your situation.

Have you ever given yourself a compliment? Why not try one now? You can personalize it, but you can say things along the lines of, “I like how you care for other people. You have a great attitude. You always rise when bad things happen. I love you.”

8. Find Solace in Solitude

Sometimes, unplugging and getting away is the best thing for self-exploration. If you step outside into nature and invest in yourself, then you will feel better and be better.

Use time to meditate and focus just on yourself, not the world around you. Listen to your own thoughts, not what others are saying. When you check in, you know yourself again.

Recharging may not change everything or stop that difficult circumstance, but it can help you develop the mindset and energy to face it through your inner strength.

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9. Practice Self-Care

Often, when people try to relax, they worry with guilt and anxiety. You may be on vacation, but your brain is still at work. If you give yourself permission to relax, you will see that you fight your battles even better and can really dive into self-exploration.

Breakthroughs will happen in self-care more than in self-sabotage. When you try some self-care, it’s not just about pampering yourself. It’s taking the time to do what you need to do in order to be who you need to be.

Self-care looks different to each person. For some, it may be using essential oils and taking a bath. For others, it may look like hiking into nature, away from your problems and troubles. Whatever self-care looks like for you, know that you deserve it.

10. Try Mindfulness

Being present and in the moment is a great way to discipline your mind into not catastrophizing. When you fail, you don’t say, “I’m a failure.” Mindfulness[3] helps you stop judging yourself by just observing your thoughts and stopping negative thought patterns.

Imagine your thoughts are like leaves flowing past you in the cool breeze. As each thought comes up, place it on a leaf and let it pass. You don’t have to be attached to each one. Instead, work on breathing deeply, which activates the Vagus nerve[4] and releases tension and stress. As you breathe out, notice those leaves getting farther and farther from you, until they are in the distance.

You can be mindful at work, when your boss is talking over you and you want to raise your voice. You can be mindful with your kids, when they are asking for their sibling’s toy and you just want to give in to make it stop. You can be mindful when you are in the most stressful situations, and it gives you a pause to reassess the situation.

Whatever the situation, you calm down so that you can act with a clearer head and make choices that will bring the best results.

Conclusion

Self-exploration looks different for each person, but authenticity always brings you back to yourself. When you are exploring who you are, you must start with what matters to you. You have to assess your values and that will give you the criteria for living.

Self-discovery is about self-love, most of all. When you love yourself, you have more to give, and you find happiness in the process.

More Tips for Self-Exploration

Featured photo credit: Jonas Svidras via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Psych Alive:  Psychological Differentiation
[2] Very Well Mind: What Is the Negativity Bias?
[3] Psychology Today: Mindfulness
[4] Mayo Clinic: Vagus nerve stimulation

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