We are the compound of our environment, our upbringing, our genes, our experiences, our believes … and sometimes it’s hard to tell where those external factors end and where we begin.
Here you’ll find a collection of self reflection writing prompts that will help you identify this breaking point, crystallise your wants, identify your fears and become aware of the external influences you might be letting rule your life.
50 Self Discovery Journal Prompts:
1. What have I been worrying about lately? Why does this bother me?
2. What am I searching for?
3. What makes me angry? Why do I hate this?
4. What grudge have I been holding? Why can’t I forgive & liberate myself from this?
5. What would I do if money and time weren’t a problem?
6. Do I get more excited when starting or when finishing a project? Why? How can I use this to my advantage?
7. When do I feel at my best? What activities or circumstances influence this?
8. What are my core values, the principles I want to live by?
9. What do I believe about myself and the way the world works that does not serve me? How can I reframe it?
10. Who do I want to become? How do I want to be remembered?
11. How do I want to spend my free time?
12. What do I want more of?
13. What do I want less of?
14. What is my biggest regret from the past month? Year? 5 years? Lifetime? How is this affecting me now?
15. What accomplishment from the past month makes me proudest? What about the past year? 5 years? Lifetime?
16. What does success mean to me? How does it look and feel?
17. What goals and milestones did I achieve in the past? How? What worked?
18. What is my biggest fear? What is the worst case scenario if it were to come true? If that were to happen, what can I do? Would I be ok?
19. Write a letter to the past you.
20. Write a letter to the future you.
21. What’s something I’ve been putting off for a while now? Why? What am I afraid of?
22. What kind of first impression do you tend to leave?
23. What kind of first impression would you like to leave?
24. Think of a failed relationship from your past. What went wrong? What was your part in it? What could you have done to fix it?
25. Think of someone you admire. What do you admire most about them? How can you start building this characteristic?
26. Think of someone you dislike. What do you dislike most about them? Is there a chance you might have some of these traits too?
27. Is there anyone who knows you better than you know yourself? What can you learn about yourself from them?
28. How are you different from your parents?
29. How do your parents deal with conflict or stress? How do you?
30. What little things (used to) annoy you most about your parents? Is there a chance you might have some of these traits too?
31. What do you value or admire most about your parents?
32. What do you usually do when you’re overwhelmed?
33. What are your coping mechanisms when you’re stressed? Do they serve you well?
34. What made you more resilient in life?
35. How do you feel about your body? What can you do to improve your self image?
36. Do you usually wake up full of energy or sluggish? Do you get enough sleep?
37. How are you taking care of your body? Is it enough?
38. Are you a sore looser?
39. Do you fight fair?
40. What’s on your bucket list?
41. What brings you joy and happiness?
42. When do you feel most energetic?
43. What motivates you?
44. What makes you feel good?
45. What makes you feel bad?
46. What makes you feel calm and content?
47. What are you most grateful for in your life?
48. What has always been your biggest pain point in your life?
49. If you have a bad morning do you tend to have a bad day too? How can you fix that?
50. What would the perfect day look like for you?
How to use these mindfulness prompts?
There is no right or wrong way to use these mindfulness writing prompts. You can do a blast session and go through a bunch of them in one sitting or you could incorporate them into your regular journaling practice and use them one by one as your daily mindfulness prompts.
Come back to this list of journal starters as often as you need to and go through as many of the prompts as you wish. It’s about listening to yourself and doing what feels right for you. Not all of them will be a good fit and some of them might spark an unusual train of thought. If that happens, just keep writing! Sometimes the best self discovery exercises are those we weren’t even aware we were doing.
Consider printing out these journal prompts for mindfulness.Fold them and put them into a jar so you can pick one at random whenever you feel like writing into your journal.
Why are journal prompts for self reflection so helpful?
By reflecting on and answering these hard and sometimes tricky questions you will get to know yourself better and will be better equipped to identify where your believes, coping mechanisms, strengths and characteristics come from. Self reflection journal prompts can help you change perspective and identify deep engrained paradigms that may or may not be serving you which in turn helps you take ownership of your actions and your life.
The author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People says that your paradigms define how you interpret the world. Since your interpretation of the world governs how you behave, changing your paradigms changes your behavior, which in turn changes your life.
Self discovery is the first step in life design and living our dream life to your full potential.