51 Self-Discovery Questions to Ask Yourself While Journaling

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Are you looking for the right self-discovery questions to use as journal prompts?

Journaling is one of the most powerful ways to understand yourself. It connects you to your inner core, helping you determine what you really want and what you actually need in life.

One good way to do journaling right is by answering self-discovery prompts. In this way, you are able to unlock your hidden potential. You also get the chance to clear your mind so you can more easily attain your goals.

In this article, we present 51 self-discovery questions that you can write and answer in your journal. Bring out the best in you and learn how to become a better, happier writer.

What You Will Learn

1. Who am I?

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One of the hardest questions to answers is who you are.

This is probably one of the hardest questions to answer, yet it help you figure out who you are and what you are made of. More importantly, it guides you in appreciating your real value. Go deeper into your core and list down all the facts about you. Examine yourself—strengths and weaknesses—and discover what you are meant to do.

2. What are my values?

Knowing your values helps you get a clearer view of the most important things in your life. It clears your mind and teaches you how to stay focused, make wise and consistent decisions, and take faithful actions. Here is a list of values you may want to explore.

3. What matters the most to me?

Identifying what matters most in your life right now helps you determine whether or not your current actions reflect your priorities. For instance, you may desire peace and quiet, yet you keep on saying yes to every responsibility that is asked of you. You can always say no, but first you will need to distinguish between the things that matter and those that do not.

4. What is my purpose in life?

If you know your purpose in life, you become more certain about where you are headed. Your existence becomes more meaningful as you explore your potential and reach your goals. You become confident in your endeavors, and you start to live with integrity and gratitude.

For those who are still in search of their purpose in life, check out this post, and this one.

5. What is my personality type?

There are several types of personalities. Do you know which you have? If not, you can take a personality test and find out what type of person you are. Knowing your personality type helps you understand yourself better. You discover your strengths and weaknesses, and it becomes easier for you to discover the right career path.

If you have an INTJ personality type, you can check this article to find the perfect job that will make you happy.

6. What does it mean to have a “good life?”

For most people, a good life means one full of contentment, satisfaction, and happiness. But this might not be the case for you. Figure out how you define a “good life,” and then you can begin working toward that.

7. Where does self-worth come from?

Self-worth is a measure of how you value yourself, regardless of what other people say or think. It is not measured through your income or material possessions; it is rather measured by how much you love and appreciate your existence.

8. What do I need right now, more than anything else?

We sometimes neglect what makes us happy and content. But if we are certain of the things we need—not want—then we can work achieve ultimate happiness. Do you need sleep, or maybe a massage? Perhaps healthy food or some exercise? Whatever it is, give it to yourself. It will reduce your stress level and make you feel better.

9. What are the things I need to improve and work on?

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Write down the things that you need to improve and work on to know what your weaknesses are and the places where you are lacking.

It is also important need to look at your weaknesses, and the places where you are lacking. This will inspire you become a better person, and push you to reach your highest potential.

10. Am I completely and truly free?

Do you like the life you are living in? Are you happy with your job? Does your daily routine satisfy the craving for productivity and happiness? If the things around you make you feel like you are trapped in a place where your happiness has been forsaken, you need to act on it.

11. Which three words describe me best?

In answering this question, simply chose three words that ultimately describe you as a person. Focus on these words, and see if there is any need for improvement. But more than that, learn to appreciate these words so you can love yourself even more.

12. Why do I resist change?

We sometimes resist change because we are afraid of the outcome. We don’t want to explore because we have become too dependent on what we are used to. But what did Robin Williams teach us in Dead Poets Society? Carpe diem! Seize the day. Conquer your fears and get out of your comfort zone.

13. Which do I value more—intelligence or wisdom?

These are two different things. Intelligence is knowing something and being insightful about it, but wisdom is way beyond knowing—it is with understanding. In intelligence, there is a relationship between learning and curiosity; in wisdom, the relationship is between knowledge and experience. One is not better than the other, though. Balance is key.

14. What is my definition of success?

Defining success can help you determine your boundaries. It answers the question: “What point do I need to strive to?” You need to have a definition of success so you will know exactly how far you should push yourself. It is a good thing to keep pushing, but it is equally essential to stop at some point.

15. What are the things that worry me, and what do I do to let go of them?

Identify your life stressors—what drains your energy, and what makes you anxious and distressed. Then, list down the steps you can think of to get rid of them. Don’t allow yourself to be bombarded by things that are beyond your control. It is a waste of time, effort, and strength.

16. What are my gifts?

What are your talents—the things you are best at? If you excel at something, do not keep it to yourself. Show the world what you are capable of. There are so many reasons why you should use your talents and gifts.

17. How do I contribute to society?

In relation to the preceding item, ask yourself: What are you doing for society? If you can positively identify your talents, use them to do something for your community. You will be surprised at how helpful you can be.

18. How do I define work-life balance?

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Write down and create a schedule for work and life, and stick to it.

It may seem like technology has made work-life balance impossible, but you can always unplug yourself from the digital world. Drift away every once in a while and find inner peace. Create a schedule for work and life, and stick to it.

19. How do I move past unpleasant thoughts or experiences?

Moving on is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do. It is never easy, and it always takes a lot of time and energy. But when you finally decide to do it, you have to do it right. It is a long process, but it has to be done in order to achieve peace and happiness.

20. Do I desire to be in a position of power?

This is quite a strong question that requires a strong answer. However, it can surely help you identify yourself. Do you want power? Do you enjoy being on top? There is no harm in aiming for power and strength. But you have to remember that your need for it should not come from a desire for personal gain.

21. What is the best book I have read and why?

This question is a bit different than our previous ones, but it is actually a great way to discover yourself. Your favorite book can help you discover your values and attitude.

22. When I'm in physical or emotional pain, what are the things that I can do for myself?

It is important to know beforehand what you will do when you experience pain. List down the things that can make you forget your suffering. You need to heal yourself, and no one can do that better than you can.

23. What types of topics do I tend to avoid?

Determine the things that annoy you. Then, analyze them. Why do they bother you? Why do you avoid them? You need to understand not only your positive side, but also your negative one.

24. What is a big goal that I would like to achieve in my life?

Actually, you can set a goal for the day, the month, the year, or longer. Everything becomes more achievable when you have a timeline. Setting goals can help you become more productive and efficient.

25. What keeps me awake at night?

Whatever it is that occupies your mind when you are trying to rest, you need to face and address it so that you can more forward. You need to identify the problem that’s causing you to overthink so that you can find ways to solve it.

26. How important is health in my day-to-day life?

Health is wealth. Cliché as that may sound, it is true. If you decide that you are taking your health for granted, then it is probably time to focus on it. Life becomes so much happier when you know you are healthy enough to live it.

27. Who are my top go-to friends or family members?

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Think about the people you turn to during your tough moments and don't forget to express your gratitude to these people.

List down the people you turn to during your tough moments. Then, ask yourself: Have I thanked these people yet? If so, have you thanked them enough? If not, then it is time to express your gratitude to these people.

28. What are the top 10 things I am most grateful for?

Learning the art of gratitude can positively improve your life in ways you have never imagined. Gratitude helps you realize how blessed you are. When you know you are blessed, it becomes easier for you to be happy and content.

29. Is everything in my life going too fast, too slow, or just right?

Think about how you feel about your life’s pace. And whatever the answer is, always remember that we all have our own pace. Some people are fast movers, while others travel a long, slow road. There is no one right pace—there’s only a pace that’s right for you.

30. Do I often feel jealous or envious?

Feelings of jealousy and envy can drive you to exert more effort in achieving your goals, but you need to be careful where you go with these feelings. When jealousy and envy become habits, you need to find ways to get rid of them.

31. What do I admire most about myself?

It is important to love yourself. When things go wrong and get completely out of hand, the first person you must rely on is you. So every now and then, write the things that you like most about yourself. You deserve some praise and acknowledgment.

32. How do I feel about my last mistake, and what did I learn from it?

It has been said that the most valuable life lessons we will ever learn are from the bad decisions we have made. We need to learn from our mistakes so that the next time we face similar situations, we won’t repeat them.

33. What do I imagine my future self to be like?

Determining your future self helps you set goals today. It gives you something to work on and strive for.

34. What makes me happy and relaxed?

Make a list of the things that make you happy, relaxed, and satisfied, so that when you feel tired and a bit overwhelmed by the things happening around you, you can go over the list and do some of the things that make you feel better.

35. What makes me feel motivated, inspired, and excited?

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List down the things that keeps you motivated and inspired to keep going on.

Just as in the previous self-discovery question, you can go over this list of the things that keep you motivated, inspired, and excited whenever you feel like life is burning you out.

36. How much of your time do you spend online?

If you really stop and think about it, you will probably be shocked by how much time you spend online. So let this be motivation to unplug! These days, almost everything is digital. Often, the best way to actually take a break is to unplug and relax.

37. What are the things that get in the way of my happiness?

Discover the things that make you feel sad, depressed, and lonely so that you can get rid of them. The goal is to find ultimate happiness, but it is difficult to do so if there are lots of things getting in the way.

38. What is it that I can’t let go of? What is holding me back from letting go?

In her book about the art of decluttering, Marie Kondo teaches us to ask ourselves, “Does this item spark joy?” If it does, hold onto it. If it doesn't, give it up and become happier. Don’t be afraid to let go of the things that don’t matter anymore.

39. Why do I resist doing what's good for me?

The best approach to answering this question is to do simple research. Do self-analysis and see if you can come up with reasons for sabotaging yourself. Whatever the answer is, you need to work on those reasons to alter your attitude toward change.

40. What does the perfect day look like?

Imagine what a perfect day would be for you. Then, every day, try as much as possible to make your “perfect” day come true.

41. Do I have unfinished business with someone?

Being on bad terms with other people can be tiring and exhausting. It consumes a lot of energy, and poisons you from the inside. So if you have unfinished business with somebody, maybe it is time to finally heal those wounds.

42. How do you measure the productivity of the day?

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Writing down and measuring your productivity everyday will help you establish goals.

Answering this question will help you to establish goals. If you reach those goals, you can proudly say that you have been productive for the day.

43. If I could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Spend an hour remembering what it is like to be a child, and dream big and bright. Think about how you would change the world if you had the chance. What is it that you can offer?

44. Where am I when it comes to being calm in challenging situations? What do I need to do to have more peace in my life?

You need to identify your capacity to be calm when faced with difficulties. Once you have done so, it will be easier for you to determine what you need to do to have more peace in your life.

45. Do I value my personal privacy?

Discovering how much you value your privacy helps you learn how to respect other people’s privacy, too..

46. If I could redo yesterday, what would I do differently?

This question helps you identify past experiences that made an impact on your life. They may or may not have been good experiences, but they give you a way to evaluate how you behaved in the past, and to decide if you want to be different in the future. It shows you other possibilities you could have explored and qualities you could have exhibited during those times.

47. How much personal time do I need each week to function well and feel happy?

It is important to include “me time” in your schedule. Simply spend some time alone, relaxing and taking a break from the world. Determine how much time you need for the activities that relieve your stress, then make sure you get it..

48. How many kinds of love have I given or received?

“All you need is love.” This familiar lyric was written by The Beatles half a century ago, but it still rings true today. There is too much hate in the world, so make a difference by giving love. There are many different types of love to give—familial, love of friends, romantic love, etc. What types do you give and receive? What types are missing from your life?

49. Have I been holding myself back? How can I change that?

Studies show that holding back—whether emotions or desires—stresses your heart. You confuse your brain and start to create a fight between what you want to do and what keeps you from doing it. Figure out what you have been holding yourself back from, and why. If it’s possible to do so in a healthy way, start doing the things that your heart truly desires.

50. Am I self-sabotaging?

Self-sabotage is a difficult trap to escape from. There are several reasons why people self-sabotage, but they typically don’t even know that they are doing so. Here’s a post you might want to check out to see if you are indeed self-sabotaging.

51. How would I like to be remembered?

At the end of the day, what do you want people to remember about you? Write about this in your journal, and you might just discover your ultimate dream or calling.


If you understand yourself, you are better able make sense of the things around you. You learn how to sympathize, and you open your mind to endless possibilities.

Because you understand the world around you, you become more capable of connecting with other people. It is easier to identify with other people’s feelings if you understand your own.

We hope that the self-discovery questions we shared above will help you to deepen your journaling practice and learn more about yourself. If you have more time, you can always go deeper and create your own prompts to make your journaling exercise even more exciting.

Finally, one proven way to improve your happiness and life satisfaction is to focus on goals that truly matter. To get started, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.

Life is a never-ending search for ultimate happiness. Keep on writing, and keep on discovering.

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