Most of the time, the answers to complicated and uncertain questions lie within our own minds. If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed in life, journaling will prove to be a productive tool to gain clarity and find peace. Also, it evokes mindfulness by making us stop and recognize our own thoughts. A common problem faced by people while journaling is the lack of topics to write about. So, we have listed down 102 journal prompts for self-discovery.
The questions will help you find your ‘why’. You will understand yourself and your emotions better as these questions will make you reflect on certain aspects of your life.
“When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”― Rumi
Take a 30-day challenge and try to journal every day for 30 days. Take one question each day and give yourself the time to ponder over each question without a rush.
50 Journal Prompts for Self Discovery
The prompts are most useful when answered without a break. Set a timer of 15 minutes and write continuously. This way, you’ll stumble upon thoughts and insights that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Below are 50 journal prompts that will help you in self-discovery.
- Describe your dream life in detail.
- Who/What inspires you? Why?
- What do you like about your career? Is there anything that you do not like about it?
- What is your dream job? How can you achieve it?
- Where are you balanced in life? (eg. career, health, etc.)
- Where are you unbalanced in life? (eg. mental health, social life, etc.)
- What would you do if you did not have anything stopping you?
- How do you see yourself in a week, a month, 6 months, a year?
- What do you know now that you didn’t know a year ago?
- Write down 3 things you’re grateful for at this moment.
- What are some beliefs limiting your growth?
- Describe yourself as you would describe to a stranger.
- Write down your goals for the next 1 year?
- What steps are you taking towards your goal?
- Which are the different obstacles to achieving your goal?
- What are some toxic habits that you want to get rid of? Why? How will you do it?
- What are the 10 things that you are good at?
- If you could get ‘yes’ as the answer, what would you ask?
- What is your favorite place to visit? Why?
- Write down 5 ways that will get you out of your comfort zone.
- If you couldn’t fail at anything, what would you do?
- Write down your 3 hobbies/interests for your self discovery.
- What do you consider your biggest insecurity? Why?
- Write down 10 positive affirmations that you can remind yourself daily to fight your insecurities.
- What would your ideal day be like? How would you eat? What kind of exercise you’d do? How do you want to feel throughout the day? How does your apartment look like? When do you wake up? Do you have any plans? What are you wearing? Who are you with? What do you smell? Include every detail of the day.
- What can you let go of which did not serve you? (Understand yourself better by answering this journal prompt for self discovery.)
- What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
- Which current passions are worth pursuing?
- What are some ways that you show self-love? How can you make it more?
- What are some hindrances to your productivity? What can you do to reduce them?
- Describe yourself in not more than 3 words (adjectives).
- Is there anything you need more of? How can you achieve it?
- What is something that you have always wanted to do, but have not done? What is restricting you? How can you do it?
- According to you, what is the definition of happiness and success?
- Define some things that you “always” do. (eg. I always get up at 7 AM, I always stick to my schedule.)
- Define some things that you “never” do. (I never smoke, I never procrastinate)
- Reflect on the worst moments of your life. How did that shape who you are?
- Do you stress about what others perceive you as? Why?
- When and where do you feel the most at peace?
- Arrange in increasing order of importance: health, family, wealth
- What are some things that trigger you? (eg. differences in opinions that lead to arguments, etc.)
- Come up with a go-to response for those triggers.
- What are your strengths? How can you make use of them?
- What are your weaknesses? (This journal prompt might help in self discovery)
- Write down one pet peeve of yours.
- Write a letter to yourself when you were in a difficult situation. Tell your younger self a few things that you wish you had known when you were in that situation. Show compassion and understanding to your younger self. Talk about your present feelings.
- What are you proudest of?
- Write down 5 things that you consider your flaws. Find something positive about them.
- What is the best piece of advice you have received so far?
- How do you want to be seen as a person? Why?
Above are the 50 journal prompts for self discovery. Answer them and find a new dimension of your self.
Additional 52 Journal Prompts for Self Discovery
If journaling has worked for you, you may want to extend your 30-day challenge to a 90-day one. Even if you have still not found the inner peace, try answering the additional prompts for self-discovery given below.
- Do you have any regrets? Pen down the biggest regret that you have?
- How can you cope with it? Can you let go of the past?
- What do you worry about the most? How can you deal with the things that you worry about?
- If this year was a movie, how would you describe it?
- Do you lose interest in things easily? Why?
- Do you have self-discipline? If not, what small steps can you take to change this?
- What are the things that you want to do more of?
- Name the things you want to do less of.
- Is decision making a skill you have? How can you improve in this aspect?
- Can you keep your calm when situations get stressful? How can you make it better?
- What have you learned about yourself today?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your concentration power?
- How can you improve your focus/concentration?
- Are you a morning person? Why or why not?
- Do you have difficulty in forgiving others?
- Can you forgive yourself easily?
- Do you apologize a lot? (This may point to low self-esteem and confidence.)
- Do you deal with rejections mindfully? Can you improve it?
- What is your spirit animal?
- What changes can you make to have better physical health?
- Do you lead or follow?
- Do you have patience?
- Are you way too hard on yourself?
- What can you do to show kindness to yourself? (For self discovery, it is important to understand yourself and this journal prompt will help in doing so.)
- Are you good at problem-solving? How can you develop this skill?
- Define your priorities in life.
- Do you have self-control? Do you need to work on it? How can you develop it?
- What are the fears that you have? How can you overcome those?
- When was the last time you did something creative? How often do you show creativity? Can it be more frequent?
- Can you ask for help easily?
- Do you like dressing up? Or do you dress to impress others?
- Do you have confidence in yourself? Or do you keep doubting yourself?
- What makes you uncomfortable?
- What has been the hardest decision that you had to make? How did it shape you as a person?
- What are your core values? Do you always stay true to them?
- Are you empathetic towards others? Is it easy for you?
- Is your life going too fast or too slow? How would you define the pace of your life?
- What are some quotes that inspire you?
- Do you find your life fulfilling? If not, what changes can you make to make it a fulfilling one?
- Has anything changed your view of life recently? (Answering this journal prompt will help in self-discovery)
- How good are you at time management? What are some small steps that you can take to get better at it? (eg. try keeping a bullet journal, etc.)
- Do you find it difficult admitting you’re wrong?
- Write down the 5 things that you cannot live without? (Try not to include electronic gadgets like mobile)
- Is there any part of your life that you are putting on hold? What could be the possible reason? Can you rejuvenate those?
- What is/are your most treasured possession/s? Why?
- What are the things that make you angry? How do you deal with anger? Can you do anything to keep it in control?
- What cheers you up when you are feeling down?
- When was the last time you cried?
- Do you try to hide your emotions? If so, why?
- Are you jealous of anyone? Do you find it unhealthy?
- Do you get frustrated easily? What is the reason for your frustration?
- What has made you smile today?
Take one or more questions each day and write about your experience after 30 days! You can follow along with the following video to trace your progress while journaling.
After you complete the challenge of 102 journal prompts for self-discovery, re-read what you wrote. And you would be surprised by some of the answers! Also, you may notice a few things – your thought patterns, the things you truly want in life, in which direction you want to head, and most importantly, the steps you can take today to get closer to what you want. As Eckhart Tolle has rightly said, “If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”
Megha Seth is a freelance writer specializing in health & wellness, spirituality, nutrition, and lifestyle content. A lover of books, food and all things Virginia Woolf. Interested in knowing the science and reason behind people's behavior, you can find her behind Psychology books. She is mesmerized by the vastness of the universe and believes we're just dust speck in the large scheme of the same. A mental health advocate, she wishes to bring positivity to the lives of people through The MindFool.