Here are my favorite journal prompts for self discovery.
I have been journaling to help understand myself and dig into self reflection for 20 plus years. It has been the number one way that I have uncovered emotional wounds and limiting beliefs.
These journal prompts for self discovery, come right out of my personal journals. They include a bit of information to help you start writing.
Let's first learn a bit more about how journaling helps with self discovery. (Or get right into the prompts!)
Does Journaling Help with Self Discovery?
Absolutely! But I am sure you want more information than just that.
Journaling is great for self discovery, because it allows you a space to explore what is going on in your life. Plus your dreams, problems - really anything. The more that you learn about each of these areas, the more you learn about yourself.
Plus it helps you to reach your subconscious and access your intuition.
For me I also found it was easier to learn more about myself through journaling because it was easy to do it every day. It is not like counseling or coaching, where it costs more money. And requires a bigger time commitment. So by setting aside just 10 minutes a day you can speed up how much you learn about yourself!
Now on to the journal prompts!
Journal Prompts for Self Discovery
Write out what your new identity is if you follow your dreams.
Knowing who you will be when you follow your heart can help you better understand the hurdles you need to overcome! Knowing what you are aiming for is critical in understanding yourself.
What belief is holding me back?
Can you identify what is stopping you? Once you understand this belief it is easier to change it and move forward. Another great way to approach this, is what common themes are holding me back? Our beliefs usually impact more than one area of life, so if we can find the theme it helps.
What do I need to work on to make me my best self?
Knowing where you need to go helps you to better understand yourself today. And helps you prioritize what you need to work on.
What positive changes have come from this difficult time?
There is always positive from the bad. Even if you need to dig deep, it is there. Start with something simple, and then move to harder topics. For example, start with something like: I missed my appointment because of the derailed train. But I ended up meeting the new manager and we had a great conversation. From there you can move into bigger topics such as, I lost my job but it allowed me to explore self-employment.
What am I trying to accomplish with my actions?
Sometimes we don't even know why we are doing something. Stop and ask yourself what you are trying to achieve with the behavior that you are taking. Dig deep to figure out what your real motives are.
Why am i looking for approval?
Trying to chase approval from others can lead us to not even knowing who we are. The best way to find ourselves, is to dig into the why behind your need for approval. Everyone's reason is different, so don't just look at surface answers. Explore what you experienced as a child and young adult that may have triggered a need for approval.
What am I accepting as truth that is not?
Challenge your current way of thinking. What do you assume is a truth that when you reflect it really is not? We are all raised with the truth of our family and society. But that does not mean it is the right truth for you as you grow up. Finding where you are clinging to old ideas helps free you. (For more on this idea, I recommend you read The Four Agreements.)
List all the questions you have about what is going on in life now.
Sometimes we just need to get all our life questions listed out. Then we will be lead to the answers at the right time. Plus, just the act of writing your list can sometimes give you the answer. The answer can be in the knowing the problem!
Write down one problem you have, then list why you think it exists.
I challenge you to think of reasons that you have not thought of for its existence. Do this without blaming yourself or anyone else. Look at this as a brain storming activity. Not necessarily that everything on the list is the biggest issue!
Why would I not want my dreams to come true?
As much as we want our dreams, it does mean change. What change would you not want if your dreams come true? For example, if you get the promotion then your co-workers will look at you differently. You won't be just one of them.
Is this the right time for the action I am trying to take?
What would it accomplish? What do you want it to accomplish? Understanding all the actions you want to move forward with, will help you understand what drives you. And what you are striving for.
What makes you think you are not good enough?
Put real words to the feeling. What is making you believe this? Were you told it? Are you just assuming? It is also helpful to define what good enough is.
What unnecessary pressure am I putting on myself?
Too often we stress ourselves out over things that really don't deserve time. Or they are for someone else and not you. Is it time to let go of some of those?
What do i need to forgive others for?
Make a list and start working on forgiveness. The power behind forgiving is life changing. For more onhow to forgive.
Whose feelings am i carrying? Is it time to give them back?
Many times we take on other people's feelings and assume they are ours. Especially if you are anempath.Identifying what is really your feeling can empower you to stress less. All because you are carrying less stress and worry. (Learn more about empaths.)
Am i telling myself what i want to hear or the real truth?
Everyone does it. Part of our journey is discovery what things we are telling ourselves that are not true.
What am I really angry about?
Too often what we think is upsetting us is not the real problem. The real problem can be from issues building up over time. What else may be causing you to be angry?
Is that my responsibility?
We often take on too much responsibility that is not ours. Not just tasks, but also emotions and dreams. While there is a fine balance between not taking enough and taking too much responsibility. If you get clear about what is really yours it is easier to see the balance. Then you can start to set boundaries where you are taking more responsibility than you need to.
Why do i feel like I need to be validated by others before taking action?
Are you constantly asking if you have done something right? Worried you are making a wrong decision so you seek advice - all the time? This need to be validated before action can block your growth. Explore why you don't think you can make decisions. Is it from past mistakes? Were you not given the opportunity to try things on your own? Finding the issues can help you start to make your own decisions!
What matter the most to me?
Create a list of your priorities and then rank them. You can then take this a step further to explore if you are paying attention to those items that you have put at the top of your list.
What patterns do i need to leave behind?
It is easy to get stuck in patterns. We need to be aware of what we keep doing over and over, so that we can move on. Think about the issues you have that seem to keep reappearing. Is there a pattern in your behavior? Some other link to these issues? Patterns tend to show up in all areas of life, once you identify it you can clean up many things at once!
Hopefully these journal prompts will help you with your self discovery journey. Want more journaling prompts for self-discovery? Check out my ebook for 109 journal prompts! (Available in print from Amazon.)
Last updated: May 25, 2022