- Asking the Right Questions
- 80 Self Discovery Questions
Discovery begins by asking questions:
- What are you doing here?
- How did you get inside?
- Why are you looking at me like that?
- Is that a knife?
The importance of questions really can’t be overstated. It is by asking questions that we come to understand the world around us and the people in it.
The journey of self discovery is no different. But when was the last time you asked yourself a question? Many of us are quick to claim that we know who we are, but a surprisingly small number of us have actually done the work of asking and answering questions to get closer to the truth.
In fact, there is some evidence that our friends and even our coworkers know us better than we know ourselves, at least when it comes to our observable behavior.
When Socrates stood trial for having questioned the validity of the gods in Athenian Pantheon, he famously said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.”
Questions direct our ability to examine the circumstances around us. They define the scope of information to evaluate. And they provide a framework for how the final answer should be delivered.
In this way, well-structured questions make us dramatically more efficient and analyzing information and getting the answers we need to take action.
Asking the Right Questions
Of course, not all questions are created equally. And while there is no such thing as a “stupid” question, some are definitely better constructed than others.
Whether a question is good or bad will depend on the purpose of the question being asked. So it’s important to choose questions that align with what you’re hoping to get out of them.
Below are 80 self discovery questions, categorized into the different aspects of life. Depending on where you are in your self discovery journey, choose the questions that will challenge you to think deeply about areas of your life with which you’re struggling the most. It is in facing this challenge that you will find yourself.
80 Self Discovery Questions
10 Questions about Yourself
- What are my three greatest strengths?
- What are my three greatest areas for improvement?
- What do I need that I haven’t been giving myself?
- What which of my personal qualities do I love the most?
- What’s something I would like to do more of and why?
- What’s something I would like to do less of and why?
- What are all of the things that bring me joy? (List as many as come to mind.)
- Under what circumstances am I at my best? (Consider things like time of day, physical surroundings, presence of others, etc.)
- Have I been making time for myself every day? If so, how? If not, why not?
- What are the obstacles that get in the way of my happiness?
10 Questions about Your Experiences
- In the next 5 years, what do I want out of life that I don’t already have?
- By the time I am 60, what do I want out of life that I don’t already have?
- What is one experience that has defined the person I am today?
- What types of experiences to I tend to say “yes” to? Why?
- What types of experiences do I tend to say “no” to? Why?
- What is one thing I am most looking forward to?
- What is one thing that scares me the most about the future?
- What is holding me back from having the kinds of experiences I desire?
- What are the experiences for which I’m most grateful?
- What are all the things that I want to do in my life? (Write your bucket list.)
10 Questions about Your Family
- How do I feel about my family life?
- What makes me happiest about my family?
- Are there certain family members who drain my energy?
- Did a family member make me smile this week and why?
- Am I holding grudges against a family member? If so, why?
- What is my favorite memory about my family?
- Do I listen to my family more than myself?
- What am I thankful for about my family?
- Which family member do I admire most? Why?
- What role does my family play in my life?
10 Questions about Your Friendships
- Which friendships do I value most? Why?
- What am I doing to maintain these friendships?
- Do I have any friendships hold me back from happiness? What is keeping me in them?
- What kind of a friend am I? How have I shown that to my friends?
- What kind of friends do I need? Do I have friends that fill these roles?
- What is holding me back from building the friendships that I want in life?
- What friendships am I most grateful for?
- Which of my friends do I admire most? Why?
- What is my favorite memory with my friends?
- What role do my friends play in my life?
10 Questions about Your Mental Health
- How important is my mental health to me?
- What habits am I doing to make my mind stronger?
- How do I know that the work I’m doing on my mind is working?
- What is holding me back from investing in strength and clarity of mind?
- What changes can I make to my life to overcome these obstacles?
- What circumstances or people make it easier for me to maintain good mental health?
- What circumstances or people make it harder for me to maintain good mental health?
- What do I love most about myself?
- What is one negative belief I have about myself? Where did it come from? What evidence do I have that it is true?
- What past experiences am I holding onto that are holding me back?
10 Questions about Your Physical Health
- How important is my physical health to me?
- What is my favorite thing about my body?
- What habits am I doing to maintain good physical health?
- Am I getting enough exercise? Why or why not?
- Am I getting enough sleep? Why or why not?
- Am I eating well? Why or why not?
- What circumstances or people make it easier for me to maintain good physical health?
- What circumstances or people make it harder for me to maintain good physical health?
- How do I know that the work I’m doing on my physical health is working?
- What changes in my life can I make to achieve my physical health goals?
10 Questions about Your Career
- How do I define success?
- What do I value most in a career?
- Does my career allow me to pursue the lifestyle that I want?
- What do I love about my job? What do I dislike about it?
- To what extent does the work I do make me feel fulfilled?
- To what extent am I challenged by my work? How do I react to that challenge?
- What impact does my job have on the rest of my life?
- To what extent do I feel like I can be myself at work?
- If I didn’t get paid, would I still enjoy my job?
- Who do I go to when I need advice about work?
10 Questions about Your School
- What do I love about school? What do I dislike about it?
- Is my performance at school in line with where I want it to be? If not, why not?
- What subjects am I best at? Why?
- What subjects do I need the most help with? Why?
- What role do my peers play in my experience at school?
- What motivates me to go to school?
- Which organizations am I most active in? Why?
- What about school causes me stress? What do I do to relieve that stress?
- How do I feel about my current workload?
- How do I measure my success at school?