There are two key themes when it comes to figuring out your path in life.
One is identifying what you’re good at.
The other is figuring out what you most enjoy or value.
The two are not always mutually exclusive.
I bumped into an old school friend the other day... Andi.
We were in the same dance class. While I struggled to move my 11-year old un-coordinated body to the perfectly choreographed steps, Andi crushed it. Every single time.
I was in awe of Andi.
She was by far the best dancer in my school. Everyone thought she'd go professional and end up principal dancer at The Royal Ballet.
Turns out she didn't become a professional dancer.
She works for an animal shelter now. And loves it.
"Do you miss dancing?" I enquired. "You were soooo good at it."
"Nah. Dancing was never really my dream. My mum's dream lol, but not mine. I've got my animals now, and doing what I do feels more like me."
Andi figured out what she wanted for her life.
Now let's talk about you. I'm going to assume you're here because you've got burning questions that need answers, like: "who am I?", "where do I fit?". "what's my purpose?", "what should I be doing with my life?"
Allow me to be of assistance.
In this article you'll find a list of self-discovery journal prompts. They'll help you discover your values, strengths, weaknesses, interests and hobbies. Along with what makes you happy, and what makes you sad.
Use them at your will.
What is Self-Discovery?
This is going to sound so cliché, but self-discovery is a journey.
It's where we learn more about ourselves by looking at our past experiences, current situation, and future goals. This is an ongoing process of learning who we are and how we can live a life that truly represents us.
How do you know if you’re on the right track?
By being honest in your attempts to get to know yourself. Even if what you discover scares you a little, or is hard to admit to, or accept.
As you continue to grow, you'll find yourself going through several phases of re-evaluating your life. This is normal. No one has life totally figured out.
Why is Self-Discovery Important?
Imagine walking through a dense forest at night.
It's creepy as hell, and you want to get to the other side as quickly as possible... without bumping into anything that would see you as food.
But you're stuck because you don't know the right path to take.
If you don't know who you are, or what you stand for, you won't know which direction to move towards in life. And the danger is, you'll end up living a life that others expect you to live, which may not be right for you at all.
But by getting in touch with who you are, the real you, you'll make better decisions. Ones based on what you want and need to lead a happy, successful existence.
List of Self-Discovery Journal Prompts
Here are some journal prompts to help you explore the different aspects of you, and your life. It's not an exhaustive list. Just a few starter questions to help get your journaling juices flowing.
So, find a quiet place, grab a pen and work your way through this list.
There's no order in which to complete these prompts.
And if any don't apply, feel free to skip them.
Prompts Related to Your Personality and Character
- How well do you handle disappointment or failure?
- If you were stopped in the street by a complete stranger, how would you describe yourself to them?
- What do people see in you that you don't see in yourself?
- Describe three things you like about yourself?
- What do you not like about yourself? What do you think you could do to change that?
- How do you respond when someone points out a flaw or mistake you’ve made?
- How do you respond when someone offers unsolicited advice?
- What animal do you relate to most? What character traits make you most like that animal?
- When was the last time you performed a kind act?
- How do you generally make decisions?
Prompts About Your Core Values and Beliefs
- What matters most to you, and why?
- What are your core values in life?
- In what ways do you live your life in accordance with these values?
- If you could take one character or personality trait from three different people, alive or dead 1) who would you choose, and 2) which trait would you take? Explain your choices.
- Name three material possessions you couldn’t live without.
- What small act of courage feels big to you?
- What do you consider to be fun?
- What is something you absolutely will not tolerate?
- What does it mean to be truly happy?
- What are you most thankful for right now?
- What do you want to be remembered for?
Prompts About Career, Goals, Dreams, and Aspirations
- Describe how you feel about the work you currently do?
- If you didn't need to work, what would you be doing with your life?
- When did you last lose track of time while working?
- Describe in detail what your dream life would look like.
- What kind of person would you like to be in the future?
- What holds you back from chasing after a dream or goal you want to achieve?
- Which of your achievements would the 'younger' you be most proud of?
- What does success look like to you?
- What do you want to achieve financially?
- If you had all the necessary resources, what world problem would you want to solve, and why?
Prompts About Your Strengths and Weaknesses
- What are you good at?
- What are you not so good at?
- How do you know whether you're good or bad at something?
- Describe one of your weaknesses that is also a blessing in disguise.
- What is one thing you do better than most people you know?
- What is something you did recently that you're most proud of?
- What skills do other people often compliment you on?
- What activities, projects, or tasks make you feel energised?
- What activities, projects, or tasks leave you feeling drained?
- What do you most need help with?
- How good are you at asking for help?
Prompts About Relationships, Love & Personal Life
- What relationship or relationships have had the biggest positive impact on your life?
- What does love mean to you?
- Who do you turn to for support in times of need?
- Finish this sentence: I believe most people are…
- Think about someone who you’ve been friends with for a long time. Describe how you met that person. What attracted you to that person?
- What defines true friendship for you?
- What types of people do you find annoying?
- In what social situations or environments do you most feel like yourself?
- What do you feel that most people misunderstand about you?
- Which relationship or relationships do you need to let go of in order to live a happy life?
- If you could switch one aspect of your life with someone who you cared about, what would that be?
Prompts About Your Past Self
- What is something you used to enjoy doing as a kid that you no longer do as an adult?
- As a kid, what did you want to do when you grew up?
- What was your favourite childhood memory?
- If you look back to your ten-year-old self, who would you have liked that person to be today?
- Write a letter to your teenage self outlining your hopes and dreams for their future.
- Write a letter to someone in the past who has done you wrong.
- Write a letter to someone in the past who you’d like to thank.
- What is one piece of advice you feel you should have taken?
- What is one piece of advice you feel you should have ignored?
- What is your biggest regret to date?
Prompts About Your Interests
- What do you consider to be a good use of your time?
- How do you currently spend your spare time?
- What makes you forget to eat, or go to bed on time?
- What hobby or activity from your past would you like to rediscover?
- What new activities would you like to try?
- What three skills you would love to learn?
- What are your most likely to spend money on?
- What are you least likely to spend money on?
- What skills do you wish you had learned when you were younger?
- What books and/or movies resonate with you the most? Why?
Prompts About Struggles and Challenges
- What are you most afraid of failing at?
- What is something you readily make excuses for not doing?
- What makes you feel uneasy?
- What is one thing you've been doing, but no longer enjoy? Why are you still doing it?
- What aspect of life makes you feel angry?
- What aspect of life makes you feel sad?
- What keeps you up at night?
- What is one thing you struggle to let go of?
- What are you willing to put up with or sacrifice in order to live the life you want?
- What is one thing you need to stop doing, and one thing you need to do more of?
- How do you deal with loss?
- What makes you feel guilty?
Sometimes we lose our way in life, but the trick is not to stay lost. Take some time out - get curious, and open yourself up to new experiences.
Self-discovery journal prompts like the ones listed above can lead you to a deeper understanding of who you are, and what you want out of life.