When was the last time you took a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to think about your beliefs, happiness, and the bigger picture of your life?
Between work, school, friends, family, and all the stuff life throws at you, it can sometimes feel like you’re lost or stuck.
If you want to strengthen your self-awareness, make better choices, improve relationships with yourself and others, and understand what’s going well and what can use improvement, self-introspection can help.
How to Ask Yourself Introspective Questions?
Introspection is the self-examination and analysis of your personality, actions, and motivations to learn about your mental states and processes. It helps you better understand who you are and why, who you want to be, and what you want in life.
While there isn’t a right way to practice self-reflection, per se, spending endless amounts of time simply thinking about yourself doesn’t necessarily equate to knowing yourself.
Self-reflection that becomes navel-gazing can be damaging, causing increased stress, depression, and anxiety, reduced satisfaction with your job and relationships, and feeling a loss of control of your life.
Instead, use these guidelines to understand your feelings, question your beliefs, figure out your future, and explain negative outcomes or patterns.
- Prepare some questions. Make a list called “Self-Reflective Questions to Ask Myself” so you aren’t stuck trying to think about what to reflect on when the time comes. Browse the list below as a starting point and choose the best ones for you. Our list will likely help you think of many more questions but focus on a couple at a time, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
- More “what,” less “why.” The kind of questions you reflect on can significantly impact your mental health and well-being. While “why” questions do have a place, they generally lead you to fixate on your problems and place blame. They make you focus on your limitations and negative emotions, trapping you in your past and keeping you from moving forward.
“What” questions, on the other hand, make you more receptive and can help you create a better future. They allow you to understand better and manage your emotions, maintain curiosity, and see your potential.
Use “why” questions to help you understand your environment and “what” questions to help you understand yourself.
- Reflect without judgment. It may take some practice, but be sure to answer introspective questions openly and honestly to get the most out of it. You are doing this for yourself, and you don’t need to share your thoughts with anyone else.
Also, refrain from judging yourself or beating yourself up over your answers. Remember that you need self-awareness to be the better, stronger, more confident, more successful person you want to be. And the way to get that is through self-reflection.
- Schedule time. There are a ton of benefits to be reaped from self-reflection, but you have actually to do it to experience them. Rather than wait to have the time for this important practice, make the time. Hold yourself accountable by putting it on your calendar as a non-negotiable because, despite your best intentions, it’s too easy to push important things aside or forget about them altogether. Start small with 10 or 15 minutes to develop a self-reflection habit and increase it gradually.
There isn’t a right or wrong time of day to do it, but you might try first thing in the morning when you wake up to start your day right. Or reflect on the day before bed to organize your thoughts and rest peacefully with a clear mind.
Find a time that works best for you and schedule it.
- Choose YOUR method. Without even trying, you can easily find at least a handful of books, blogs, vlogs, or podcasts telling you how you should practice self-reflection. There are plenty of ways to incorporate introspection into your life, but what works for one person may not work for you.
Some methods to try include reflecting while walking, working out, meditating, or journaling, talking to yourself out loud, or with the assistance of a coach or therapist.
Try a few different methods until you find what works for you, then stick with it.
- Monitor your progress. Check in with yourself often to assess the different areas of your life and motivate yourself to keep doing it.
Track your efforts to self-reflect and any changes or progress you make with your moods, perspectives, relationships, clarity, mental health, goals, etc. Notice when it gets easier to self-reflect and how your life is changing for the better.
- Know when to seek help. Self-reflection is necessary for personal growth, but sometimes dealing with your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings can feel overwhelming. Some days will be easier than others, but know that it’s okay to seek help sorting it all out.
A professional, non-judgmental setting with a counselor, therapist, or life coach can help you dig deeper into who you are and give you tips and tools to manage and cope with it all.
75 Self-Reflection Questions to Know Yourself on a Deeper Level
Self-reflection is, without a doubt, one of the most crucial aspects of personal growth and success. After all, you can’t improve yourself or your situation if you don’t first understand why things are the way they are, what’s important to you, and how you want to live your life.
Use these questions to reflect inward at your thoughts and feelings to get to know yourself better, allow some positivity in your life, and be the best possible version of yourself.
Daily Self-Reflection Questions
Practice self-reflection daily to get to know yourself better. Learn more about what’s important to you and keep yourself on track to achieve your goals with these reflective questions.
1. What do I love most about my life?
2. What are five things I feel grateful for today?
3. What am I taking for granted?
4. What is it that makes me feel most confident?
5. Am I taking adequate care of myself physically? Mentally? Spiritually?
6. What three qualities do I admire most in myself?
7. What three qualities do I admire most in others?
8. What kind of things makes me most uncomfortable?
9. How am I allowing negative thoughts to influence my thinking?
10. Am I focusing on the things that will help me achieve my goals?
11. What’s one thing I can do today that will make me feel accomplished when I go to sleep tonight?
12. What am I doing about the most important things to me in my life?
13. What ten words best describe me today?
14. What can I do to make someone smile today?
15. If today was the last day of my life, how would my plans for the day change?
Self-Reflection Questions for Relationships
Whether you just started dating someone new or have been together for many years, it never hurts to check in with yourself to make sure you’re satisfied and compatible and in a healthy relationship.
The following questions are for romantic partnerships, but you can ask yourself these introspective questions for any relationship, such as those with your parents, kids, co-workers, friends, etc.
16. How are my previous relationships influencing my current relationships?
17. What is it that makes me feel valued in my relationships?
18. How can I better communicate with the important people in my life?
19. How comfortable do I feel being my authentic self in my relationship?
20. What value do I bring to my relationships?
21. What qualities are most important to me in a relationship?
22. Do my partner, and I want the same things in life?
23. What role do I expect my partner to play in my life?
24. What are my views on marriage?
25. How satisfied am I with our sex life?
26. Do my partner, and I have similar views on money and finances?
27. What is one thing I can do to make my relationship stronger?
28. Do we hold similar views on religion, and how important is that?
29. What does a successful, healthy relationship look like to me?
30. What about my significant other am I most attracted to?
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Deep Self-Reflection Questions
Give yourself the time and compassion you need– and deserve –to live your best life. Use deep reflection questions to understand what makes you tick and motivates you.
31. Am I a better person now than I was one year ago? Five years ago? Ten?
32. Am I introverted, extroverted, or somewhere in between?
33. What talents or skills do I have that give me a sense of pride or satisfaction?
34. What do I do to recover from setbacks quickly, and what more can I do?
35. What do I do differently when I’m alone versus around others?
36. What matters to me most in my life?
37. What is one life lesson I’ve learned in the past year?
38. What have I done recently that’s worth remembering?
39. What do I feel guilty about, and is my guilt warranted?
40. What do I need to do differently to be the person I want to be?
41. What would I do if I loved myself unconditionally? How can I act on those things now?
42. What is my purpose in life?
43. What are my deepest insecurities?
44. What am I holding on to that I need to let go of?
45. What can I learn more about to help me live a more fulfilling life?
Self-Reflection Questions for Mental Health
There’s still a way to go, but mental health is finally getting the crucial, much-needed attention it deserves. Use these questions to dive into your psychological health and ensure your mental well-being.
46. How is my mental health right now on a scale of 1 to 5?
47. What is the kindest thing I can do for myself when I’m not okay?
48. What do I blame myself for? Were those things really my fault?
49. Do I care too much about what others think of me?
50. Do I truly believe I am worthy of good things in life? Why or why not?
51. Have I attached my mistakes or failures to my worth rather than part of the process?
52. When was the last time I stepped outside my comfort zone, and when can I do it again?
53. What is bothering me right now that is beyond my control?
54. What is it that I’m really afraid of?
55. Am I too hard on myself?
56. What can I learn from my biggest mistakes?
57. When do I feel happiest and most like my authentic self?
58. What am I struggling with now?
59. What are three things I can do to relax my mind and soul?
60. How can I recover from any unhealed past traumas?
Self-Reflection Questions for Students
Regardless of your age, level of education, or plans for after school, if you’re a student, you should consider how you learn best, what you enjoy learning, and how you’ll apply it.
61. When am I most creative, and why do I think that is?
62. What are some of the most exciting discoveries I’ve made about my studies and myself as a student?
63. What am I most curious about and why?
64. How can I use what I’ve learned to better my future?
65. What are my three greatest strengths? Weaknesses?
66. What do I need to do to meet my academic goals?
67. What were some of the biggest challenges I’ve faced, and what made them so?
68. Am I putting forth the best effort in my work?
69. What’s one thing about myself I would like to work to improve?
70. What can I do today to develop better study habits for the future?
71. What are some of the most profound things I’ve learned, and what made them so?
72. What do I like most about the learning experience? What do I like least?
73. In what ways is my learning process similar to others? How is it different?
74. What is something I learned that I want to remember forever?
75. What about getting a good education is most important to me?
It doesn’t matter if your age is 10 or 110. If you want to grow as a person and live up to your full potential without judging yourself or worrying about what others think of you, your life, or your decisions, self-introspection can help.
Practice regularly to clarify who you are, who you want to be, and your core values.