In the timeless quest for self-understanding, Socrates set a timeless precedent when he professed, “Know thyself.”
There is incredible power in understanding your thoughts, beliefs, motivations, and the unique traits that define who you are.
But remember – self-discovery is a journey, not a destination. So, there’s no need to rush through this list, take it one step at a time, and enjoy getting to know yourself!
Here are 11 self-discovery questions to get to know the real you:
1) What values drive your decisions?
Your core values shape so much of what you do – the decisions you make, the relationships you enter, and how you act and react.
During my own journey of self-discovery, I learned that “peace” was a core value for me.
The more I focussed on this value, the more I started living a life that felt good and fulfilling – a life that aligns with my values.
So, what are your values?
Is it success? Creativity? Freedom?
The sooner you dig down into what drives your decisions, the sooner you can start to align yourself with those values and move away from experiencing internal conflict.
2) What makes you feel truly alive?
Recently, I went on a trip to Madrid. It was just a few days, but let me tell you, my heart was singing.
I love traveling. It’s the only thing I’ll get out of bed early for.
So, what makes you feel alive? What makes you so excited you can’t contain your happiness?
By identifying this, you’ll discover what you’re passionate about. And when you know that, you can do more of it!
3) If money were no object, what would you do with your life?
Would you be an astronaut? Would you open a cat sanctuary? Paint? Start a non-profit?
It’s okay if your ideas seem “far-fetched”…these questions are about getting down to the core of your being. They don’t have to be realistic or easily achieved.
The whole point is for you to discover your deepest desires.
And who knows…even with money being an issue, this could be a starting point for you to work towards such dreams.
4) What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
The fear of failure is real.
And many of us don’t realize just how many opportunities we pass up because we’re afraid.
So, sit with yourself and remove fear from the equation…what would you do?
This is a great self-discovery question because it’ll highlight the doubts that have potentially been holding you back. Once you know your fears, it’s much easier to work through them.
5) What are your three happiest memories?
Whether it’s that time you went camping with your family, having your first child, or achieving your career goals, remembering your happiest moments reveals a lot…
They tell you what brings you joy.
They give an insight into what your values are.
They also give you something to work towards. Every day won’t be a happy day, but by knowing what makes you happy, you can certainly work towards injecting more happy moments into your life.
6) What are the recurring themes in your dreams?
Dreams can serve as a subconscious reflection of our hopes, fears, and unresolved issues.
So, by keeping a record of recurring themes, you could unearth worries, fears, and desires that are lurking under the surface.
For example, I often dream about being in a big house with multiple rooms. Every time, I’m alone, searching for another person.
Throughout my self-discovery journey, I’ve learned that a fear of abandonment and being alone is something I fear. So, my dreams kinda make sense!
7) What makes you feel fulfilled and satisfied?
Is it helping others? Problem-solving? Nurturing relationships?
By figuring out what brings you satisfaction and fulfillment, you can work towards those areas in your career, or even as hobbies.
And remember, it’s not about everyday material things like going shopping or watching Netflix.
This question is about what truly gives you a sense of purpose in life.
Figuring that out can be incredibly empowering.
8) When do you feel most authentic?
There’s an old Japanese proverb that says:
“The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends and your family. The third face, you never show anyone.”
So, when and with whom do you feel most at ease to be yourself?
This question will shed light on your comfort zones, but also the people who are best to be around in life.
As a result, you might recognize toxic, unhealthy people and situations in life that stop you from embracing authenticity,
9) What are you most grateful for?
Gratitude can teach us a lot about ourselves.
By thinking about the things that enrich your life, you can pinpoint what elements you’d like to enrich or expand on.
But that’s not all…
Self-discovery is not all kittens and roses. You’re going to face parts of yourself and your life that may be upsetting to confront.
So use this question to inject a bit of positivity into your journey and remind yourself of all the good things in life.
10) What would you most like to change about yourself?
Talking of upsetting introspection…what flaws would you work on?
I know how tough this question is. When I asked myself this a few years ago, I knew deep down I wanted to work on my self-esteem.
At that point in my life, I was a jealous, insecure person in my romantic relationship. It was a pattern I was aware of but had sent firmly to denial-ville.
But when I confronted myself over it, it was weirdly liberating.
It was like, okay, I have this issue. Now let’s try to work on it.
So, remember, even if it’s a daunting question, it’s so worth asking it.
11) Who inspires you the most, and why?
And finally, looking at your role models and the people you aspire to be like can be very telling.
In them, you’ll see the values you hold deep inside.
You’ll see the achievements you hope to attain one day.
You may even discover personality traits that you wish to emulate.
And it doesn’t have to be a celebrity – it could be your grandpa, your sister, or a neighbor.
So, now we’ve covered 11 self-discovery questions to get to know the real you.
You’re about to embark on one of the biggest journeys of your life, so don’t shy away from asking yourself the tough questions.
Be honest, be authentic, and you will, in time, create a strong inner-relationship.