In a previous post we wrote about Self-Awareness. One way to get personal with coping skills is to get to know yourself better! If you are interested in life skills, and are reading these words, chances are you are interested in improving yourself or your life. Do you have a vague sense that things could be better? Are there specific things you are dissatisfied with? Do you have some goals or ideals you would like to reach? What is your starting point? Do you have a solid sense of who you are and what you want? Or have you not thought much about your own needs and wants?
One way to develop more insight into who you are and what you want is to ask yourself questions—or more specifically, to find a set of introspective questions and to use them as a writing assignment. Generally writing down questions and answers is more useful than just reading questions and thinking about them, because 1) it slows you down enough to be able to consider the questions, 2) forces you to be more specific in your answers, and 3) gives you some distance from the dialog. This puts you in the place of an observer finding things out…and removing you from some of the “noise” of your internal thoughts, feelings, conflicts, etc. Ideally you won’t be pre-judging the answers but will be a curious explorer on a fact-finding mission!
There are many types of question lists – easy, interesting, funny, challenging, thought-provoking, philosophical, historical, forward-looking, probing, or related to values, personality, skills, or other characteristics. If you’re not at all familiar with self-introspection, or it’s something you rarely do, you might want to start with some of the less in-depth lists—or not—it’s really up to you.
Following are some examples. The shortest lists are not necessarily the simplest, but they are probably the most accessible to start out on. We have also avoided lists with “Life-changing” in the titles because the result of most self-introspection, or reflection, depends on how you are able to use it. Dramatic life changes can come about with small steps and constant practice!
- 5 Reflective Questions to Discover Who You Are and What You Want
- 5 Extremely Revealing Self-Reflection Questions Crucial for Personal Growth
- The Power of Self-Reflection: 10 Questions You Should Ask Yourself
- 17 Powerful Questions for Self-Reflection
- Ask Yourself These 20 Questions to Improve Your Self-Awareness
- 35 Questions to Inspire Self-Reflection
- 101 Questions to Ask Yourself in Life
- 40 Thoughtful Self-Reflection Questions
- 50 Tough Questions You Never Ask Yourself, But Should
- 50 Journaling Questions to Ask Yourself for Ultimate Self-Reflection
Cognitive Journaling: A Systematic Method to Overcome Negative Beliefs contains a very detailed tutorial on how to discover beliefs that produce troublesome emotions or behavior. This goes a step or two deeper than “self-reflection” or “self-introspection”. It is a specific framework for journaling about events or experiences which helps to uncover the beliefs we may not realize are determining factors in the events.
Whichever list or method you may start with, the process of becoming more self-aware can be enlightening, useful, and rewarding.