Self discovery journal prompts are an effective technique to help bring you self-awareness, reflection, and clarity. 

Self Discovery Journal Prompts Are Powerful

Self discovery journal prompts | Image shows a journal on top of a pad, with flowers and a pen laying beside them.

Journaling is a huge part of my life. Research from 2002 confirms what we always knew: writing is  cathartic, and combined with bullet journaling it’s also a creative release.

But sometimes it’s about more than purging big feelings or being creative.

I’m a huge advocate of journaling, and one of the primary reasons is for the self-analysis it organically facilitates.

What Are Journal Prompts For Self Discovery?

Self discovery journal prompts are designed to encourage you to assess and analyse your feelings, and what’s driving your behaviours.

By taking the time to engage with these deeply confronting questions, you will learn a lot about your current state of mind, and how you might be able to better support yourself going forward.

What Are the Benefits of Journaling Prompts For Self Discovery?

If I’m conflicted about something or feeling lost in some way then committing my thoughts to paper can bring clarity. And exploring the emotions behind my thoughts with probing questions is an opportunity for: 

  • Self-awareness, 
  • Deep self-reflection, 
  • And ultimately, self-acceptance.

Journaling For Self Love Has Positive Implications For Your Mental Health

Looking inward and understanding yourself better is proven as an invaluable tool for increasing your wellbeing and happiness. 

Here are a selection of journal prompts for self discovery to help re-establish your values and sense of self, and promote self-compassion.

Image shows a woman writing in a notebook. She wears pale blue nail varnish and a creamy jumper.

78 Self Love Journaling Prompts For Self Discovery

  1. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be? Why?
  1. How would you describe yourself?
  1. How would somebody else describe you?
  1. Thinking about the last two questions, what is different about your answers? Why do you think that is? How do you feel about that?

5. Do you trust your instincts/intuition? When is a time they have helped you or let you down?

  1. What five things are you grateful right now? Read these gratitude list ideas for inspiration!
Looking for more like this? Read these 56 gratitude journaling prompts.
  1. How do you cope with stress in the moment? What strategies could you add for next time?
  1. What are you proud of right now? Who have you shared your pride with?
  1. My favourite weather is… Because…
  1. When was the last time you laughed till you cried? Who were you with? When will you next spend time with them? Make a plan!
  1. What are five random acts of kindness you could easily implement in the coming week? Write them down and formulate a plan to put them into practice.
  1. The kindest thing anybody has ever done for me is…

Journal Prompts For Self-Discovery and Clarity

  1. My life would be improved if I could only… Think about what’s preventing you from making this a reality, and how you might be able to put steps in place to make it a reality.
  1. What is holding you back right now? How can you plan to overcome the obstacle/s?
  1. What’s your reputation like at work? How does that make you feel?
Camera, flowers, journal and macarons on a white desk.
  1. If I could give my younger self one piece of advice it would be…
  1. What’s your greatest achievement?
  1. When did somebody last surprise you? Was it a good or bad surprise?
  1. Money makes me feel…
  1. Name up to three things you would like to change about the world. Why? How would improve life for you? For others?
  1. Have you allowed any of your childhood hobbies to slide, which you should really pick back up?

22.The greatest lesson I’ve learned from a mistake is…

  1. How have you changed in the last ten years? Has it been positive or negative? 
  1. What opinions have you previously held, but since changed your mind about? What led you to adjust your perspective?

Self-Discovery Journal Prompts For Self-Reflection

  1. Does your life feel balanced? Is there anything you spend too much or too little time on? How’s your work-life balance? Think about how you can correct this. 
  1. What are your best qualities? When have you recently demonstrated these in a platonic or romantic relationship? When have you been guilty of displaying the opposite? Why? How do you feel about it? Have you made amends? How can you make things right if not?
  1. Who/what most inspires you? How can you make room for more of this in your life?
Journal beside a cup of tea and some purple flowers.
  1. What topic do you wish you’d studied harder or for longer? Write down a promise to yourself to either read a book or find out about a course on the subject.
  1. My weaknesses are… And I can work towards overcoming them by…
  1. My greatest strength is…
  1. What things or people have you outgrown, and no longer serve you? Why are you keeping them around? Is it healthy, or would you be wiser to let them go?
  1. What are some daily stresses that can upset your day? What strategies do you currently use to cope? How can you improve on them to retain calm and balance?
  1. When you’re feeling agitated, down, or irritable, who or what can pull you out of your mood and make you feel better?

34. Describe a significant life event that has shaped you into the person you are today, for better or worse.

  1. On a piece of paper, mark a line down the centre. On the right hand side, list five things that are getting you down right now. Now reframe for each item, and find a positive or a silver lining. Finally, make a plan for how you can improve each situation.
Looking for more like this? Read these 55 positive prompts.
  1. What are your values? Are you living fully in accordance with them? In what ways or areas might your life be out of step, and how can you correct that?
  1. What place or activity brings you the most peace? How could you make room for more of it in your life?

Relationship Journaling Prompts For Self Discovery

  1. Write down a secret about yourself that you’d like to share with somebody.
  1. How do you most fear being judged by others? Is it something that has actually happened? Might there be any truth to it? How could you change their perception of you?
  1. What quality is most important to you in a friend? Do you hold yourself to the same high standards?
Image shows a woman writing in a journal. The desk is pink and there's a pot plant in the background.
  1. Who has been the biggest positive influence in your life? What do you admire about them? How could you nurture that quality within yourself?
  1. Who do you hold a grudge against? Why? How is it serving or hurting you? How might you be able to move forward, with forgiveness? 

43. In what ways do you tend to judge people? Have you ever been proved wrong?

  1. Is there anybody in your life who you owe an apology to? Write them a letter.
  1. Which of your school teachers left the greatest impression on you? Why?
  1. Who makes you feel uncomfortable? Examine why this might be, and whether it’s a healthy relationship.
  1. Is there anyone who has drifted out of your life that you miss? Why are you no longer in contact? Write them a letter.
  1. With which person/people are you able to comfortably be absolutely yourself, with no filter or self-consciousness?
  1. Who do you most admire? Why? Have you told them? If not, why not?
  1. Think of the person or people who mean/s the most to you. What are your favourite things about them? How do they bring you joy? How do you reciprocate?
Image shows a woman writing at a wooden desk. There's a pinecone and a cup on the desk.
  1. Who do you owe a debt of gratitude to? Write them a letter.
  1. Who do you trust the most? Why? Are you there for them too?
  1. What assumption do people tend to make about you? How does that make you feel?

54. How do you handle conflict or disagreements? How does that tend to work out for you?

  1. Are you good at setting boundaries with others? What relationship could you improve by setting firmer boundaries? What’s stopping you? (Start today!)
  1. What important lesson/s have you learned from friendships, past or present?
  1. How do you show your support to others? Do you extend that compassion to yourself? 
  1. What lessons do you most want your children/future children and/or nieces and nephews to learn from you?

Journal Prompts For Self Love and Self Compassion

  1. Describe yourself, and how you can improve any perceived flaws.
  1. When I think about my body, I feel… Make sure to finish this exercise with a list of five positive things.
  1. What things are triggers for you? Why? How can you manage these effectively?
  1. What are some self-sabotaging thought patterns you often have? How can you disrupt this self-defeating behaviour to be more positive?
  1. What’s your greatest regret in life? How could you make peace with it?

64. I need to accept that…

  1. Are you resilient? Why/why not? How could you develop your resilience?
  1. Write a letter addressed to yourself at the hardest time in your life.
A woman is writing in a journal on a slatted wooden table top. She wears a dark purple jumper and holds a poised pen. She has a white mug beside her.
  1. Think back to a time when you felt hopeless. How have you grown since then, and what positive things have happened in your life?
  1. What are your greatest fears? Why? How can you manage these effectively?

Sense of Purpose Journaling Questions For Self Discovery

  1. My greatest ambition in life is… Think about how you can make this a reality.
  1. Name five things you’d like to achieve in the next year.
  1. If you could do anything at all without being judged, what would be the first thing you’d do differently?

72. If somebody wrote a book about your life, what would the highlights be? What would the book be called? Would you like it? How could it be improved?

  1. What activities set your soul on fire? How many reflect the things you loved as a child? 
  1. Is anything missing from your life? How could you feel more fulfilled? 
  1. I wish I was brave enough to… Think about what you can do to make it happen.
  1. What’s your (realistic) dream job? If you’re not employed in that area already, what’s preventing you from being? Write down two ways you could plan towards making your dream a reality.
  1. What would your perfect day look like?

How/for what would you like to be remembered at the end of your lifetime?

Looking for even more like this? Get inspired with 500+ more journaling prompts!

An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is a huge advocate of personal growth, focusing on journaling to increase positivity and facilitate mindful motherhood. With a wealth of experience in breastfeeding and CMPA, Kate is also an expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.

1 Comment

  1. Love the idea of the grateful, blessed and happy bracelets. Should I do the same, being blessed with my baby boy after 5 years fighting breast cancer…

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