Answering these questions honestly will help you know yourself better.
Have you ever thought about the thoughts that pop into your mind? Taking the time to clarify values and prioritize in moments of doubt and uncertainty? Have you questioned your own mental patterns? If you answered yes, congratulations, you are no stranger to self-reflection and introspection—important psychological exercises through which we grow, develop, and learn from our mistakes. If your answer is no, we advise you to understand what reflection is and how it differs from introspection, as well as learn tools and methods for independent practice.
What is reflection and why is it important to do it?
Reflection is associated with conscious observation and reflection on our experiences, actions, feelings and reactions, as well as their interpretation and analysis. We learn the answers to these questions by asking ourselves what we did, how we did it, and what we learned by doing it. These simple questions help shape personal beliefs and separate them from the expectations and prejudices imposed by society.
According to research, on average, about 50,000 thoughts per day visit our minds, and – surprise – more than half of them are negative. By not making an effort to “reorient” the mind to the positive through introspection, we do not give ourselves the opportunity to grow and develop.
How to reflect correctly?
When your focus on introspection went from a useful habit to an obsession, you went too far. Excessive introspection makes us more tense, depressed, and anxious. Unfortunately, we are surprisingly good at coming up with rational explanations for our own irrational behavior.
To help you stay on track, ask more “what” questions than “why” questions. The “what” helps us keep our curiosity and positive attitude, while the “why” is more likely to evoke negative emotions.
Below is a list of 68 questions, honest answers to which will allow you to get to know yourself even better.
Start with these 10 questions:
- Am I using my time wisely?
- Do I take anything for granted?
- Am I using a healthy perspective?
- Am I living honestly with myself?
- In the morning, do I feel ready to start a new day?
- Do I have negative thoughts before bed?
- Am I trying hard enough for my relationship?
- Am I taking care of myself physically?
- Do I allow things that are out of my control to stress me out?
- Am I achieving the goals I set for myself?
Try to ask yourself the following 28 questions every day:
- Who am I really?
- What worries me the most when I think about the future?
- If this was the last day of my life, would I have the same plans for today?
- What am I really afraid of?
- Am I holding on to something that I need to let go?
- If not now, then when?
- What is the most important thing in my life?
- What do I do with the things that matter most in my life?
- Why am I important?
- Have I done anything lately worth remembering?
- Did I make anyone smile today?
- What did I give up?
- When was the last time I stepped out of my comfort zone?
- If I had to give one piece of advice to a newborn baby, what advice would I give?
- What small act of kindness did I once show that I will never forget?
- How will I live, knowing that I am mortal?
- What do I need to change about myself?
- What is more important – to love or to be loved?
- How many of my friends would I trust with my life?
- Who has had the biggest impact on my life?
- Will I break the law to save a loved one?
- Would I steal to feed a hungry child?
- What do I want most in life?
- What does life require of me?
- Which is worse: failing or not trying at all?
- What would I like others to remember about me at the end of my life?
- Does it matter what others think of me?
- To what extent do I really control the course of my life?
Finally, save the following 30 tips and questions for your journal if you keep one:
- My favorite way to spend a day is…
- If I could talk to myself as a teenager, the only thing I would say is…
- Two moments that I will never forget in my life… (describe them in great detail and explain what makes them special)
- Make a list of 30 things that make you smile.
- Write about a moment experienced by your body.
- I would like to live according to these words/phrases/principles…
- I can’t imagine life without…
- When I am in pain, either physically or emotionally, the kindest thing I can do for myself is…
- Make a list of people who genuinely support you and who you can fully trust. Then take the time to chat with them.
- What does unconditional love look like to you?
- What would you do if you loved yourself unconditionally?
- I really want others to know this about me…
- What is enough for you?
- If my body could talk, it would say…
- Name a compassionate way you have supported a friend lately. Then think about how to apply it to yourself.
- What do you love in life?
- What always brings tears to your eyes?
- Write about a time when your work seemed real, necessary, and satisfying to you, whether it was paid or unpaid, professional or domestic, physical or mental.
- Write about your first love — be it a person, a place, or a thing.
- Describe yourself using 10 words.
- What surprised you the most in your life or in life in general?
- What can you learn from your biggest mistakes?
- I feel most energized when…
- Write a list of questions that you urgently need answers to.
- Make a list of everything that inspires you: books, websites, quotes, Instagram accounts (an extremist organization banned in Russia), people, paintings, shops…
- What subject do you need to understand better in order to live a more fulfilling life?
- I feel happy when. . .
- Make a list of everything you would like to say no to.
- Make a list of everything you would like to say yes to.
- Write down the words you need to hear.