Self-reflection is a huge part of personal development.
Self reflection builds intrapersonal intelligence, which allows you to make better decisions by managing your weakness and leveraging your strengths.
With this in mind, here are some interesting questions for self reflection that we can all benefit from asking ourselves.
Feel free to use the self reflection questions below as part of journaling exercises. They really can teach you a lot about yourself, and it can be fascinating to go down this path of self discovery.
One of the best questions to ask for self-reflection is: Am I an introvert or an extrovert?
Personally, I'm a big fan of Myers Briggs and the MBTI personality types, because they've helped me to understand myself better and how I interact with others.
If you're an introvert, it means that you gain energy from being alone and spending time in your own company. You tend to feel drained after social interactions.
If you're an extrovert, you're the opposite - you gain energy from being around people. You may still value your alone time, but if you spend too much time alone you tend to go stir-crazy.
Knowing this simple fact about yourself can help you manage your energy better, perhaps by organizing your meetings and focus sessions in a way that makes the most sense for your personality type.
Another key important question for awareness relates to love languages.
What makes you feel loved? It's different for everyone.
The five main love languages are:
In addition to knowing how you like to receive love, it's also helpful to figure out how you like to give love. Sometimes these two things can be different.
For example, your love language may be quality time, but you may realize that the way you usually show love is through words of affirmation.
Understanding and communicating love languages can help to strengthen relationships. When both people know how the other person likes to give and receive love, it allows you to better adapt to each other's needs.
Feedback is a key requirement for progress, so it's always good to check in with ourselves to see how we handle criticism.
It's an uncomfortable subject, but it's worth asking "What is usually my first reaction when someone gives me constructive criticism/feedback?"
Do I immediately take offense? Or do I try to listen to what they are saying, and see if there is an element of truth that I can learn from?
People who love you will offer constructive criticism, and it's not always easy for them, but they want to help you reach your full potential.
You'll also get criticism from people who don't care so much; they're just looking for something to nit-pick.
Either way, these comments offer opportunities for growth and self-reflection.
It's worth at least listening to everyone who has feedback to offer you, even if you don't agree with what they say.
Similar to criticism, conflict is another situation that offers an opportunity for self-reflection.
When conflict arises, some people like to handle it head on. This doesn't necessarily mean they are aggressive, but they'd just rather talk through the matter and address it once and for all with the other party.
However, not everyone works like that. Others immediately need to get away from a heated situation when conflict arises, because they need time to cool down and process what is happening.
Knowing your conflict resolution style is important, because it will help you navigate challenges that arise with the people you're close to.
Sometimes you might need space when a conflict arises, or you might need to give your friend space, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you are giving up on them. You just need the mental space to think and move forward in the best way.
Where do you feel most alive and at peace?
For some people, it's when they're outside, doing an activity like running or hiking. For others, it's when they're tucked in at home, reading a good book with a cup of coffee.
Asking yourself where your happy place is a good question for self reflection, because you can make an effort to consciously put yourself in this environment whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed.
Self reflection lends itself to self-care. Even if you have a busy week, you should make time to take yourself to your happy place where you can just unwind and relax.
This is one of my favourite questions for self reflection because it's quite nuanced. Notice that the question is: What is an ideal normal day in my life?
In other words, what is an ideal ordinary day in my life, not one when I'm on vacation or doing something spectacular?
The point is that you can make even a regular work week more enjoyable, by reflecting on the little things that you enjoy doing as part of your routine.
An ideal normal day in your life might include simple things like taking a walk, working out, speaking with a friend on the phone, or cooking a good meal.
The more you think about the little things that make you happy, the more you can incorporate these things into your life. You don't need to wait for a special occasion!
If you've read this blog before, then you know that I'm a big believer in constantly learning new skills. I believe that at every moment in our lives, we should be trying to learn a new skill or improving at a skill we already have.
Here are some examples of courses you take to learn something new this year:
One of my favourite platforms for learning new skills is MasterClass because they have classes taught by the top names in each field.
My favourite classes on that platform include the Art of Negotiation by Chris Voss and the Science of Better Sleep by Matthew Walker.
I never thought I'd find myself taking a course about sleep, but I stumbled upon it when browsing on Masterclass, and it's one of the most insightful and practical courses I've ever taken!
We usually get inspired by people for two main reasons:
That's why a good exercise to do for self-relection is to make a list of the people who inspire you most, to see if there any similarities between them.
It's kind of a reverse way to learn more about your own values.
For example, you might discover that you are inspired by people who are completely different in every way yet they have one thing in common - their determination and drive.
Perhaps the people who inspire you the most encountered a lot of setbacks on their journey, but they simply refused to give up.
Discovering this can give you a deeper understanding of the person you ultimately want to be, and can motivate you on the path to becoming that person.
Attachment styles are another framework that can give you tremendous insight into why you do things the way you do.
There are four main attachment styles:
For all of us, the goal is secure attachment, where we can have healthy relationships with no fears, worries, or hindrances.
However, due to our upbringing, we may be dealing with factors that prevent us from developing secure relationships. I recommend taking the attachment quiz to learn more about your attachment style.
It's a great point of self-analysis to help you identify unhealthy behaviours or patterns in your relationships, so you can work on improving them.
Last but not least, this is a deep question for self reflection that allows you to reflect on the trajectory of your life.
Each action we take every single day, either brings us closer to our goals or draws us further away from them.
When you stack these actions over the course of a year, five years, ten years...it creates a powerful compounding effect.
That's why it's important to regularly check in with yourself, to make sure that the habits you are creating are the ones you truly want to be creating.
Remember, you create your habits, and then your habits create you.
If you self-reflect and realize that the actions you are currently taking will not lead you to your desired destination, you can do something about it.
You can recalibrate, realign.
That's the beautiful thing about being human - you are not a tree.
You can move and replant yourself in an environment that will guarantee your success.
You can start laying the framework for success, today, by creating a personal development plan.
So there we have it, 10 questions for self reflection and self awareness that everyone should ask.
Admittedly, it's not always easy to ask ourselves these questions, because we might not always like the answers we encounter.
However, I think it's important to have a compassionate view of your past and current situation.
Even if you are not where you would ultimately like to be, you deserve a pat on the back for even making the effort to improve.
At the end of the way, all we can do is aim for continuous progress - to be a little bit better than we were yesterday.
Thanks for reading!
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