Man with pen poised to write, pauses to consider a journal prompt for self-awareness.

50 Inspiring Journal Prompts For Self-Awareness & Growth

Wherever you are on your journey toward a “better you,” you know that change and growth aren’t easy. Sometimes just knowing where to start is the toughest part. Something as simple as inspiring journal prompts for self-awareness can make all the difference between staying stuck and making progress.

Working on yourself is a lifetime effort and commitment. But there always seems to be that chapter of life that could be subtitled “Self-Help.” 

You may delve into the reading, journaling, meditation, therapy, and support groups after a major loss or life-changing event. 

Or you may immerse yourself in the effort without realizing it, inspired by self-curiosity and a hunger for growth.

You may love the work. You may dread it. And you may even wonder if there’s an end to the self-help advice and lingo that follow you wherever you go. 

And you would be right in line with all the reasons that self-awareness is a practice, not a destination.

But even a practice needs a starting point.

Journaling, for example, is central to self-discovery. Writing has a way of translating your subconscious to a conscious form that confronts you with otherwise hidden truths.

It’s a ritual that adds discipline to your life while giving you time with your thoughts.

And yet, despite so much to write about, even journalists get writer’s block.

Fortunately, you aren’t the first person to embark on the search for self. And you aren’t the first to wonder where to start.

When your mind can’t nail down an idea or thought to explore, it helps to have journal prompts for self-awareness on hand.

Here are 50 to get you started:

  1. What are 10 things for which I’m grateful?

  2. Who are 5 people I admire and why?

  3. What are 5 things I think I’m good at?

  4. What are 5 things I think other people think I’m good at? Do the two lists match?

  5. What physical fears do I have (heights, tight spaces, airplanes, certain animals, crowds)?

  6. What fears about life do I have (health, talking in public, not being good enough, not having enough money, not finding love)?

  7. How are my fears holding me back? What things would I do if I weren’t afraid to?

  8. Where and when did I start having these fears? Did something specific happen to cause them?

  9. What is the most courageous thing I have ever done? How did I feel afterward? And how did it change my life?

  10. What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me?

  11. What is the kindest thing I have ever done for someone else?

  12. Am I taking good care of my body? If not, what are 5 specific things I can do to take better care of it?

  13. What 5 things/people/animals do I love most in this world? How do I feel in and out of their presence?

  14. What habits do I have that don’t serve me well? When and why did I develop them?

  15. How would my life look if I stopped 3 of my worst habits and replaced them with good habits?

  16. What negative mindsets do I need to release?

  17. What is one thing I deeply regret? And what have I learned from it?

  18. To whom do I still owe an apology or amends? What is holding me back?

  19. Who do I believe owes me an apology or amends? Am I still holding a grudge?

  20. Twenty years ago, how did I imagine my life today would look? Is my life better, worse, or just different than I had imagined? How so?

  21. How do I imagine my life looking 5 years from now? Ten years?

  22. If money weren’t an issue, what things would I do?

  23. If time weren’t an issue, what things would I do?

  24. What talent do I wish I had that I don’t?

  25. What talent do I have but not use to the best of my ability?

  26. Looking back, what advice would I give to myself on my high school graduation day?

  27. If I could change one thing about how I acted in an important relationship, what would it be?

  28. In what ways do I feel misunderstood by the world? What 3 things do I wish people understood about me?

  29. What causes me the greatest heartache?

  30. How would I most like to change the world?

  31. What do I love most about my home?

  32. What qualities do I look for in a friend?

  33. Do I like being around people?

  34. Do I need time to myself after work or being around a lot of people?

  35. How do I feel right now? How does my body feel? Do I recognize connections between what’s going on in my thoughts and what’s going on in my body?

  36. If I could talk to myself in the third person, what kind, validating, compassionate things would I say?

  37. What would the perfect day look like for me?

  38. What are 10 things I need to be happy?

  39. Am I comfortable asking for help?

  40. Do I believe I am a good person?

  41. If I were someone other than myself, would I want to be friends with me? Why or why not?

  42. How do I think other people see me?

  43. In what ways have I turned out “just like my mother/father”? In what ways am I different? What do I think of those similarities and differences?

  44. What hurt from my childhood has never been healed?

  45. Which of my responsibilities do I find distractions for? What feelings or outcomes am I trying to avoid?

  46. How do I handle conflict?

  47. What triggers me into arguments/conflict?

  48. What would help me feel less stressed on a daily basis?

  49. Do I like myself? Love myself? Enjoy time to myself?

  50. What makes me smile? What small thing can I do today to make someone else smile?

Somewhere near the top of this list of journal prompts for self-awareness you may have started making your own list. And that’s great! That’s the purpose of a prompt – to crack open the door so the light can flood in.

Journaling is just one of the ways that self-awareness can be developed. It’s intended to be liberating, without the guardrails of self-editing and critique.

(If you want or need journaling prompts in a guided-yet-freeing format, check out any of the colorful, fun, insightful books by SARK. Below’s a picture of 3 I have on my bookshelf.)

Self-awareness is a process, a practice, a journey of discoveries and choices based on those discoveries. 

As it deepens, it grows. And the journey, if you choose, lasts a lifetime.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn and I’m a life coach. Schedule a 30-minute private consultation for support in increasing your self-awareness (and maybe get a few more journal prompts for increasing self-awareness) so you can become more you.

Looking for more information about how you better know and accept yourself? You’ll find what you’re looking for in How To Be More Self-Aware.

Dr. Karen Finn

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