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20 Questions to Ask Yourself for Personal Growth

self-esteem counseling

Virginia Woolf is quoted as saying:

Without self-awareness, we are as babies in the cradles.

This is because self-awareness allows us to grow as people. To become better versions of ourselves. Self-awareness allows us to become more emotionally aware of ourselves, our motivations, values, and our goals. It helps us to be a better partner in our relationships and a better participant in the greater society. And out of self-awareness comes personal growth, increased strength, increased creativity, and yes, even increased self-esteem.

I think many of us are trying to improve ourselves and become better people. Self-reflection can be very helpful when you are seeking personal growth. Because of this, I have put together this list of questions that I think will help you on your journey of self-growth. Take your time with these! Find a nice quiet place to sit with yourself and work your way through the questions one at a time. If you want to try it, write about your answers in a journal to reflect on them more deeply. Many of these questions can be used with your partner as a way of working on your relationship as well.

What Does the Research Show?

Research shows us that spending as little as 15 min a day on self-reflection can increase our productivity, our level of success, our ability to make sound decisions, and even our overall happiness. Some research even suggests that through self-reflection and increased self-awareness, we can affect great societal change and transformation. If you think about that for a minute, you can see how greater self-awareness could lead to these types of change, and that increased self-awareness most likely was at the core of many changes already.

The Best Type of Questions for Increasing Self-awareness

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A recent study has brought up the question of which type of questions are the most effective for using self-reflection to increase self-awareness. What they found was that many people overestimate how self-aware they are and that they are asking themselves "why" questions. The researchers note that these types of questions do NOT improve self-awareness overall, perhaps because "why" questions can lead to rumination which will help to keep you stuck rather than moving forward. Instead, the researchers suggest asking primarily "what" questions. These questions will help you to stay objective, future-orientated, and empowered to change.

With this in mind, I have included many different "what" type questions in my list.

Questions for Self-Growth

self-esteem counseling
  1. Do I enjoy how I am spending my time?

  2. Who do I spend most of my time with?

  3. What do I want to learn next?

  4. How can I nurture myself today?

  5. What (or who) have I been taking for granted lately?

  6. What brings me joy?

  7. What are the most important lessons I have learned so far?

  8. What would I do if I didn’t care what anyone else thinks?

  9. What advice would I give my teenage self? Or, if you ARE a teen, what advice would I give my childhood self?

  10. What do I want to say “no” to, but haven’t been able to yet?

  11. What makes me tired? What energizes me?

  12. What is my definition of success?

  13. What type of friend do I want to be?

  14. Am I holding onto something (or someone) that I need to let go of?

  15. What value do I want my life to reflect most?

  16. Am I letting matters that are out of my control stress me out?

  17. What have I given up on?

  18. What do I need to change about myself?

  19. What is the one thing I would like people to remember about me?

  20. What do you love about life?

Closing Thoughts

self-esteem counseling

I hope these questions are helpful to you in your journey of self-discovery. I truly believe that increased self-awareness can greatly change your life. Increased self-awareness will help guide you in decision-making, help you to regulate your emotions, and bring you healthier relationships. If you would like to talk about anything that comes up for you while working your way through them, I would love to talk with you and offer self-esteem counseling- just follow the link!


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