94 Thought-Provoking Journal Prompts for Self -Discovery blog banner

94 Thought-Provoking Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery

I love keeping a journal and have done so since I was a child. In recent years, I have learned that a journal is much more than something to do for fun. Journaling has mental health and self-discovery uses as well. While I prefer free-writing most of the time, sometimes you need more structure. That’s where these journal prompts for self-discovery come in.

First, we will discuss what journal prompts are and why and when they are needed. Then, we will get to some specific journal prompts for self-discovery in different areas. Lastly, I will share with you the ones that I think are most beneficial.

What are journaling prompts?

Sometimes, especially when you are beginning to journal or when you are beginning to journal for a specific purpose, it’s hard to know where to start. You stare at a blank page knowing that you should write something, but not having the slightest idea how to begin.

That’s where journaling prompts come in. They are usually a question that provokes focused thought. Your journal entry is the answer to the journal prompt. They give you a starting point to help you work out your thoughts, feelings, and opinions on a certain topic.

How do you start a journal prompt?

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Especially when you are exploring journal prompts for self discovery, you may not know the entire answer to the prompt when you start writing. That’s ok. The purpose of the prompt is for you to start thinking about the question.

Don’t overthink, just start writing down the thoughts as they come into your mind. Even if your end answer winds up being “I don’t know,” you have still explored your thoughts and feelings on the question and have learned something about yourself.

One of the fantastic benefits of journaling is that it focuses on the journey, and not necessarily finding straightforward answers. There is no right or wrong.

How do you make a journal fun?

To me, writing in itself is fun. It’s not something that I normally view as a dreaded task. I keep journaling fun by experimenting with it. If something doesn’t work, then that’s ok. I try to work it into my daily routine several times a week.

Don’t be scared to try new things. Get some colored pens, markers, or stickers. Draw or doodle in your journal, try a habit tracker, write down your gratitude for the day, look up different kinds of journaling, or try some different journal prompts. Sometimes you have to try many different things to find what you love.

Is keeping a journal good for depression?

According to Web MD, keeping a journal can be good for depression. It’s not a cure-all or an instant fix, but some people find it can help manage their symptoms.

(I am not a professional and you should consult your doctor or therapist when it comes to managing your specific case of depression.)

Writing things down can make them feel more manageable. Additionally, writing things down in a journal can help you get to know yourself better, especially if you use journal prompts specifically for self-discovery. It also gives you a chance to notice patterns in your behavior and practice positive self-talk to silence your inner critic.

Keeping a journal is one of the many tips that I discuss in detail in my course, Questing for Contentment.

Is it Better to Journal in the Morning or at Night?

I have read arguments for both. My answer is that it is better to journal when it fits best into your day and your routine. I prefer journaling in the morning because if I wait for night, I will forget about it, will be too tired, or something else will come up and it won’t get done. If your morning is crammed packed and the most stressful part of your day, wait for night time.

Journaling in the morning helps you to plan your day and helps to adjust your frame of mind for whatever comes. If you journal at night, it allows you to reflect on your day and plan for the next day. Do whichever one suits you and your routine the best.

Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery

Self discovery involves learning things about yourself that you may not have realized before. I helps increase your internal self-awareness. Without further ado, here are some journal prompts for self-discovery. If you would like these in a user-friendly format, check them out in my etsy shop.

Journal prompts for Self Discovery to Raise Your Internal Self Awareness

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  1. Describe yourself as you see you.
  2. Do you think that you see yourself accurately, as other people see you?
  3. How do you talk to your self? Are you kind and encouraging or critical?
  4. Write down at least 5 strengths you have.
  5. Write down at least 5 weaknesses.
  6. What are at least 3 different interests that you have?
  7. Are there areas where your strengths and your interests combine?
  8. Is there anything that you are passionate about? Tell about it!
  9. What did you always dream of doing as a kid?
  10. What do you dream of doing now?
  11. Write down 3 things you learned about yourself in the past year?
  12. Name 3 of your triggers or things that make you mad quickly.
  13. How do you react when you get mad? Is that the way you want to react?
  14. Name 3 things that you like about yourself.
  15. What is one thing you would like to improve about yourself?
  16. Describe a situation that you handled well
  17. Name 3 things that you are grateful for today.
  18. Describe what you are feeling right now. Include your emotional state as well as small details like what you hear, see, and feel.
  19. Find an inspirational quote or Bible verse that speaks to you. Write it below. Describe what it means to you or reminds you.
  20. If you could erase one thing from the past, what would it be and why?
  21. Do you think you are too hard on yourself?
  22. What is your biggest insecurity?

Journal Prompts for Self Discovery to Raise your External Self Awareness

  1. Describe yourself as you think someone else would see you.
  2. Do you think other people see you as you really are? Why or why not?
  3. When was the last time you sat down and really listened to someone else with the intent to understand and not just reply? Tell about it.
  4. How would you describe your relationship with your co-workers?
  5. How would you describe your relationship with your spouse?
  6. What is your spouse’s love language? What can you do to show him/her that you love her this week?
  7. How would you describe your relationship with your kids?
  8. What is the love language of each of your children? What can you to to show each of them love this week?
  9. How do you think each of your children sees you?
  10. Do you want them to be like you when they grow up? Why/why not?
  11. Describe an interaction with someone that could have gone better. What is the ideal way it would have played back?
  12. Who is the first person that you call with good news? Why do you want to share it with them first?
  13. How do you feel about asking for help? Do you think this is a good attitude?
  14. Do you try to hide your emotions?
  15. How do you think you come across to other people when you are trying to hide your emotions?
  16. How are your decision-making skills? Do you think this impacts others around you?

Journal Prompts for Self Discovery About Your Future Self

  1. What is your dream home? Describe in detail!
  2. Do you prefer city or country? Why?
  3. In your final moments of life, what will you be most grateful for?
  4. In your final moments of life, what would be your biggest regret?
  5. Write down 5 things on your bucket list.
  6. What does happiness mean to you? Do you think it is achievable long-term?
  7. List 3 places that you want to travel to.
  8. What advice would you give your younger self?
  9. What advice do you think your future self would have for you?
  10. Think of one thing can you do today to get out of your comfort zone a bit (that your future self will thank you for.)
  11. What would you ask if you knew the answer would be “yes”?
  12. Write down your list of priorities in order.
  13. Do you know your core values? Write them out.
  14. What area(s) of your life do you need to improve in order to live your best life?
  15. What habit do you want to start now that will help your future self?

Journal Prompts for Self Discovery About Your Goals and Dreams

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  1. What is one small step that you can take that will get you closer to that dream?
  2. Where do you want to be 5 years from now? 1 year from now? 1 month from now? Next week?
  3. What skill do you want to learn? How can you start?
  4. Write down your top 3 long term goals.
  5. Write down 3 short term goals that support each long-term goal.
  6. Describe your dream life in detail.
  7. What distractions do you always fall prey to?
  8. Did you set an intention for the year or New Year’s Resolution? How’s it going?
  9. Has there been a New Year’s Resolution that you have made that you have stuck to? Why/why not?
  10. Do you like planning or are you more of a make it up as you go kind of person? Why does that work/not work for you?
  11. What is something you have been putting off doing? Why?
  12. If you knew that you could not fail, what would you do?
  13. What does success mean to you?
  14. Describe a time that you did something even though you were scared.
  15. Identify your habits that support your dreams and goals.
  16. What one thing can you do today to be more productive?
  17. Name some obstacles to achieving your goal.
  18. What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
  19. How is your focus and concentration?
  20. What is one thing you can do to improve it?

General Journal Prompts for Self Discovery

  1. Describe your perfect day.
  2. If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for?
  3. What is your greatest fear? Is it holding you back?
  4. How has your day been?
  5. Write down 10 things that always make you smile.
  6. What challenges have you faced today?
  7. When do you feel most content and at peace?
  8. What have you done that makes you proud?
  9. Describe a time where you felt out of place.
  10. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
  11. Is there something that you need to forgive someone for?
  12. Do you need to forgive yourself for anything?
  13. How can you let go of something in the past that hurt you?
  14. Write down 5 things that you cannot live without.
  15. What do you worry about the most?
  16. Is there a way you can stop worrying?
  17. Are you an early bird, a night owl, or something in between?
  18. Are you introverted or extroverted?
  19. What do you need more of in your life?
  20. What do you need less of in your life?
  21. Write out a heartfelt prayer to God. Tell Him everything.

More Self Discovery and Goal Articles from Contentment Questing You Might Enjoy

Resources for more Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery.

There are many places that you can find journal prompts for self discovery. Here are a few that found to be helpful if you want or need more ideas.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery

The act of journaling in itself will help you on the path of self-discovery. You will be surprised by what you will learn about yourself and the insight that you will gain. There is no right or wrong way to journal. The best journal prompt is the one that meets your needs today. Whether you free write or use some of these journal prompts for self-discovery, you are still going to learn about yourself. Journal in the way that works best for you. It’s incredibly personal. Your journal is just for you and it’s your safe place to write down your thoughts and feelings. The important thing is to just start.

Do you have any great journal prompts for self-discovery or a story about how journaling has impacted your life? Leave me a comment below! I love hearing from you.

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