When I was in college, I majored in English. During the spring semester of my junior year, I enrolled in an Autobiography class. In the past, I wrote a lot of fiction writing, but felt scared to open up about my own life story. To alleviate our fears, the professor would often start class by giving us a few self discovery journal prompts.
One day in particular, she told us to imagine the last time we cried. Instead of having the class simply write about the topic, she helped us set up the scene. This made things a whole lot easier.
She’d ask us questions like, “Where were you at the time?” “What did you see to your left?” “And your right?” “What were you feeling?” “Who was with you that day?”
The prompt helped me vividly remember the scene so that I could jot down my thoughts more openly. I wrote about about my friend who had recently moved away. We’d been friends for years during college. She ended up moving out of state, so the day she left was really hard.
Ultimately, It felt very cathartic to analyze that moment in greater detail and express my feelings.
After we finished writing, the professor told us that people feel most scared to write about their own lives. “There’s more at stake,” she said. “We worry about what other people will think and say. We also sometimes don’t want to even address our own thoughts and emotions.”
Ever since then, I decided to start a daily journal. I’d jot down journal prompts, just like my professor had shown us in class. Afterwards, I would take a moment to think and answer every question. It helped so much because I was being open and honest with myself.
Here are just a few reasons to start journaling, plus 30 journal prompts for self discovery! 💗
What are the benefits of journaling?
Keeping a journal comes with many amazing benefits. According to the Huffington Post, journaling can help you map out future goals and organize your thoughts. A few other benefits include stress level management, mindfulness, and an overall boost in self-esteem and mood!
Another great reason to start journaling is that it promotes self discovery and reflection! Everyone struggles to address their deepest inner thoughts. Let’s be real, it can be pretty scary to have a long, deep talk with yourself. Writing is a great way to get your feelings down on paper.
It’s also pretty fun!
So, grab a notebook and pen. Let’s start writing!
30 Journal Prompts for Self Discovery and Reflection
1. What makes you happiest?
2. List 5 positive qualities about yourself. Expand on why you chose those aspects in particular.
3. Where do you want to be in the next year? What about in 5 or more years?
4. When was the last time you cried? Have you healed from that experience? If not, what will help you move forward?
5. Do you have any reoccurring dreams? Analyze some major themes in your dreams and what they might mean.
6. What are you most grateful for and why?
7. Who is your biggest inspiration or role model? Write down why you look up to this person.
8. Is there anything you’re scared to admit out loud? (Maybe it’s about a desire for a career change, a toxic relationship, etc.) Free write about this topic for 3-5 minutes.
9. Think of a recent accomplishment that made you feel proud of yourself.
10. Create a bucket list with some of your biggest aspirations.
11. How do you like to spend alone time? What recharges you?
12. What are some fears that have stopped you in the past? Think of steps can you take to combat those fears.
13. Name 3 fictional characters that remind you of yourself. Why do you resonate with them?
14. Think of a hardship in your past and how it shaped you.
15. Write down advice you’d give to your high school self. Next, think of a few questions you have for your future self.
16. How can you live your most authentic life?
17. List 5 songs, movies, books, or TV shows that made an impression on you. How did they change your perspective or inspire you?
18. Think of things you wish could do more (or less) of in life. Why is this the case?
19. If money was no object, what would you do today?
20. Write an open letter to the first person that comes to mind right now. What do you want to tell them?
21. How do you practice self care?
22. What is your dream job?
23. Think of three things you want to improve upon when it comes to your personal development.
24. What motivates you most in life?
25. Imagine your ideal morning– what does it look like? How did you wake up feeling? What do you look forward to most about the day? Next, write about what you did during the afternoon, evening, and nighttime.
26. Reflect on your favorite childhood memory. Why does this moment bring you happiness?
27. How can you change your life for the better? (Think of both everyday and long term goals).
28. Think of a time that you felt at peace. Where were you? Why did you feel this way?
29. Where do you want to travel to next and why?
30. Sit quietly for a few seconds. Take in the details, such as the sights, sounds, or smells. What is beautiful about this moment?
I hope that you enjoyed this post! Have a great day, everyone! x
Do you journal? If so, what made you want to start journaling? In what ways has journaling helped you? Also, have you ever kept a daily journal for self reflection?