The person you spend the most time with is yourself. You’re always there, through all of life’s ups and downs, but how often do you check in with yourself? While you know your interests, memories, and challenges more than anyone, it’s still important to treat yourself like a close friend.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Questions to Ask Yourself About the Past
- Questions About the Present Moment to Ask Yourself Every Day
- Questions to Ask Yourself About the Future
- Questions to Ask Yourself About Relationships or After a Breakup
- Questions to Ask Yourself to Find Your Purpose
- Yes or No Questions to Ask Yourself
- Deep Questions to Ask Yourself
In reality, we don’t always take the time to pay close attention to our own feelings and thoughts. It’s easy to fly through life worried about others or what lies ahead. Now it’s time to ask the questions that make you think. Find some quiet time to yourself, use your gratitude journal, or just reflect on these 40+ questions to help you find out who you are.
Questions to Ask Yourself About the Past
Sometimes you have to start in the past to get to where you want to be in the future. These are great questions to guide yourself on your journey of self-discovery.
1. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Our early memories define us more than we think. What memories stand out to you above others?
2. What did you want to be when you grew up?
When you were little, what was your dream career? How does it compare with where you are today?
3. What advice would you give your younger self if you could?
While there’s no such thing as a time machine, what would you want to say to that younger version of you? Would it be words of encouragement or a warning about the future?
4. Who were you closest to during your childhood?
We all have people that we feel close to, whether these relationships last or fade away. Were you closest to your friends, family, or someone else?
5. What was your favorite place to spend time as a child?
As an adult, your favorite place might be the beach or even a comfy chair at home. As a child, this answer was likely vastly different. Where was your favorite spot?
6. What was the most challenging moment in your childhood?
Childhood isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. There are challenges we all face, no matter how large or small. What defined your formative years?
7. What do you remember most about puberty?
While it’s not always pleasant to talk about puberty, you can’t deny this is a profound time for all soon-to-be teens. What do you remember most about this time of rapid change?
8. What was your favorite TV show growing up?
On a lighter note, what TV show did you love when you were a child? Would you wake up early to watch cartoons, or did you have a favorite sitcom? Not only does your answer say a lot about the time period, but it’s something worth looking back on.
9. Would you change anything about your past?
In general terms, is there anything you would change about the past? Or are you proud of the path that got you here today? There is no right answer.
10. What are you most proud of about your past?
No matter how difficult the road you took here was, there is something you’re proud of. Whether it’s a shining moment in school or career achievement, what’s something that makes you smile?
Questions About the Present Moment to Ask Yourself Every Day
Next, let’s turn our focus to the present. In the now, there are a lot of feelings that come and go. It’s the ones that linger that are worth paying the most attention to, so let’s hone in on these small things.
11. What motivates you?
What makes you want to get up in the morning and do your best? Different things motivate different people. You might work hard for your family, a better income, or just your own sense of self. There are no wrong answers.
12. What are you grateful for?
What are the things in your life that you’re so grateful for? Reminding yourself of your blessings is an effective form of mindfulness.
13. Who are you closest to?
Friends and family might drift in and out of your life, but strong connections are worth holding onto. What bonds are you prioritizing right now?
14. What do you value the most?
Values guide our motivations and our lifestyles. What values drive your life, and which are you undecided on? Again, there are no right answers.
15. How do you feel about what other people think?
It’s hard to shrug off other people’s opinions, and that’s sometimes okay. However, knowing where you stand in regards to your ability to ignore outside thoughts is an important thing.
16. What is your biggest fear?
Everyone has something they’re afraid of. Whether you’re afraid of spiders or heights, come to terms with these fears.
17. What is your best characteristic?
What do you love most about yourself? Do you love your sense of humor or your hard-earned muscles? This can be a physical or personality characteristic.
18. Do you live in the moment?
Living in the moment is something that’s easier said than done. How do you stack up when it comes to living in the here and now? Are your thoughts always in the present, or do they stray elsewhere?
19. If you were to die tomorrow, what would you do today?
There’s no way to predict the future. Your life could end at any moment. What would you do on your last day on earth? Who would you spend it with?
20. What changes would you want to see right now?
What changes in the world matter most to you right now? Do you want world peace or something closer to home? This answer reveals a lot about your view of the world.
Questions to Ask Yourself About the Future
If you want a meaningful life, you have to give some thought to the future. These questions put your goals into perspective, helping you shape where you want to go based on where you’ve already been.
21. Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
Where would you like your life to be in the next five years? What about the next ten years? Will you have a family, and what will your career look like?
22. What will people remember about you when you die?
While this is a difficult question to ask, the answer highlights the importance of your legacy. Your impact affects how you’re remembered when you’re gone.
23. What challenges would you like to overcome?
Which of those fears we discussed earlier do you want to put behind you? How can you make these achievements a reality?
24. What role will you play in your family?
Roles change within families over time. What role will you play in the future, and how does it look different than today?
25. How will your relationships develop?
Will your relationships change in any way? Do you see yourself with the same group of friends, or will you welcome a new inner circle?
26. What is your life purpose?
While there’s never a clear answer to this question, it’s still worth asking. Do you have something you’re drawn towards? What purpose will you serve with your limited time?
27. Will you take on a caregiver role?
Many adults find themselves acting as caregivers as they age. Whether they take care of children, older parents, or a partner, how does this play into your life?
28. What new ability or quality would you like to gain?
What skills or qualities matter most to you, and which would you like to invest more time in?
29. What do you want from your personal relationships?
Whether you think about romantic or friendly relationships, what do you expect to receive from these interactions? Do they need any further development to meet your needs?
30. How will you make a difference?
We only have so much time to make our mark on the world. What difference do you hope to make while you’re here?
Fun or Funny Questions to Ask Yourself
Now it’s time to have a bit of fun. Questions you ask yourself don’t have to be all serious. It pays to be a bit silly!
31. What would you bring to a deserted island?
If you found yourself trapped on an island, what one thing would you need to bring with you to stay sane?
32. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?
And yes, a dinosaur or unicorn can count.
33. What food do you never get tired of?
There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Is there a food you could eat all the time without getting bored of it?
34. If you could be a famous rockstar, what would be your stage name?
Even if you don’t have any musical talent, there’s surely a silly name you can think of that sums up your skills.
35. What trend are you tired of?
Trends come and go, but that doesn’t mean we like every one that pops up on the latest tabloids. What trends are you ready to see fall out of style?
36. What’s your spirit animal?
Your spirit animal doesn’t need to be based on anything except an instinct. What animal represents you?
37. What would your gravestone say?
Though we don’t always get to choose what it says on our grave, what would you want yours to say?
38. What time period would you want to travel to?
If you could visit any period in time, what would it be? Do you want to get lost in the prehistoric era or the golden age?
39. If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be?
Would you choose a historical figure, famous celebrity, or a deceased loved one?
40. What’s your dream travel destination?
If money was no object and you never needed to ask for time off, where would you like to visit?
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Questions to Ask Yourself About Relationships or After a Breakup
After the end of a relationship, it’s normal to feel a bit down. Asking thoughtful questions about relationships can help you understand what might have gone wrong in the past, as well as how you can connect intimately in the future.
41. What did you like about your past partner and why?
Reflecting on relationships is one of the best ways to learn from the past. Even if a relationship didn’t work in the past, you can still learn from these experiences. What things did you like about your past partner? Why were these qualities important to you?
42. What was your favorite way to spend time with your partner?
Spending time with a partner is how you gain intimacy. There are so many ways to connect with your partner(s) in the past, but which ways were your favorite? From nights at home to romantic dinners, what experiences do you value?
43. What is your love language?
What’s your love language, and what can you learn from this? There are multiple types of love languages, like acts of service, gifts, and affection. Understanding how you show your love helps with your communication.
44. When do you say “I love you?”
Saying “I love you” is a powerful moment you share with a partner. It takes everyone different milestones to reach this point, and how do you determine you’re in love?
45. What was your most memorable argument with a romantic partner?
Arguments are natural and can be a sign of a healthy relationship. It’s not reasonable to expect to agree with your partner 100% of the time. What argument stands out to you, and why was this meaningful to you?
46. What are your relationship deal breakers?
What things would count as deal breakers in a romantic relationship? Whether it’s leaving laundry out or being late to commitments, it’s okay to set boundaries you’re comfortable with.
47. Do you believe in soulmates?
Not everyone believes in soul mates, and this is okay. How do you feel about the idea of only having one person you’re meant to be with? Does this make you feel inspired or worried about the future?
48. Why do you want to be in a relationship?
In modern times, there’s less of an expectation to be in a relationship. If you want to be in a relationship, why? What do you hope to gain from this commitment to another person?
49. What does the perfect date look like to you?
What’s your idea of a perfect date? This is a good thing to think about if you’re pursuing a romantic relationship so you can make your wishes known to your new partner.
50. Do you hold yourself back from expressing love?
Expressing your affection and love isn’t always easy. You might have mental blocks and past experiences holding you back. Admitting you’re in love with someone is a vulnerable experience, and it’s okay if you’re not ready.
Questions to Ask Yourself to Find Your Purpose
If you’re searching for your purpose, it’s not always easy to know where to begin. Let these questions be your guide on this never-ending journey.
51. What brings you happiness?
Though it might sound simple, this question can help guide all of your next steps in life. What truly brings you happiness and joy?
52. What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Everyone has things they’ve done that they’re proud of. No matter whether big or small, these actions matter. Your past accomplishments can impact your future goals.
53. What moment in your life was most pivotal?
Some moments in life are bigger than others. When you reflect, which moments stand out to you the most? How can you learn from these moments and grow stronger?
54. If you could have a genie grant one wish, what would it be?
Who wouldn’t want a magic genie to grant our wildest wishes? If this dream came to life, what would you ask the genie for, and how does this inspire your goals?
55. What legacy do you want to leave behind?
Your legacy is how people remember you. This is the sum of our accomplishments, relationships, and so on. Consider how you want to be remembered when you die. If you were to die tomorrow, would you be proud of your existing legacy?
56. How do you want to save the world?
While we aren’t all going to solve the world’s biggest problems, how will you make a difference? There is no such thing as a small impact. Any change creates a meaningful ripple.
57. If you had to do the same thing every day, what would you do?
If someone forced you to do the same thing every day, what would you choose to do and why? While most people probably don’t want to do the same thing over and over, this can reveal the things you’re passionate about.
58. If you were going to die a year from now, how would you spend your time?
Another question that ties into your legacy is to think about what you would do if you knew you would die in a year. The phrase “live like you’re dying” is motivational for a reason.
59. What makes you forget about the world?
When you’re in the zone, it’s easy to forget about daily worries and chores. What gets you excited and makes you forget about the world around you?
60. What’s on your bucket list?
Lastly, what things are on your bucket list? Creating a bucket list is a great way to target things that really matter to you.
Yes or No Questions to Ask Yourself
It’s true that open-ended questions can lead to insightful responses, but sometimes you want to cut to the chase. These yes or no questions are quick, easy, and enlightening.
61. Do you believe in ghosts?
There’s no right and wrong answer, but everyone has different beliefs about whether ghosts and spirits are real. How do you feel about things that go bump in the night?
62. Do you know how to swim?
Swimming is a life skill, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows how to swim. What is your swimming skill level?
63. Have you ever kept your crush a secret?
From childhood crushes to grown-up romances, it’s not unusual to keep a crush a secret. This question surely has a funny story behind it!
64. Can you read your favorite book 20+ times?
If you have a favorite book, is this a story you’ll never tire of? Reading anything this many times sounds exhausting, but not for passionate bookworms.
65. Would you sell a kidney for money?
Not everyone feels comfortable donating organs, and that’s perfectly okay. Would you be willing to give up a kidney to help someone in need? What about for money?
66. Are you sensitive to other people’s feelings?
We all express feelings differently, and we all respond to feelings in different ways. How do you feel when presented with other people’s feelings?
67. Can you survive the day without your phone?
In today’s world, we all use our phones for just about everything. Do you think you could make it through your day without picking up your smartphone?
68. Can you watch horror movies alone?
Watching horror movies isn’t for everyone. Whether you love these flicks or you hate them, can you watch horror movies by yourself?
69. Have you ever traveled abroad?
If you’ve ever traveled abroad, where have you been? If not, where would you like to go? This is a great conversation starter.
70. Have you ever been to the hospital?
Going to the hospital can be a scary experience, whether you’re there yourself or for a loved one. Is this something you’ve experienced before?
71. Have you ever laughed until you cried?
Laughing until you cry is one of life’s most stunning moments. Have you ever been so wrapped up in your laughter that you can’t keep your emotions to yourself?
Deep Questions to Ask Yourself
Lastly, here are some of the deepest questions you can ask yourself. These make great journaling topics, but they can also spark your own inspiration.
72. When was the last time you tried something new?
Everyone should challenge themselves to try something new. The world is a vast place, and it’s best to live life to the fullest.
73. What lesson did you learn the hard way?
Sometimes, life teaches us lessons we might not want to learn. You can’t control everything, and sometimes you have to accept life’s lessons the hard way.
74. What would you do differently if nobody would judge you?
Judgment can impact our actions, and it’s hard to separate from these feelings. If you were completely free from judgment, what would you do differently, if anything?
75. What brings you joy today?
It’s important to find joy in all things, even the small things. What is bringing you joy, and how can you bring more joy into your life in the future?
76. When you’re 80, what will matter to you the most?
Thinking critically about the future is one of the best ways to understand your legacy. When you turn 80, what will be important to you? Will you be the same?
77. What age do you feel inside?
Are you young at heart or an old soul? There’s no right answer, but consider how you weigh your age. It’s just a number, after all!
78. What are you grateful for?
Practicing gratitude and mindfulness is important. We don’t always make space for gratitude in our everyday lives, so now is the time to check in.
79. Where do you find inspiration?
What inspires you? Whether it’s your relationships or the world around you, find your sources of motivation and joy.
80. Which word would you use to define your life?
If you had to choose a single word to define your life, what word would you pick? This could be your favorite word or something that reflects your values.
81. If not now, then when?
Last but not least, why wait for the future to make a change? It’s easy to put things off for the future, but the world is waiting for you now.
Dig a Little Deeper with These Questions
When it comes to get-to-know-you questions, we usually only think of asking questions to our friends and family. While it’s rewarding to know the best questions to ask your parents before they die or friendly icebreakers, don’t neglect your own self-awareness.
Taking some time to check in with yourself with these questions above do wonders for your mindset. Not only will you know exactly how you stand, but you’ll also gain a clearer picture of where you’re going.