40+ Life Questions to Ask Yourself to Find Out Who You Are

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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. 

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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?

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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?

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. 

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