52 Powerful Journal Prompts for Self Discovery {+ Free Printable}

Journal prompts for self discovery

If you’re working on knowing yourself better and doing some inner work, you can use these journal prompts for self discovery to help you on your mission (should you choose to accept it! :P).

I’ve been keeping a journal for decades now, but it took me a long time to figure out that my journal could be more than just a place to rant and rave. Most of my journal entries from my teenage years were just angry scribbles of how everything sucks. Over time, I started using my journal mostly as a record of the day-to-day.

Sometime in the last 3-odd years, however, I felt a shift happening in the way I used my journal. It started becoming a certain kind of sanctuary and guide for me. Sure, I’ve still had moments where I’ve angry-cried as I’ve written my way through certain incidents, but more than that, I found myself digging deeper within myself. Asking hard questions. Trying to observe things from a distance. To get to the heart of the matter. And ultimately, learning things about myself through some not-always-pleasant self-reflection.

Anyway, all this to say, as I’ve grown older, I’ve truly begun to appreciate that journaling can be an amazing tool for self discovery and personal growth.

If you’re at a stage of life where you want your journaling practice to go deeper, I’ve put together this list of 52 journal prompts for self discovery which you can refer to anytime. At the end of the post, there is also a handy printable available for easy reference.

52 Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery

  1. What kind of person do you want to be?
  2. Whose approval are you really seeking in all that you do?
  3. What are you tolerating in your life?
  4. Do you believe that there is a divine force guiding you?
  5. What are your priorities in life?
  6. What are you wasting your time and energy on right now?
  7. What sets your soul on fire?
  8. How have you changed in the last 5 years?
  9. Are you proud of the person that you are today?
  10. What do you need to accept about your life?
  11. Where do you see yourself in 1/2/5 years?
  12. What do you need to do to make your dreams come true?
  13. Who do you need to forgive in your life?
  14. What are you really afraid of?
  15. Who are you? What is your identity?
  16. Write your eulogy in 5 sentences.
  17. If you change nothing about yourself and your life, where would you be one year from now?
  18. What are the things you feel guilty about?
  19.  Is there anything you can do to simplify your life right now?
  20. What would you like to get better at?
  21. Describe your dream life in as much detail as you can. Include details on where are you, who are you with, what are you doing, how are you feeling.
  22. Are you making decisions from a place of abundance or scarcity?
  23. Are you playing safe? Is that making you happy?
  24. What is holding you back in life? What are your limiting beliefs?
  25. What would you rather be doing if money and time were no object?
  26. If you could, would you change anything about your life as it is today?
  27. What baggage from your past do you need to stop carrying?
  28. What lights you up and makes you truly happy from the inside?
  29. Write 3 of your happiest memories from the last year.
  30. What are 3 things you want to do more of? And 3 things you want to do less of?
Journal Prompts for Self Discovery
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  1. What is your self love language? Have you been practicing self love lately?
  2. Are your habits and routines supporting the vision that you have for yourself and your life?
  3. What brings you the most joy?
  4. What do you worry about the most?
  5. If you could bucket your life into categories – relationships, family, work, spiritual, creative, health, and whatever else you’d like to add – how would you rate each of those categories out of 10? What are your top 3 goals/intentions for each category?
  6. What are the things you wish you could say no to more?
  7. Write about something nice you’ve done for someone else lately.
  8. What dreams of yours have you let go of over the years?
  9. What is your biggest insecurity?
  10. Do you take complete responsibility for yourself and your life, as it is today?
  11. Can you laugh at your own self?
  12. What have been the darkest moments of your life? Have you learned what you needed to from those moments?
  13. Are you living in the past, present, or future?
  14. Write down 5 unassailable truths that you know today.
  15. If a genie grants you 3 wishes right now, what would you wish for?
  16. What is your attachment style? (Anxious, Avoidant or Secure)
  17. What is your vibe at the moment? Are you giving out low energy or high energy vibes right now?
  18. Is there a phrase, a word, a quote that gives you strength in tough times?
  19. What is your definition of success? By your definition, do you feel successful in your life?
  20. Is your inner voice a helpful cheerleader or a mean girl?
  21. What do you need most in your life right now? How can you give that to yourself?
  22. Do you feel like you’re living your life up to your true potential?

How to Use These Journal Prompts for Self Discovery?

Well, the most honest (and probably unhelpful) answer is “however you’d like to”. Because there is really no right or wrong way to journal. Nonetheless, here are a few ideas to help you out:

  1. Project52: There are 52 prompts listed above. Treat this as a year-long project. Set aside some time once a week to go through each of these questions, and write down whatever comes to your mind.
  2. 30 Day Challenge: Use these journaling prompts to set up your own 30 day challenge. Preselect 30 questions from the list, and do some journaling for 30 straight days. By the end of it, you will definitely know yourself better, and will have a better grasp on your hopes and dreams and your grand vision for your life.
  3. Social media engagement booster: I know, I know, social media doesn’t technically count as journaling, but what can I say – I am rebel (of sorts!). But in all seriousness, you can use these questions to drive some engagement on your preferred social media channel, and you know, be social with your followers! A lot of these questions can make for some amazing conversation starters.

However you end up using these prompts, I’d definitely recommend that you set aside some time for self-reflection. Once you’ve gotten through a few of these journal prompts, it would be helpful to go over your responses and make specific observations. After all, the point of this exercise would be not just to know yourself, but to use that knowledge to return you to your true self.

I’ve put all these prompts together in a free printable workbook that you can reference anytime or use as your own exclusive self discovery journal.

Self Discovery Journal Prompts

Happy journaling, friends, and I hope you enjoy this process of getting to know yourself better. You’re you, and that is your superpower. I hope you have the courage to accept that about yourself.

Let me know if you end up using any of these journal prompts for your self discovery practice. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Image via Styled Stock Society.

Hi! I am Shirsha, and welcome to Sage & Bloom. I am a textbook introvert, and a hopeless dreamer! 🌻 Lover of books, rainy days, chilled white wine, fresh flowers, and personality tests! ✨

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11 Comments

  1. 10.8.20
    AMak said:

    This is a great list of journal prompts, I’m going to have to borrow some of these for my journal! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • 10.8.20
      Shirsha said:

      Thank you, Anna! Glad you found these helpful. :)

  2. 10.9.20
    Anika said:

    Love this list, some many thought-provoking prompts, I love it! Thank you for sharing this, I’m definitely coming back to it when I need some journalling ideas 😍

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

    • 10.9.20
      Shirsha said:

      Thank you, Anika! Glad you found it useful. :)

  3. 10.10.20
    Helen said:

    These are some great prompts! I never kept a journal as a teenager but I’ve had a Bullet Journal for a couple of years and while I use it more to plan my days, I always make an effort to record one positive thing a day which I find really helpful. Thanks for sharing ☺️

    • 10.14.20
      Shirsha said:

      That sounds like a lovely practice. I’ve been meaning to get into bullet journaling, but already have too many things on my plate. I get the feeling like a bullet journal is just too much work which is why I’ve avoided it all this while! 🤦‍♀️

  4. 10.11.20

    I have never really thought much about journaling for self-reflections. I usually just keep a gratitude journal but this might be something I will look into. Thank you for the food for thought.

    • 10.14.20
      Shirsha said:

      Glad you found this useful. I’ve been doing a lot more of this kind of journaling this past year because I feel like I am at a certain kind of crossroads and need to figure things out. The journal prompt – what kind of person do I want to be – has been something that I’ve come back to quite a lot of times in these past few months.

  5. 10.13.20

    I love this Shirsha! I have been doing some self discovery of my own lately, and it’s really empowering! I love the quote you included from Carl Jung at the beginning of the post. So true!

    • 10.14.20
      Shirsha said:

      Yes, have been following your posts, and loving your journey. This year has forced me to confront my deepest, darkest self, and I can say that I am so much better for all this self reflection. Better late than never, I guess. :)

  6. 8.6.21
    Mary said:

    Excited to journal.