One of the best ways to get to know yourself on a deeper level is through self-discovery questions.
This is important because when you embark on a self-discovery journey, you can:
- Discover your passions.
- Have more clarity about who you are.
- Live a life that feels more authentic.
- Explore what gives you joy, meaning, and satisfaction.
85 questions to help you discover your true self.
“People who know themselves grow themselves.” – Jim Cathcart, The Acorn Principle
The following 85 questions will act as your personal guide as you embark on your own self-discovery journey.
If you’re able to answer all the questions completely & honestly, you can gain valuable insights into:
- what you truly love
- why you like or dislike certain things
- the kind of people you want to spend time with
- how your relationships affect your life
- how work and money affect you
- how to live a life that feels aligned with your true self
If it gets too difficult to answer the questions, you can always take a break and come back when you feel more comfortable.
These personal questions will help you know your values, what you like and dislike, and what you truly love.
They’re also a combination of physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional questions to help you understand why you think the way you do & how it affects your behavior.
- What do I like? Why?
- What do I dislike? Why
- What are my strengths?
- What are my weaknesses?
- If I had the means to decorate my home, how would I do it?
- If I could pick anywhere in the world to live in where would it be?
- What is it that gives me energy and motivation?
- What depletes my energy?
- What do I love so much that it makes me forget the time?
- What are my favorite hobbies?
- What are my passions?
- What is my purpose in life?
- If a genie granted me 3 wishes, what would they be?
- What was my favorite thing to do as a kid?
- What are the 3 things that are most important to me?
- When life throws me a curveball, do I freeze or keep moving?
- Am I a glass half full or half empty type of person? Why is this so?
- What activity makes me feel like a child playing?
- What makes me feel most alive?
- What are 2 things that made me feel happy within the last 30 days?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, where is my energy level?
- What do I like to do to relax?
- What was the last thing that made me feel unpleasant? How did I handle it?
- Would I rather be busy doing something or sitting quietly in a corner doing something?
- What makes me feel the most free?
- What is the wildest thing I’ve ever done?
- What is my biggest source of stress right now?
- Would I rather be the best at something or the best version of myself?
- What am I scared of and why is this so?
- What are my 3 favorite things to do when I have free time?
- When I’m on vacation, do I love relaxing and taking my time or do I love adventure and visiting new places?
- Thinking of my negative experiences, what did I learn from them?
- Does my background affect my decisions?
- Am I an open book or do I like to keep things to myself?
- What are my best qualities?
- What are my worst qualities or traits?
- What physical characteristics do I like best about myself?
- What physical attributes don’t I like about myself and how can I be more accepting of this?
- When I do a good job, do I congratulate myself or do I think I could have done better?
- When people compliment me, what do I say and how do I react?
We spend a lot of time in our occupations, which is why this section is important.
It can help you figure out what you want to do for work or how to make your work more meaningful.
I also threw in questions about money since it ties in with our work and our well-being.
- Do I like my current job/work?
- What is more important, my salary or job satisfaction?
- Why am I working in my current job?
- Why did I pick my major?
- Am I constantly worried about money, no matter how much I make?
- Which of the following statements resonates with me best?: “There’s never enough money.” or “Money is always available to me.”
- Do I love working alone or in a group?
- When I am in a group of people, am I quiet, outspoken, or somewhere in the middle?
- What is something that I always dreamed of doing and getting paid for it?
- What is my working environment like?
- What is it about my job that I love?
- If I had only 5 minutes to grab my things, what would they be?
- What makes me feel bored out of my mind?
- If I could free up some time and outsource something, what would it be? Examples: yard cleaning, washing & folding laundry, and grocery shopping.
- What describes me best?: “I love mornings!” or “Nighttime is the best time for me.”
I included this section because your relationships can tell you as much about yourself as personal questions do.
Also, we can sometimes be oblivious to our own traits and qualities but they’re mirrored back to us by the people we surround ourselves with.
Other people also know more about you than you do about yourself because sometimes we don’t want to admit certain truths to ourselves.
- When you think about your family, who are you closest to and why?
- What 3 things did I learn from my parents or caregivers? Do I practice them in my own life?
- Think about the people in your life and pick 3 people. What qualities do you like about them?
- Pick 3 people in your life and write down traits and/or characteristics that you dislike about them.
- When I think about the people closest to me, is it a big or small group?
- What do I have in common with my friends?
- When I want to learn about something, do I search for myself or ask someone for help?
- Who are my closest friends & why?
- Who are my casual friends & why?
- What do other people always come to me for?
- What do people always say about me?
- What traits would I like in my significant other?
- What do I like to talk about with my partner?
- Why did I choose my significant other?
- When I debate about something, do I like to win or do I let the other person win?
These questions will give you an idea of how you want to live your life and whether or not you want a career, business, or profession.
- Do I like taking risks, like becoming an entrepreneur or opening up a new business?
- Do I like stability and structure, like civil service or a professional career?
- What do I stand for?
- If I can change the world, what would I do?
- What is my philosophy? Example: I’m always curious no matter where I go or who I meet.
- What did I always dream of becoming?
- If I had an extra half hour each day to study something, what would it be?
- If someone gave me all the money I need right now, what would I do with the money?
- When I think of a big project, do I get overwhelmed or excited?
- What should children be taught in school?
- In 5 years, I will be (fill in the blank).
- What would I tell my 80-year-old self? What would my 8-year-old self tell me?
- What are my biggest dreams?
- How do I want to be remembered?
- If I had the chance to invest in something, what would it be?
Why is it important to discover who you are?
Discovering your true nature is important because it helps you live a life that feels more meaningful and authentic.
I remember a time when I felt lost and was living my life on autopilot. I was just going through the motions and developed generalized anxiety as a result.
It took a health challenge for me to finally give myself permission to discover who I really was, what I truly loved, and how I wanted to live my life going forward.
According to Jim Cathcart, the author of “The Acorn Principle”, it’s important to become more self-aware because people who are self-aware:
- are better listeners
- are less self-conscious
- tend to be less judgmental of others
- seldom take on tasks for which they are not suited
- do a better job of assessing risks
- are more willing to admit their mistakes
- recover from disappointments more easily
- are less likely to be absent from work
- tend to produce better quality work
- manage stress more efficiently
- experience fewer interpersonal problems
I also think that knowing who you are can help you create better boundaries. When you know what your values are, you also know what comes first.
You know what your priorities are and will be able to focus on those instead of wasting your time on things you don’t really care about.
For example, when you’re always saying yes to things when you really mean no, you’re only doing so to please others.
This can deplete your energy and time. Having a good sense of who you are can help you create better boundaries for yourself as a way to protect yourself.
You show up as a better person when you have energy that is uplifting and affects others in a positive way.
If you can find your zone of genius, you can nurture your strengths and natural abilities in a way that no one else can and live a life that is truly yours.
Self-discovery questions downloadable & printable pdf.
More articles to help you discover and explore who you are.
If you want to learn more about yourself, here are some helpful articles to help you get to know yourself on a deeper level and discover your true identity:
How to start a self-discovery journey with 5 powerful questions.
100 self-discovery journal prompts to connect more deeply with yourself.