Ask Yourself These 20 Questions to Improve Your Self-Awareness
It’s not exactly a revelation that self-awareness is a key component of success. In fact, we’ve been extolling its importance for thousands of years. The Greek philosopher Aristotle, who lived between 384 and 322 BC, once said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Truly knowing yourself requires serious effort. But unfortunately, there’s no set path to self-awareness, no standardized steps you can take to reach it.
That said, taking some time to examine yourself—your skills, your desires, your motivations—helps. It’s a way to do the work of getting to know yourself better.
Plus, research shows that even spending 15 minutes reflecting on your day can improve your performance by 23%. It can contribute to a more productive mindset, not to mention help you feel happier and improve your overall emotional wellbeing.
In an effort to become more self-aware in my own life, I developed a list of 20 questions to reflect on.
Pick and choose a few to ask yourself—or, dive into all of them:
1. What am I good at?
2. What am I so-so at?
3. What am I bad at?
4. What makes me tired?
5. What is the most important thing in my life?
6. Who are the most important people in my life?
7. How much sleep do I need?
8. What stresses me out?
9. What relaxes me?
10. What’s my definition of success?
11. What type of worker am I?
12. How do I want others to see me?
13. What makes me sad?
14. What makes me happy?
15. What makes me angry?
16. What type of person do I want to be?
17. What type of friend do I want to be?
18. What do I think about myself?
19. What things do I value in life?
20. What makes me afraid?
Once you answer these questions, don't stop getting to know yourself.
Just like you're physically getting older and changing, so does your perspective.
It's OK to have a shift in ideas and beliefs, and making time over the years to acknowledge those changes within yourself can help you stay in tune with how you grow over time.
A few things you can try to keep constantly learning about yourself:
Take A Quiz, or Two
When you're not faced with a list of questions like the ones above, one of the easiest ways to stay tuned to you is through quizzes.
Try uncovering parts of yourself through personality tests like the Myers Brigggs quiz, or take time to reflect on your current love languages. Keeping these results can come in handy, especially if you do the same exercises again in the future. It's a neat way to track your growth over time.
Check Your Vitals
While it's important to get regular check-ups, we're talking about your other V.I.T.A.L.S.—your values, interests, temperament, activities, life goals, and strengths.
Use the acronym to help guide you through different areas to reflect upon. These are all areas that can change as you experience new things, so keeping track of your "vitals" over time can be really illuminating and help you record how you feel in this particular period of your life.
Journal, and follow through on your thoughts.
Always ask yourself, “Why?” For example: John made me mad. Why? Because he lied. Why? Because he didn’t want to upset me. Why? Because he cares about me.
Talk, talk, talk.
With friends, colleagues, mentors, coaches. Just by vocalizing your feelings, you discover new things about yourself. Especially when you talk with people who ask questions that make you think.
Introspection is difficult because you must be honest with yourself, and most of us prefer to lie because the truth is scary.
But since I’ve begun practicing self-awareness more deliberately, my life has massively improved. Knowing yourself makes living easier.
A version of this article originally appeared on Medium. You can read more from Darius Foroux at his website here.
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