Self-reflection is incredibly important for your mental health, relationships, and career. Unfortunately, not enough people spend time regularly think about themselves and their actions. In order to truly achieve personal growth, you need to ask yourself self-reflection questions regularly.
Before we get to the questions, let’s discuss how to approach self-reflection.
I recommend you spend time weekly for self-reflection. You should plan for 15-30 minutes of quiet time. Other than that, anytime is absolutely fine. Morning or night.
Just make sure to schedule this time for yourself.
The next thing you will need to decide is how to document your self-reflection. It can be in a journal, on a computer, or even on your phone. You just need to somehow write down your thoughts and answers to these self-reflection questions.
You should consider using pen and paper, though, as science has clearly indicated writing by hand improves memory. If you are into bullet journaling, that is an excellent way to document your self-reflection questions and answers. Learn more about bullet journaling here.
If you just do not like pen and paper, typing or your phone will work too. At the end of the day, the most important part is to just take the time for these self-reflection questions.
As you approach each question, it’s critical to be honest with yourself. In general, real self-reflection is difficult. It forces us to confront actions, feelings, and thoughts that make us feel uncomfortable or bring out negative thoughts.
This is why many people don’t take time to self-reflect.
So as you think about each question, remember that this is for your personal growth. Although you will have to confront challenging thoughts, if you do it honestly it will lead you to be a stronger and more capable individual.
So, let’s get to the questions.
Here are the self-reflection questions you need to ask yourself regularly.
1. What am I doing regularly for self-improvement?
Self-reflection is about self, shockingly. So the first question you need to ask yourself is whether you are actively working on your self-improvement.
Are you regularly taking time for self-reflection?
Are you reading books to expand your mind and learn new skills?
Have you taken up a new hobby?
Are you surrounding yourself with individuals that you are learning from?
Are you taking classes for personal development? Or seeking out other resources?
If you need additional resources for your mental health or are coping with difficult times, are you seeing a therapist?
At a minimum, you should be able to document a handful of items that you are doing REGULARLY (i.e. at least weekly) that are strictly for your self-improvement.
Write down how often you are doing these items, what you have learned, and whether you feel they are working for you.
If they aren’t effective, reflect on what else you can do or where you can shift your energy instead.
2. How am I using my time?
Your time is the most valuable thing you have and you should take time to reflect on how you are spending it.
Think about how you spent your past several days.
Where did you use your time effectively?
Did you spend time on things that you regret?
Are there blocks of time where you are unproductive?
Also, use this question to reflect on your overall time management skills.
How are you managing your time?
Is it working?
Or do you need to adjust your methods?
If you feel like you are struggling with time management, consider using calendar blocking to manage your time more effectively.
In general, you want to be able to document what activities you spend your time on each day. Then, take a step back and assess whether where you are spending your time is aligned with your goals.
If you are spending too much time on activities that are not aligned with your goals or self-improvement, develop a plan on how to re-allocate your time.
It’s not to say that you don’t deserve down-time or a Netflix binge occasionally. But you should try to spend the majority of your time, especially during the day, productively.
3. Am I taking care of my physical self?
Your physical body is incredibly important. Without health, the rest of this really doesn’t matter.
So reflect on what you are doing to take care of yourself.
Are you eating nutritious, healthy foods?
Have you found a workout regime that is consistent?
Are you getting enough sleep?
Are you spending time outdoors? On walks?
Are you managing your stress levels effectively?
Make sure your daily routine accounts for these activities. If you feel good, it will be much easier to obtain the joy and growth you are seeking.
4. Am I nurturing the right relationships?
Relationships are a cornerstone of personal happiness and development. Examine what impact your relationships are having on your life.
Are your relationships bringing you joy?
Are you fostering relationships with individuals that are helping you grow and learn?
Do you feel that the effort you put into your relationships is returned by the other person?
Are there any individuals that are consistently bringing out negative emotions? Do you need to tailor your approach to these relationships?
Are there any relationships that you need to step away from?
Remember, be honest with yourself about your relationships.
This is harder than it may seem, as we naturally want to hold on to relationships we have developed with people. But they are not always the best for us, and it is important to recognize when it is time to alter your approach or step away from a relationship.
5. What challenges am I facing right now?
Challenges are healthy and critical for personal development. So take time to reflect on what is challenging in the current timeframe.
Are you facing a difficult project at work? Or challenging relationships with co-workers?
Are you struggling with your personal finances?
Have you been struggling to meet the goals you set out for yourself?
Is there a challenging personal relationship you are working on?
Assess how you are approaching each challenge head-on and whether your approach is effective. If you have been working on a challenge for a period of time with little results, consider how you can change your approach to achieve a different outcome.
This self-reflection question is important to spend time on to make sure that you are not using ineffective methods for long periods of time, stuck with the same disappointing result. If you consistently assess your challenges and your approach to them, you will find that you are more successful in conquering them.
As challenges pass, take time to evaluate them holistically.
What did you do, that in hindsight, was the right approach?
Would you do anything differently?
What ultimately impacted the outcome the most?
Remember, assessing your successes and failures will allow you to alter your stance and approach for the future.
6. What is bringing me joy right now?
As important as it is to focus on the challenges you are working through, it is just as important to focus on the joy that you have day to day.
Whether they are small activities that make you happy or a huge event that you are planning for, take time to think about the good things.
Reflect on whether you are truly taking the time to enjoy the events and relationships that bring you happiness. If not, assess how you can allocate more time to these areas.
If you feel that you just are not getting fulfillment as you should, evaluate was CAN bring you joy. Then work those things into a daily routine.
Do you love a certain hobby but are not engaging in it regularly? Make time for it!
It is important to experience joy regularly. Overall, it is what drives us to do better and be better. Without joy, there is little motivation to do anything.
If you are not sure what brings you joy, then start making a list of new things to try. New skills to develop. New hobbies.
Everyone has experienced joy at some point. Remember what has brought you joy in the past and think of ways you can incorporate it, or something similar, regularly.
7. What are my insecurities and what am I doing to tackle them?
In my experience, insecurities are the biggest factor that determines whether an individual actively working on personal growth will achieve it. We are all insecure about something. But if we are cognizant of our insecurities and actively work to tackle them, they are less likely to hold us back.
So it is absolutely crucial to spend time to evaluate:
What are my insecurities?
What am I doing to work on them?
Most of us are aware of our insecurities but are uncomfortable thinking about them. If this is the case, reflecting on this question regularly will allow you to be more comfortable with facing your insecurities head-on.
If you are not sure what your insecurities are, evaluate situations and comments that make you feel uncomfortable or “trigger” you. Typically, these types of feelings are rooted in insecurity.
Reflect on why you are uncomfortable in certain situations or when certain comments are made.
Often times many of our insecurities lie in our physical appearance. These insecurities are the same as many others (e.g. personality traits) that we may not be able to change. Instead, focus on what you can do to make that trait less important in your mind.
Insecure about your arms? Try strength training. If you get strong and your arms can do amazing things, many times WHAT they look like starts mattering less.
In general, I am a huge proponent of becoming physically more capable to tackle physical insecurities. When your body can do things it couldn’t before, you start appreciating it for its abilities rather than its looks.
If you are insecure about personality traits, such as being shy, introverted, etc. this is where reading plays a huge role. There are many incredible books about how to communicate, leadership, biographies, etc. that will allow you to develop soft skills to tackle these insecurities.
Overall, when you become more skilled in these areas your insecurities start to fall away.
Actively develop plans on what you are doing to work on your insecurities. If you are assessing and re-assessing them constantly, you WILL start to feel less insecure and more confident.
Also, check out my post on how to work on your confidence. This is directly related to feeling less insecure.
8. What goals am I actively working towards right now?
Goal setting is important, and a lot of people do it. What was your new year’s resolution?
But, where people do it wrong is they set goals too infrequently and assess their progress almost never.
You should take the time to set goals for yourself every 3 months or so. Your goals should be both short-term (1-3 months) and long term (over years).
During your time of self-reflection, assess your progress towards your goals.
What have you been doing consistently to work towards your goals?
Is it effective? Are you closer to achieving your goals?
If it is not effective, what can you do differently?
Have you achieved any goals? What made you successful?
Are your goals still something you want to achieve? Is the timeframe still appropriate based on what you have learned?
Are there any new goals you want to set for yourself?
Make sure you don’t set too many goals, as you need to be actively working towards each one. If you have too many goals at once, you will find yourself frustrated in an inability to achieve any of them.
Once you have taken some time to self-reflect, I like to finish off the remaining time with affirmations.
Self-reflection can be exhausting, daunting, and mentally draining. It can also leave us feeling frustrated if things are not going the way we want them to in life.
That is why it is important to take a few minutes at the end for positive affirmations. Here is a great list of positive affirmations that you can repeat and reflect on. This will ensure that you finish your self-reflection on a strong, positive note.
If you regularly take time to self-reflect, you will undoubtedly put yourself on a path for personal growth. Self-reflection is not easy when done honestly, which is why many don’t do it at all. But I think we all know that if something is hard it is often worth doing.
So try it.
Do you take time to self-reflect? What self-reflection questions do you ask yourself and what has made it successful for you?