Everyday is a school day. That is, we should be open to learning new things on a daily basis. That includes things about ourselves. We’re not stagnant beings and our thoughts, opinions and even lifestyles are constantly changing. I thought I knew everything there was to know about myself when I was twenty five. Boy! Was I wrong. I’ve learned more about myself now in my late twenties than I could ever have hoped for. And journaling those new discoveries I’ve also learned how to better manage and even optimise my work/life balance.
A lot of this is down to self-discovery through experience and working on myself, for myself. There are many ways you can do this including therapy, meditation and even things as simple as journaling.
Let’s talk about journaling for self-discovery.
Many people keep journals throughout their lives. Some start as children, others as teenagers. You might even be new to journaling, in which case, welcome! Journaling can have a range of benefits for everyone of every age, and is one of the oldest mediums for self-expression and self-discovery.
Not only does it offer ample opportunity to chat to oneself, a journal is also a great venting tool. I personally used my teenage journals to talk about my feelings, my thoughts and even wrote fragments of short stories. Sometimes these were encouraged through writing prompts, while other times they were extracts of my countless scraps of paper which I always held in my school blazer.
I started journaling when I was a child. At the time it was disguised as fiction writing about fantasy worlds and anime dream boats. But in reality it was an opportunity for me to explore my deepest fears, my insecurities and even my hopes and dreams. Were these largely about space cowboys and rebellious, female scientists? Yes! But looking back I always adored strong female leads who went against the grain. It’s only now as I approach thirty that I realise I longed to be those strong, females! Journaling was a safe space to explore these fantasies and even, as a child, mould our own ideals in place no one can rip them down.
No matter how you choose to use your journal, why not start 2022 with a fresh notebook? Who knows what you might discover or you might even become the next YA fiction sensation!
I want to learn more about myself and open my mind. How can I use journaling for self-discovery?
There are many different ways you can practice self-discovery in your journal. You can try gratitude where in you journal three simple sentences each morning, and sometimes each night. Take time when you first wake up to talk about what you’re grateful for, and the same each night. How does this work for self-discovery? Well, it helps us expand our own sights. We take the time to look beyond the negative and appreciate what we’re most happy about in our lives. It can be as simple as being grateful for a warm bed, or a snuggly pet. Or even a tasty cup of coffee!
But if you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of it, you can use self-discovery prompts. These are often on specific themes or topics for us to reflect on. They can be particularly helpful if you’re experiencing any of the following.
- You’re experiencing conflicting thoughts you want to work through, but you don’t know where to start. You might also find new conflicting thoughts and opinions through the use of prompts.
- An overactive mind. You perhaps feel like you could write about one million different topics all at once. Prompts help narrow that down.
- You want to start writing and you want to stick with it as a daily practice. But you’re stuck on what to write about.
You don’t have to write everyday, but it’s recommended to journal at least three times a week for as little as five minutes. That’s about the same amount of time it takes to perfect a cup of coffee or even use the bathroom! So why not spend that time writing in your journal?
Here are 20 Journaling prompts for self-discovery:
- What struggle have I most recently faced in my life? What is a lesson that I’ve learned from it?
- If no one else’s opinions matter, what things will you do?
- What is the ideal version of myself and why?
- How did my past shape me into who I am today?
- What do I consider to be my biggest achievement?
- What are my five best qualities?
- How do I want people to remember me?
- How do I want to feel and think about myself?
- What do I want for my future self?
- What is my definition of self worth?
- What am I in control of at this moment?
- How can I appreciate my worth?
- How would I like people to describe me?
- Who made the biggest impact in my life ?Why?
- What’s one thing I have to let go to reach my full potential?
- What positive changes have I made this year?
- What does confidence mean to me?
- What one lesson would you want to teach to your younger self?
- What quality do I admire the most about myself
- What is my unique life purpose?
Have you any other suggestions for self-discovery prompts? I’d love to hear them in the comments so I can add them to my own prompt list!