50 Journal Prompts for Self Discovery

by The Violet Journal
journal prompts for self discovery

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Every day you go through the motions of life, but do you ever stop to wonder why you do everything you do? These journal prompts for self discovery will help you understand what you want out of life, and become a more confident and self aware person.


What is Self Discovery?

Self discovery is about exploring who you are, and what motivates you. How your past experiences have shaped you, what you want from the future, and what drives you to do what you do.

Self discovery can help you live a happier and more focused life. It can also help you discover a sense of purpose, which, if you’ve read my post on 5 simple steps to a happier life, you’ll know was an important step in my own fight against depression.


How can Journaling help you towards Self Discovery?

Journaling is a safe and care free way to explore your inner thoughts. Talking about your thoughts and feelings can be difficult, and so writing them down is a good alternative.

If you find journaling makes you feel vulnerable, or like you’re leaving your thoughts out in the open for somebody to find, then you can always destroy anything you write when you’re finished.


How Should you use these Journal Prompt Ideas?

Short answer – however you want.

But I’d suggest choosing a prompt that looks interesting to you, and writing until you no longer have to think about what you’re writing. Set yourself the goal of writing one full page, and eventually the words will begin to flow without you noticing.




50 Journal Prompts for Self Discovery

  1. How have you changed over the past year? 5 years? 10 years?
  2. Have you been through anything over the past year that a former version of yourself would have handled differently?
  3. What’s one thing that you’re most proud of?
  4. What have your 10 biggest life lessons been?
  5. What are the 5 things you care about the most?
  6. Where do you see yourself in a year’s time?
  7. More importantly – where do you want to be in a year’s time? Is there anything you can do today to help you towards this?
  8. What’s one thing that you know you don’t do frequently enough, and how can you change this?
  9. If you could learn a new skill in a day, what would it be?
  10. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever been through, and are you happy with how you handled it?
  11. Write a list of 10 little things you’re grateful for.
  12. If you didn’t have to worry about money, how would you live your life? Where would you live? Would you have a job?
  13. They say we’re the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Write a list of 5 people who have influenced your personality.
  14. What are your 5 best qualities?
  15. What are your 5 worst qualities, and how can you work on them?
  16. Who was the person or character who inspired you most as a child? What was it about them you found particularly fascinating?
  17. Do you enjoy your own company? Is there anything you can do to make spending time with yourself more enjoyable?
  18. What’s the best purchase you’ve ever made? Could you live without it?
  19. Write a list of things that have happened to you that you deemed unfair. How have these experiences shaped you as a person?
  20. What’s one thing you don’t have, but that money can’t buy?
  21. Did you have any hobbies as a child that you wish you could pick up again?
  22. How does social media make you feel?
  23. What qualities do you think are most important in a person? Do you have these qualities?
  24. What would be your dream job, if money and success didn’t exist?
  25. Would you rather move to a different country every few years, or live in the same city for the rest of your life?
  26. Is there anyone who isn’t in your life anymore, but who you’d like to be?
  27. Write a paragraph describing yourself, but as if you were your own best friend.
  28. What was your biggest insecurity as a child? Is this still something you’re still insecure about?
  29. Write a list of people who inspire you. Is there anything they all have in common?
  30. Are there any opportunities that you’ve said no to in the past? How would your life be different if you had said yes?
  31. Describe your ideal home in detail.
  32. If you could go back in time and talk to your past self, what would you say?
  33. Who’s the most successful person you know?
  34. Do you live an adventurous life?
  35. How do you think you would be different if you grew up in a different household?
  36. Write a detailed piece describing your dream life – but write it in present tense.
  37. What are some things that you’d like to do, but are too scared to?
  38. Write a letter to your future self.
  39. What’s the more powerful driving force for you – the fear of failure or the opportunity for success?
  40. Think about all the different relationships in your life. What would each one say about you?
  41. Are you happy with the way your life is going?
  42. Which of your past jobs did you learn the most from?
  43. What’s one thing you wish you had done earlier?
  44. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  45. Write a list of hurtful things that people have said to you. Write a response to them.
  46. How do you define success?
  47. What are some genres you think you should read more of?
  48. What’s the most important thing you want to achieve this year?
  49. Create a timeline of your entire life, including all of your most defining experiences.
  50. Write a list of books and movies that changed your life.


My Top Tip for Journaling for Self Discovery

Many journal advocates will recommend buying yourself a beautiful journal to write in, but I’d suggest the opposite.

Forget about making your page look nice, and just write. You can doodle if you like, but don’t get caught up over how “good” it is.

You can throw the entire page away later if you’re not happy with it – the most important part is to just get your feelings on to paper, so you can delve into your inner thoughts.

For more journaling tips check out my post on how to start a journal for beginners.


Comment and Subscribe!

Let me know in the comments how your own self discovery journey is going. I’d love to know if these journal prompts have been helpful to you.

I’m currently working on a free bank of journal prompts for my email subscribers, so make sure to sign up if that sounds interesting to you!

Subscribe to The Violet Journal!


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Gabby July 10, 2020 - 2:37 pm

I love journaling! I’ve been lacking some inspo, so these prompts will come in handy! Also, I liked your tip at the end of the post. I’m guilty of trying to make my pages look pretty, but I should def focus more on the writing portion.

Much love always,

The Violet Journal July 10, 2020 - 7:07 pm

I hope they help! I’m a sucker for a pretty journal and I love looking at other people’s journal spreads, but as soon as I get caught up in how neat my own is I get stressed out. I think that defeats the purpose of journaling in the first place though!

Roni July 11, 2020 - 6:54 pm

I’ve just put out a similar post myself but your prompts are so much more insightful and I’ll definitely be using these next time I pick up my journal. Great post as always x

Roni | myelevatedexistence.com

The Violet Journal July 11, 2020 - 7:12 pm

Ooh great minds! And don’t knock yourself! I just checked out your journal prompts and they’re brilliant – I’ll definitely be using them in the future.

Amber July 11, 2020 - 8:08 pm

Great Post!! So many good ideas here, adding so many of them to my list!!

Amber x | https://bambycreative.wordpress.com/

The Violet Journal July 12, 2020 - 6:33 pm

Thanks, Amber!

Paige Eades July 11, 2020 - 8:55 pm

I always love the idea of journalling and prompts – unfortunately I have never been able to keep up a journal but these are some fantastic ideas to start! I love the fact that these all lead to reflection too x

Paige // Paige Eades

The Violet Journal July 12, 2020 - 6:17 pm

I always used to think this way but everything changed for me when I realised you don’t have to journal regularly to see its benefits, and you don’t have to keep all your thoughts in one notebook – any scrap bits of paper will do! Thanks for the comment 😊

Luci July 11, 2020 - 9:36 pm

I’ve been wanting to start a journal for a while and starting just seems really difficult. These prompts will help me so much, thank you for sharing! x

Tarryn Leigh July 12, 2020 - 8:27 pm

These are really helpful. I am still new on the journey of self-discovery and haven’t started a journal yet. I am planning on it and these prompts have definitely made it easier for me. Thank you xx

The Violet Journal July 14, 2020 - 5:51 pm

I’d recommend a journal to anyone! Mine have been with me through all my best and worst days.

Emily July 14, 2020 - 1:56 pm

Oh these sound so great! I will have to try using some of them! They will definitely be thought provoking!


The Violet Journal July 14, 2020 - 5:58 pm

I hope they end up being helpful!

bournemouthgirl July 15, 2020 - 9:37 am

These are super helpful, I love journaling. I never use prompts, I usually just write, but I want to try using prompts. Thank you for sharing.

Lauren | http://www.bournemouthgirl.com

The Violet Journal July 15, 2020 - 8:05 pm

I normally just write too! Although I find prompts great for when I’m particularly tired.


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