28 Creative Journaling Prompts for Self Discovery (+ FREE PDF)

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Inside: Do you feel stuck and need help reaching your goals? Check out these 28 journaling prompts for self discovery to help find your motivation in life.

Do you feel lost, stuck, anxious or utterly unmotivated?

Do you ponder the meaning of life and wonder when you’ll finally achieve true happiness?

For many people, figuring out what makes them happy is actually the hardest part of self-discovery.

It sounds so easy. But, it’s hard. Like, really, really hard.

The most helpful thing that you can to find what you want out of life is to create a self-discovery journal. This is where you will record all of your answers to thought-provoking questions that challenge you to find your motivations and values in life.

In this post, we’ll explore…

How do you get to know yourself through journaling?

I’ve kept a journal for my entire life, but it wasn’t until college that I realized journaling could be a useful tool for getting to know myself. 

During my sophomore year, I was struggling to decide on a career path. I knew I wanted to write, and I knew I wanted to help people – but how do you put those two things together to actually make money? (This was a time before social media and online entrepreneurship seemed like an actual possibility.)

The part that I was missing was the understanding behind why I wanted to write and why I wanted to help people. I talked with an advisor who’s questioned everything and really forced me to search deeper within myself for the answers.

The Road to Self-Discovery

Journaling Prompts for Self Discovery

Before you can reach any self-revelation, you have to understand your motivations. This is how you realize what’s going to make you happy.

For instance,  let’s say you want to be a birth doula. You may think to yourself, “I’ve been around kids for a long time, and I know how to take care of a newborn. Pregnancy is a beautiful part of life. This is obviously a natural fit for me.”

But you need to go deeper and ask yourself what is it about being in the labor room that you enjoy. Do you love being a calming presence for the mom? Or do you love being an expert on pregnancy? These are two very different motivations for the same job.

Have you taken my self-care assessment? Take it now and find out what area of self-care you’ve been neglecting!

Ask yourself questions like:

  • In an ideal world, my working environment would look like…?
  • Are there any tasks that I would hate doing every day?
  • The type of person or cause that I feel the most passionate about helping is…?
  • What are some examples of times throughout my life when I’ve felt most fulfilled? What do they have in common?

How to use Journal prompts for self-awareness?

The Road to Self-Discovery

Once you’ve honed in on your motivations, think about how these may potentially conflict with other parts of you. For instance, I was initially interested in pursuing journalism, but when I learned how competitive the field is, I knew that I didn’t want a life where my career pitted me against my colleagues.

In the case of the doula, maybe you love being a calming presence; But, could you could handle the pressure if something goes wrong? Or would it bother you to have your job performance evaluated on something as subjective as to how a mother felt during childbirth?

Basically,  you’re stripping your motivation down to its barest essence, and then comparing that with your values. This is where you’ll begin your path to fulfillment.

28 Creative Journaling Prompts for Self Discovery (+ FREE PDF)

  1. Describe someone who has the ideal life that you think you would want.
  2. What are the top three best qualities about you? How can you apply these to different areas of your life?
  3. In a dream scenario, how would you make money?
  4. Describe your morning routine and what you could change to set your day up for success.
  5. Imagine yourself in 10 years. Ask yourself questions like: What am I wearing? Who is my best friend? What am I doing at 3 PM that day?
  6. When and where would you like to retire? Why did you make these choices?
  7. What is the difference between who you are now in the person that you want to be in 5 years?
  8. What is one goal that you would like to accomplish in the next year and how will you get there?
  9. What do you secretly yearn for?
  10. How does stress emerge in your life? What are the triggers?
  11. I feel unsatisfied when…
  12. I feel like the best version of myself when…
  13. When do you feel most alive?
  14.  What is something that you would regret never doing?
  15.  What do you want people to admire about you?
  16. The most important things in life are:
  17.  When are you the happiest?
  18. What is an obstacle standing in the way between you and the person you want to be?
  19. What excuses are holding you back from achieving your dreams?
  20. How do your spiritual beliefs affect your well-being?
  21. What is one thing that you would like to change about yourself and why?
  22. Describe the last time that you were proud of something you did.
  23.  What is something that you would like to change about the world?
  24. What advice would you give to yourself 5 years ago? How could this advice be applied to your future self?
  25.  What is something that you would do every day without getting paid?
  26. What do you want your legacy to be?
  27.  What are three boundaries you have that you would never budge on?
  28. What do you think makes other people happy?

Looking for more inspiration? Check out my post on 50 Thoughtful Journal Prompts to Help You Unwind and Self-Reflect.

Final Thoughts on 28 Creative Journaling Prompts for Self Discovery (+ FREE PDF)

I hope these journal prompts for self discovery help you take some time to self-reflect and find your true motivations. Don’t stress if it doesn’t happen overnight. Self-discovery takes time and you will eventually get there.

Find your motivation today.

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    Have you tried any of these journaling prompts for self discovery? Which one has helped you? Tell me in the comments!
    Allie Schmidt
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    Allie Schmidt is a rare disease advocate and disabled mom living with motor neuron disease. She founded Disability Dame in 2020 to provide tips to other moms living with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

    In her spare time, you can find her traveling with her husband (she's been to 38 states and 16 countries!), watching reruns of Survivor, or tending to her near-constant sunburn from spending too much time outside. You can follow her adventures here.

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