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25 Honest, Self-Reflection Questions to Recognize The Real YOU Inside

Many people don’t stop to ask themselves some self-reflection questions. But if you do, your life can dramatically improve and you can be happier.

self-reflection questions

Whenever you feel overwhelmed by life and the things it throws at you, what do you always hear your friends and loved ones say? Be yourself. Stay true to yourself. Do what YOU want to do. So, it’s also important for you to start asking self-reflection questions and understand who you are on the inside so you can be yourself.

When attending a new school or going to your first day on the job, what do they say again? Be yourself.

When meeting someone new, who could possibly be the love of your life, what do you say to yourself? Be yourself. Or, perhaps, something along the lines of, “Don’t you dare show him/her how crazy you really are.”

But how do you be yourself and stay true to yourself when you don’t know yourself? How can you theoretically embrace your inner truth, if the media wants you to be both thin and curvy, nice and mean, rich and penniless, etc.?

The whole concept of being true to yourself has been convoluted, so it’s hard to understand how to really do it and whether or not you’ve really accomplished the sought-after state of just not giving a damn.

While it’s not impossible, it is going to take a lot of work. And where do you start? You start with you—and here’s how to do it.

[Read: Self-concept – How we create and develop it to control our happiness]

Why self-reflection questions will help

In order for you to stay true to yourself and be yourself, you have to ask yourself who are you. What’s real about you? What’s not? Why did you pretend in the first place, and where did it all start? These are all self-reflection questions that are important to ask.

The only way to know the answers to these questions is to look back at your life and at what’s happening in the present. Few people choose to dig deep within themselves for fear of what they might find.

Admitting mistakes, shortcomings, and insecurities is one of the most difficult things anyone can do. It hurts to know that you really are less than perfect but failing to acknowledge your failings hurts more in the long run.

The harsh truth is that you are doomed to fail. Not because you didn’t try hard enough, but because you kept trying to be someone you’re not. That’s why the best course of action for you is to stop trying to be someone you’re not—and start being who you are. [Read: 34 life-changing steps to fall in love with yourself all over again]

You have to get to know the real you before you are able to finally accept and embrace the concept of being true to yourself.

The most important self-reflection questions to recognize who you are on the inside

One of the easiest ways to help you stay true to the person you really are is to have a conversation with yourself. Not the crazy whispering to oneself in front of a stained mirror, but a genuine, honest conversation asking yourself a few but very important self-reflection questions.

Think of this exercise as meditation, of sorts, where you ask yourself some hard questions and really think about the answers and how they can help you.

1. Am I happy? 

This is probably one of the most important self-reflection questions. This is what you really want to gauge when considering how true to yourself you are.

Being true to yourself equates to being happy; therefore, you need to determine whether or not you are happy. [Read: 12 small changes to change your life and find your happiness]

2. What am I grateful for? 

What are the things that you’re thankful for? Is there anything that couldn’t you live without? Air? Water? Family? Friends? It helps to know what it is you’re fighting for.

3. What gets me out of bed every morning? 

Is it work? Or maybe it’s only because you need to make a living? Is it because you want to do something special that day? No matter what the reason is, you got up. For a lot of people, that’s more than enough.

4. What am I good at? 

Don’t list things that you aren’t good at; instead, look and see what you actually do well. Whether it’s making pancakes, playing board games, or dialing a number, knowing what you’re good at tells you where to start looking to find what makes you happy. [Read: The need for purpose in life and 5 big things it can do for you]

5. What do I not like about myself? 

This is going to be difficult, but being honest with yourself will shed light on what it is that is making you untrue to yourself. Imagine solving a work problem; the first thing you look for are the things that aren’t working.

6. What can I do to change that? 

Everything that you don’t like about yourself can be changed or adapted.

Change isn’t about overhauling the whole package—it’s about adjusting yourself in order to find what makes you feel comfortable and happy.

7. Do I really have to change it? 

Again, this all boils down to what makes you feel good and happy. If changing your looks doesn’t make you happy, don’t.

The fact that you’re unhappy is probably stemming from something else, like how you think people perceive you. If you’re okay with who you are, you’re off to a great start.

8. Do I care too much about what other people think? 

If your answer to this self-reflection question is yes, you now know why you’re not being true to yourself. In order for you to change that, you have to accept that what other people think has no bearing on who you choose to be.

Your opinion about yourself is the only thing that should matter. If it’s good, then it’s good. If not, what are you going to do about it? [Read: 20 clear signs you’re trying too hard to please people around you]

9. Am I doing what’s best for myself? 

Your job, your dating life, your social life—all of your decisions in these areas create the life you are living.

Making the best decisions means choosing what makes you happy, what makes you healthy, and what makes you thrive.

If you are neither happy, healthy, nor thriving, it might be time to reconsider the choices you’re making.

10. Will my happiness come at the cost of someone else’s? 

This is one of those self-reflection questions that can guide you towards personal happiness. Happiness is subjective, but some things that make us happy can make other people sad. Unfortunately, some types of happiness can only be achieved at the cost of someone else’s—like falling in love with a friend’s crush.

But in order to be true to yourself, you have to think hard about what you’re willing to sacrifice for your happiness. Guide yourself by considering what’s worth it and what’s not. Is there something you want right now, but you’re stopping yourself because it could hurt someone else?

11. What are my passions?

Some people have a difficult time identifying what their passions are. But in order to do so, look at your behavior and your thoughts.

What do you enjoy doing the most? It could be cooking, reading, running, or anything else. Also, what do you think about the most? This is one of those self-reflection questions that can point to your passions. [Read: How to find your passion – 17 secrets to seek it in simple things]

12. Where do I want to be in five years or more?

The future is uncertain for a lot of people. So, if you want to take control of your destiny, you first have to know what you want and where you want to go.

Do you want a new job? Or maybe you want to get married and start a family. How much money do you want in the bank? Where do you want to live? Ask yourself all these so you can formulate a plan to reach all of your goals.

13. Am I empathetic to other people? 

Empathy is so important to healthy relationships. It means that you can look at a situation from someone else’s point of view, and now just your own.

So, this is one of those self-reflection questions to help you understand your loved ones. Have you been displaying empathy in your relationships? Or have you been stubborn and only want to have your way at the expense of other people? [Read: How to develop empathy and master the art of growing a real heart]

14. Are my relationships healthy?

Many people don’t give a lot of conscious thought to how healthy their relationships are. But you should be intentional with your behavior and words, and other people should be too.

So, what are the things you can fix to make your relationships better? [Read: 15 signs of a happy relationship that keep couples happy and in love]

15. What have you learned from your mistakes?

We all make mistakes – it’s just inevitable in life. But the word “mistake” has a negative connotation to it. If you think of them as “learning experiences” then you can grow as a person and do things differently. So, what can you learn from the things you’ve done wrong? 

16. If you could turn back time, what would you do differently?

Going hand-in-hand with mistakes, what would you have done differently if you could? Do you see a common theme with the things you would change?

How can you do things differently in the future so you can be a better person?

17. What are your top priorities in life?

Everyone has certain things that they value the most in life. For some, it’s family, friends, and romantic relationships. For others, it’s their career and money.

So, what are your priorities? And more importantly, are you currently living your life in alignment with them? If not, what can you change to do so? [Read: What am I doing with my life? 23 ways to start living without worry]

18. What should I put on my bucket list?

If you don’t have a bucket list, now is the time to start one. What are the things you definitely want to do or accomplish with the rest of your life?

Since tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to anyone, you want to make sure you don’t miss out on doing the things that excite you.

19. Am I too judgmental of myself or others?

It’s easy to pass judgment on other people. For some, it comes a little too naturally, and it’s almost like an instinct.

So, are you judgmental of others? If so, how are you judgmental and why? Do you judge yourself? If you do, how can you be more kind to yourself and others?

20. What do you take for granted? 

This is another one of the most important self-reflection questions. Most people go through life looking at what they don’t have and not appreciating what they do have.

So, if that’s you, what do you take for granted? It could be simple as a roof over your head or food on the table. Or you might take your health for granted or the people in your life. [Read: 43 things to be grateful for you don’t appreciate enough in life]

21. What are the most common negative thoughts you have? 

We have around 50,000 thoughts per day, which is a lot! So, we can’t always be aware of everything that goes through our minds.

But try to consciously monitor your thoughts and catch yourself whenever you say anything negative – and change that.

22. What bad habits would you like to get rid of? 

No one is perfect, and we all do things that become a bad habit. So, would you like to eat healthier, quit smoking, or stop watching too much TV? Use this self-reflection question to reflect on your habits and how you can change them into positive ones.

23. What do you worry about the most? 

Similar to monitoring your negative thoughts, you should really think about what worries you the most. Maybe you’re worried about money or that you are not good enough for your partner.

Whatever it is, think about why you worry about them and how you can stop. [Read: How to read the signs of anxiety ASAP and handle them better]

24. Is anyone taking advantage of you? 

No one wants to be used. So, do you feel like anyone in your life is taking advantage of you? Do they borrow money and not pay you back or just simply never tell you “thank you” for the nice things you do for them?

If you are being taken advantage of, why do you allow it and how can you change?

25. Are you taking advantage of anyone else?

On the flip side, maybe you are the one who is taking advantage of others. That’s not a good thing to do, so do you think you are taking people for granted?

If so, why are you doing that? Where did that behavior come from? How can you stop doing it? 

Self-reflection questions can help you stay true to yourself

Staying true to yourself comes with a lot of responsibility. The great thing about it, however, is that no one else can make that decision for you.

By being your own person and sticking to what’s true about yourself, you’ll soon find yourself in happier situations. You will also find people who truly care about you.

Finding a way to be true to yourself is not an easy task, but it is very possible. You just have to want it—and actually do something about it.

[Read: 16 things you need to give up TODAY to have a happier life]

Using the self-reflection questions above, you can determine whether you are staying true to yourself. If you are—great! Keep at it. If not, readjust and learn to love and accept you, just as you are.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...