The Six Pivotal Questions in Self-Reflection

In this series, I discussed how the environment and journaling are important for Self-reflection. In this third step, I am considering the importance of the questions we ask ourselves.

Self-reflection is a dialogue with the self, a methodical introspection that shines light on the core of our being and helps us affirm our life’s purpose. Asking tough questions is important for reflective practice because it helps us have deep moments of understanding.

I make it a habit to review the week, but I take a more thorough look back at the month’s end.

These are the six key questions I ask myself when reflecting on the month.

1. What were the experiences that made me feel most alive?

This question helps identify the activities, situations, or people that invigorated you and brought you joy. It’s not only about happiness, but also about acknowledging the moments when an activity engrossed you, causing you to lose track of time. These were what you are passionate about, and are a pointer to being aligned with your purpose.

2. What accomplishments brought me the greatest sense of pride?

Pride in our achievements is not just about ego; it’s an indicator of what you value by understanding the accomplishments that give the greatest satisfaction. You align with your core values and principles. These achievements highlight the significant strides you’ve made in both personal and professional spheres.

3. If I had no fear, how would my decisions have been different?

Fear can be a major obstacle in my pursuit of what truly matters. By asking what you would have done if fear was not a factor, you could discover aspirations and dreams you might otherwise have suppressed. This question invites you to explore possibilities that align with your genuine self, without any restrictions.

4. What was I willing to struggle for?

This question gets to the heart of commitment and perseverance. Purpose often demands resilience; knowing what you were willing to endure, whether it was a cause, a dream, or a relationship, helps crystallise what truly matters to you. The philosopher Frederick Nietzsche explored the concept of struggle and believed life’s challenges are what make us stronger and give life meaning. For more of his work click here.

5. What traits did I admire in others?

This question pushes me to think about what I can improve on and the kind of impact I want to have. The traits we admire in others are often traits we value and wish to embody ourselves. Identifying the qualities in those you respected could serve as a mirror reflecting your aspirations and confirmation of values.

6. Were my actions in line with my Mission Statement and Vision?

Have my actions moved me towards my goals. This question forces us to zoom out and consider the bigger picture. For some it will be to do with your legacy, for others it will be about making a more immediate impact.

Closing Thoughts:

Asking the right questions in self-reflection can be a transformative process. These questions are not meant to be answered hastily but pondered over with due consideration. They peel back the layers of superficial wants and societal expectations, guiding you to the raw and real answers that define you and your essence. By engaging with these questions regularly, you open the doors to insights that could lead you to a life of deeper meaning and
purpose.

What questions would you add?

ShelleyBridgman