20 questions about yourself

Ask Yourself These 20 Questions to Improve Your Self-Awareness

It’s not exactly a revelation that self-awareness is a key component of success. In fact, we’ve been extolling its importance for thousands of years. The Greek philosopher Aristotle, who lived between 384 and 322 BC, once said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

Truly knowing yourself requires serious effort. But unfortunately, there’s no set path to self-awareness, no standardized steps you can take to reach it.

That said, taking some time to examine yourself—your skills, your desires, your motivations—helps. It’s a way to do the work of getting to know yourself better.

Taking some time to examine yourself—your skills, your desires, your motivations—helps. It’s a way to do the work of getting to know yourself better.

Plus, research shows that even spending 15 minutes reflecting on your day can improve your performance by 23%. It can contribute to a more productive mindset, not to mention help you feel happier and improve your overall emotional wellbeing.

In an effort to become more self-aware in my own life, I developed a list of 20 questions to reflect on.

Pick and choose a few to ask yourself—or, dive into all of them:

1. What am I good at?

2. What am I so-so at?

3. What am I bad at?

4. What makes me tired?

5. What is the most important thing in my life?

6. Who are the most important people in my life?

7. How much sleep do I need?

8. What stresses me out?

9. What relaxes me?

10. What’s my definition of success?

11. What type of worker am I?

12. How do I want others to see me?

13. What makes me sad?

14. What makes me happy?

15. What makes me angry?

16. What type of person do I want to be?

17. What type of friend do I want to be?

18. What do I think about myself?

19. What things do I value in life?

20. What makes me afraid?

Now what?

Once you answer these questions, don't stop getting to know yourself.

Just like you're physically getting older and changing, so does your perspective.

It's OK to have a shift in ideas and beliefs, and making time over the years to acknowledge those changes within yourself can help you stay in tune with how you grow over time.

A few things you can try to keep constantly learning about yourself:

Take A Quiz, or Two

When you're not faced with a list of questions like the ones above, one of the easiest ways to stay tuned to you is through quizzes.

Try uncovering parts of yourself through personality tests like the Myers Brigggs quiz, or take time to reflect on your current love languages. Keeping these results can come in handy, especially if you do the same exercises again in the future. It's a neat way to track your growth over time.

Check Your Vitals

While it's important to get regular check-ups, we're talking about your other V.I.T.A.L.S.—your values, interests, temperament, activities, life goals, and strengths.

Use the acronym to help guide you through different areas to reflect upon. These are all areas that can change as you experience new things, so keeping track of your "vitals" over time can be really illuminating and help you record how you feel in this particular period of your life.

Journal, and follow through on your thoughts.

Always ask yourself, “Why?” For example: John made me mad. Why? Because he lied. Why? Because he didn’t want to upset me. Why? Because he cares about me.

Talk, talk, talk.

With friends, colleagues, mentors, coaches. Just by vocalizing your feelings, you discover new things about yourself. Especially when you talk with people who ask questions that make you think.

Introspection is difficult because you must be honest with yourself, and most of us prefer to lie because the truth is scary.

But since I’ve begun practicing self-awareness more deliberately, my life has massively improved. Knowing yourself makes living easier.

A version of this article originally appeared on Medium. You can read more from Darius Foroux at his website here.

Read next: Use These Questions For Your Next Midweek Check-In

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100 Getting to Know You Questions

Resources / Groups & Clubs

Posted by Janis Meredith

Working with a group of new people and need some conversation starters? Break the ice and get to know people better by selecting several of these get-to-know-you questions.

  1. Who is your hero?
  2. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
  3. What is your biggest fear?
  4. What is your favorite family vacation?
  5. What would you change about yourself if you could?
  6. What really makes you angry?
  7. What motivates you to work hard?
  8. What is your favorite thing about your career?
  9. What is your biggest complaint about your job?
  10. What is your proudest accomplishment?
  11. What is your child's proudest accomplishment?
  12. What is your favorite book to read?
  13. What makes you laugh the most?
  14. What was the last movie you went to? What did you think?
  15. What did you want to be when you were small?
  16. What does your child want to be when he/she grows up?
  17. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
  18. What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?
  19. Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car?
  20. What would you sing at Karaoke night?
  21. What two radio stations do you listen to in the car the most?
  22. Which would you rather do: wash dishes, mow the lawn, clean the bathroom, or vacuum the house?
  23. If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?
  24. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  25. Who is your favorite author?

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   26. Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?
   27. Do you like or dislike surprises? Why or why not?
   28. In the evening, would you rather play a game, visit a relative, watch a movie, or read?
   29. Would you rather vacation in Hawaii or Alaska, and why?
   30. Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? And why?
   31. Who would you want to be stranded with on a deserted island?
   32. If money was no object, what would you do all day?
   33. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
   34. How would your friends describe you?
   35. What are your hobbies?
   36. What is the best gift you have been given?
   37. What is the worst gift you have received?
   38. Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
   39. List two pet peeves.
   40. Where do you see yourself in five years?
   41. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
   42. If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
   43. What would you do if you won the lottery?
   44. What form of public transportation do you prefer? (air, boat, train, bus, car, etc.)
   45. What's your favorite zoo animal?
   46. If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
   47. If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
   48. How many pillows do you sleep with?
   49. What's the longest you've gone without sleep (and why)?
   50. What's the tallest building you've been to the top in?

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   51. Would you rather trade intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?
   52. How often do you buy clothes?
   53. Have you ever had a secret admirer?
   54. What's your favorite holiday?
   55. What's the most daring thing you've ever done?
   56. What was the last thing you recorded on TV?
   57. What was the last book you read?
   58. What's your favorite type of foreign food?
   59. Are you a clean or messy person?
   60. Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
   61. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
   62. What kitchen appliance do you use every day?
   63. What's your favorite fast food chain?
   64. What's your favorite family recipe?
   65. Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
   66. What's your favorite family tradition?
   67. What is your favorite childhood memory?
   68. What's your favorite movie?
   69. How old were you when you learned Santa wasn't real? How did you find out?
   70. Is your glass half full or half empty?
   71. What's the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of love?
   72. What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
   73. What was your favorite subject in school?
   74. What's the most unusual thing you've ever eaten?
   75. Do you collect anything?

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   76. Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?
   77. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
   78. Which of the five senses would you say is your strongest?
   79. Have you ever had a surprise party? (that was an actual surprise)
   80. Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous?
   81. What do you do to keep fit?
   82. Does your family have a “motto” – spoken or unspoken?
   83. If you were ruler of your own country what would be the first law you would introduce?
   84. Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?
   85. What three things do you think of the most each day?
   86. If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
   87. What song would you say best sums you up?
   88. What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee?
   89. Who was your first crush?

   90. What's the most interesting thing you can see out of your office or kitchen window?
   91. On a scale of 1-10 how funny would you say you are?
   92. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
   93. What was your first job?
   94. If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join?
   95. How many languages do you speak?
   96. What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
   97. Who is the most intelligent person you know?
   98. If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would it be?
   99. What is one thing you will never do again?
 100. Who knows you the best?

If you really want to get to know someone, questions (not all at once, of course!) are like keys that can open many doors. Get to know someone better today! 

Janis Meredith writes Jbmthinks, a blog on sports parenting and youth sports. After being a coach's wife for 29 years and a sports parent for 21, she sees issues from both sides of the bench.

Additional Get to Know You Questions:

50 Get to Know You Games and Icebreakers

50 Funny Get to Know You Questions

Get to Know You Questions for Small Groups

75 Get to Know You Questions for Clubs and Groups

40 Get to Know You Questions for Company Meetings

20 questions to help you better understand yourself

October 8, 2020Life

Self-awareness is the key to achieving personal success. However, learning to understand yourself is not so easy.



You can listen to the article. If it's more convenient for you, turn on the podcast.

There are three things that are extremely difficult to do: break the steel, crush the diamond, and know yourself.

Benjamin Franklin

politician, scientist and inventor

Ask yourself these 20 questions

Unfortunately, there is no single path to self-awareness. Every person is unique. And the only one who can help you know yourself is yourself.

Some say that for this you just need to live, and wisdom will come by itself. What if it takes 60 years? You can wait, but then you will have an unconscious life behind you.

To speed up this process, first answer the following questions honestly. You can do this in any order. Don't think too long about the answer. The correct one will be the one that first appears in thoughts.

  1. What can I do well?
  2. What am I good at?
  3. What am I doing wrong?
  4. Why do I get tired?
  5. What is the most important thing in life for me?
  6. Who are the most important people in my life?
  7. How many hours of sleep do I need per day?
  8. What makes me nervous?
  9. What calms me down?
  10. What is success in my understanding of this word?
  11. What type of worker am I?
  12. How do I want to look in the eyes of others?
  13. What makes me sad?
  14. What makes me happy?
  15. What makes me angry?
  16. What kind of person do I want to be?
  17. What kind of friend do I want to be?
  18. What do I think of myself?
  19. What do I value in life?
  20. What am I afraid of?

Please note that everyone interprets these questions differently. This means that there are no right or wrong answers.

Review your answers

Answering these questions honestly will help you rethink and improve your life. The process itself is important here. By clearly answering questions, you develop your thinking.

Aristotle used the word "logos" - concepts that contain unbiased logical arguments of the speaker.

Learn to express your feelings and emotions in words. Your answers must be sincere so that you understand your strengths and weaknesses. Do not try to hide something from yourself or put yourself in a favorable light.

Notice what qualities you would like to change that are holding you back in life. Do what you know how to do and what makes you happy. Avoid what you do badly and what makes you unhappy.

Just don't go too far. Remember that in life there are wonderful moments and difficult situations. If you have difficulties in your personal life, do not immediately break off the relationship. Simply recognize the cause of these difficulties, such as selfishness, lies, or misunderstandings, and try to eliminate them.

Additional tips

  • Study the writings of philosophers.
  • Be neutral in conversations. Don't try to be always right. Look at the problem from different perspectives.
  • Write down your thoughts. Always ask yourself why something happened.
  • Speak up. Communication is very important. Talk to family, friends, colleagues. By expressing your feelings, you will learn about yourself, especially if you are asked questions that make you think.

This method can be the beginning of your path to self-awareness.

Read also 🧐

  • 7 questions to ask yourself as often as possible
  • 10 psychological tests to help you know yourself better
  • 5 questions for those who are dissatisfied with their lives

20 questions to understand themselves - Larisa Parfentyeva

One right question that we ask ourselves can change our life. We asked Larisa Parfentyeva, writer and author of the two bestselling books 100 Ways to Change Your Life, to put together 20 of these questions for us.

These questions will help you understand what is truly important to you, what you have been running from all your life and where your real dreams live.

Ask yourself, listen to yourself, change your life!

Source: Getty Images

1. If I could leave only one memory in my entire life, what would it be?

I love this question! It crystallizes what in our life can be called the most important. People answering this question suddenly realize what were the highlights of their lives: time spent with family; moments associated with pursuing a favorite hobby, or traveling.

2. If my life were a movie, how would I like to continue it?

One day my friend saw this question written on the misted glass and it changed his life. After him, he quit his unloved job and decided to devote all his time to his hobby, which now made him one of the most famous people in the city.

If your life were a movie, how would you like to continue it?

Source: iStock/Gettyimages. ru

3. What would I do if I knew exactly what I could do?

The main question to ask yourself. It shows exactly what you would be doing if you didn't have fears, excuses, and other ridiculous reasons for not living the life you want.

4. What's wrong?

The Buddhist monk Tit Nhat Khan once said that we too often ask ourselves the question "What's wrong?", concentrating on the negative. Our life would be much happier and more spiritual if we asked ourselves: “What is it?” The answer to this question allows us to be grateful at least for the fact that we woke up this morning, in contrast to the 160 thousand people who did not open their eyes today.

5. What accomplishments am I proud of?

Make a list of things you are proud of. You can add even seemingly insignificant things there, such as cooking classes. When you see on paper your reasons for pride, your level of self-worth will jump up.

6. What, in my opinion, did my parents not give me?

By asking yourself this question, you will see what you will strive for all your life. If you think that you were not loved as a child, then all your life you will run after other people in an attempt to get love from them.

Source: iStock/Gettyimages.ru

7. How should my parents never treat me?

By answering this question, you will see situations from which you will run all your life. For example, my friend thinks that her mother was too protective of her. And now she perceives even the usual care of herself as hyperprotection and flies off the coils.

8. What are the top three mistakes in my life I don't want to repeat?

They say that the rake is divided into two types: 1) that teach something and 2) my favorite. Think about what “your favorite rake” is repeated from year to year?

9. My best decision in the last five years is…

Five years ago, I made the decision to give up a beautiful life and TV work in Moscow for the sake of a ghostly dream of becoming a writer. I packed my things and left for my hometown Ufa. I have now published two books that have become bestsellers. The best decision of my life is to trust the small voice of my heart and follow it. And you?

10. In favor of my dream, I am ready to give up…

If you want to achieve something, you will have to sacrifice something. They say that discipline is the ability to do what you don’t really want in order to get what you really want. So what are you willing to sacrifice?

11. What are my free sources of inspiration?

In our material world, it is believed that the higher the price for something, the cooler it is. But the most emotional things are still free: a walk in the fresh air, solitude in the mountains, hugs with loved ones, laughter and smiles, good books (not free, but not very expensive).

12. Imagine there is a self-assessment meter. What actions increase the level of self-esteem?

Strange but true: very often our self-esteem depends on specific actions. When we do what we love; when we challenge ourselves; when we take care of ourselves - all this raises our level of self-love.

What do you need to do to feel good?

Photo: Getty Images

13. Which people fill me up and which ones empty me?

It must be admitted that there are no good or bad people. There are those, being close to which makes us stronger and fills us. And there are those with whom we are destroyed. Who from your environment belongs to the first category, and who to the second?

14. Who do I envy?

My SelfQuest project has a special task where I ask you to write a list of people you envy. Envy is an interesting feeling that most often shows a subconscious desire to have the same thing as the object of envy. Envy must be transformed into a constructive emotion in order to understand what we want.

15. What annoys me about other people?

What we see in other people is ours. What other people see in us is theirs. So the easiest list to figure out your weaknesses is to understand what annoys you in other people.

16. Which of your loved ones would you like to see by your bed when you die?

I was once struck by a question from renowned business thinker Yitzhak Adizes, who was watching his mother die in a hospital bed. He asked himself: “And who would I like to see at my bedside on my deathbed? Why not get rid of those people that I don't want to see by my bed, dying, right now? Just think about it.

Photo: iStock/Gettyimages.ru

17. When do I feel the urge to appear rather than to be real?

Sometimes we show off in front of others, and sometimes we live for real. Remember how a startup appeared in Moscow before March 8, where smart guys brought hundreds of roses and packages of fashion brands with which you could take a photo for some money? And then frames like “Beloved gave 101 roses began to appear on Instagram. I love him." And no one is loved. That's for sure the guys made good money on people's desire to appear, and not to be.

Answer honestly the question: do I have such moments?

18. What will I regret most in my old age?

Regrets are ranked every year in the world. Older people are asked: “What do you regret the most?” All over the world, these ratings are almost always the same. Most of all, people regret that all their lives they worked at an unloved job, lived with unloved people, traveled little and did not take care of their health.

What will you regret in your old age?

19. Describe your life until today in 6-9 words.

As part of my "Texture" writing course, I always ask participants to do a piece about the Ernest Hemingway story. He bet that he would write a six-word story that would make people cry. The story went like this: “Children's shoes are for sale. Unworn." Here are some witty and sad things my students wrote: “Have I really found myself? Writing.

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