52 Questions To Ask Yourself…Live Life By Design
(Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information about this please read the Affiliate Disclosure.)
Updated: May 23, 2018
One of the foundations for life by design is knowing yourself.
Want an amazing life? Get to know yourself. Find questions to ask yourself to help you go deeper.
Just as any good architect requires design plans to build a structure, knowing yourself, who you are at your core, what you believe, what you value, what you want, are all essential elements that inform your decision-making in designing and creating your life.
One of the most fascinating and exciting aspects about our universe is that every human being is unique.
We’re a bunch of eating, breathing, walking, talking, heartbeat-powered, rainbow-colored snowflakes. Idiosyncratic masterpieces.
Though we may have similarities with one another in terms of looks, instincts, behaviors, and even our genes, the truth is there’s only one of each of us.
So, you would think, given those circumstances, that it would be an easy thing for us to know ourselves.
But the truth of the matter is, not so much.
Many of us walk around for a considerable portion of our lives not knowing who we are.
We’re so married to images of our ideal selves, the people we wish we were or think we ought to be, or the people we think we deserve to be, or the people other people think we should be, that we lose touch with who we really are, authentically.
Another issue is that often we may think we know, understand and have a good grasp on who we are only to experience some tragedy, upset or dramatic life transition which throws everything out of whack.
It’s only then we realize that what we thought we believed, the person we thought we were, what we thought we valued wasn’t correct at all.
And when you think you know yourself, and you behave and act based on that supposition only to find out through some calamity or change in circumstance that you don’t, or at least not as well as you thought you did, it’s extremely disconcerting.
You’re thrown off balance, become unsure of yourself, and you lose confidence because what you thought you knew and could count on to be true about yourself, you can’t, and it isn’t.
Consequently, your personal growth and progress may be greatly hampered, and your ability to make important decisions may be arrested altogether.
The result is that we end up leading unfulfilled and unhappy lives.
To successfully design the life we want, we have to bring our lives into alignment with who we genuinely are based on our core beliefs, values and true and passionate interests.
So, what do you do to know yourself better?
You ask questions, lots of them, and then (I know this will surprise you) you answer them; carefully, thoughtfully, and honestly even when the answers aren’t what you expect them to be or aren’t what you want to hear.
So here are some questions to ask yourself, designed to help you get to know and understand yourself better; questions whose answers will put you on a path to self discovery, and lay the groundwork and foundation for designing the life you want.
There are no right or wrong responses to these questions, you simply have to be totally, brutally and absolutely honest.
Otherwise, this exercise won’t help you at all.
Look for patterns, similarities, common and recurring themes in your answers to help you to draw conclusions as to what your responses mean. Okay, let’s get started!
Self-Awareness: 52 Questions to Ask Yourself To Help You Design The Life You Desire
(For a printable version of this questionnaire, click here.)
1. If there exist no constraints or limitations, time, money and circumstance are no objects, what would you be doing?
2. What do you love to do?
3. If you knew you were going to die today, what would you be most proud of?
4. If you knew you would die today, what would you most regret?
5. If you’re employed, what do you like most about your job?
6. If you’re employed, what do you like least about your job?
7. Are you physically fit?
8. Do you have good eating habits?
9. What about your appearance or your weight do you obsess over?
10. What do you get excited about?
11. Are you a person who does things for others but regrets it later? If so, why?
12. Do you tire easily?
13. Do you have a short attention span?
14. What are the things you’re most grateful for?
15. Would the people you are in close relationship with describe you as a happy person? Why/Why not?
16. What would you describe as your biggest life challenge? Why?
17. Do you form friendships easily?
18. Do you tend to form and have a few deep long-lasting relationships or many superficial or short-term relationships?
19. Do you like new adventures?
20. When faced with a challenge, do you dig in and pound it out and work your way through to a solution, do you prefer to find an alternate way to get around the problem or do you prefer to avoid it altogether?
21. What makes you envious of others?
22. Do you continue friendships with people that exhibit behavior you don’t like?
23. If you were not happy with your job, would you stay, or stay and try to improve your situation making adjustments or changes, or leave? Why?
24. Which would you prefer most; to have love or money or good health?
25. In thinking about your family and heritage, what are you most proud of?
26. What would you most want your children to remember about you?
27. What would you most want future generations to know about you?
28. Would you rather have fame or fortune if you had to put in 10 years of work for either?
29. What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever received?
30. Think of someone you respect and admire. What one trait do you admire most about that person? Why?
31. If you were dropped off and left for a year in the middle of a foreign country, what would we be likely to find a year later?
32. What frustrates you?
33. What do you tend to lose patience with?
34. If someone is telling a story, do you envision what happens next or do you wait for them to tell you what happens?
35. What would you do with unlimited resources?
36. What would you do with unlimited time?
37. If you could have one superpower, it would be ________.
38. The thing that makes you most uncomfortable is _______?
39. The place you would most love to live is _________?
40. The thing that scares you most is ______?
41. You’re scared to ____________, but if you could, you would.
42. Even if it took forever, you would do ________?
43. In what do you find peace?
44. In what do you find immense joy?
45. Who are you?
46. What do you represent?
47. What do you stand for?
48. What do you stand against?
49. What would you die for?
50. How can you serve?
51. If you’re unhappy with your life now, what is it you want most to change?
52. What makes you you?
So that completes our list of questions to ask yourself. Once you have completed the answers to the above questions, let them sit for a day or two, come back and review them again.
Is there anything you want to change or elaborate on?
If so, make the changes until you’re satisfied that the answers are an accurate representation of you.
Then keep this exercise as a frame of reference as you continue your journey of self discovery, self improvement and personal growth.
Self-improvement, and the ability to design a truly amazing life, starts with mindfulness.
You must become more acquainted with who you truly are; your qualities, convictions and the life purpose you wish to pursue.
Genuine satisfaction can never originate from pursuing a path based on other peoples’ opinions and visions for your life.
If you seek genuine, life-long satisfaction and well-being, you have to plan your life taking into account who you are.
It’s only then that you can pursue your own objectives and goals.
And when you are pursuing your individual objectives, there is as much joy to be gotten from the adventure as there is to be gotten from reaching your destination.
Knowing yourself is the foundational step in the self-awareness process and ultimately the cornerstone of your success in building an amazing life.
Was this exercise helpful? Beneficial to you? Let me know in the comments. If so, please think about who you know that would be encouraged and benefit from this information in their personal journey. Then share this post with them. Thanks!
Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.