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57 Simple Life Questions to Get to Know Yourself & Truths to Visualize Your Future

If you don’t know who you are, then you need to learn how to get to know yourself. It’s the most important thing you can do, and it will make you happier.

how to get to know yourself

Just because you’re you doesn’t mean you actually know who you are. As confusing as that sounds, it’s true. You have to actively figure out how to get to know yourself in order to start enjoying life the way you want.

The reason that we don’t really know who we are is that we’re too close to ourselves. Our perception of who we are is tainted by who we want to be and what we aspire to have in life, but we are not our wants and dreams.

What does knowing yourself mean? 

This might sound like a strange question to ask. After all, you’ve known yourself your whole life. You would think that you know yourself better than anyone in the world.

But we don’t always see ourselves the way others do. Doing some introspection will help you understand these things about yourself.

1. Strengths and weaknesses

Believe it or not, a lot of people lie to themselves about themselves. They might think they are better or worse at something than they actually are.

Some people exaggerate their strengths while others exaggerate their weaknesses. Either way, you don’t have an accurate view of who you really are.

So, getting to know yourself will really give you perspective as to what you can and can’t do. [Read: How to be yourself – 26 steps to un-fake your life and love being you]

2. Analyze your habits

We all have habits that are good and bad, but many people aren’t aware of their habits or just don’t want to acknowledge them. 

So, part of getting to know yourself is reflecting on your habits. Go through them all, whether or not you really want to admit them to yourself. Then, examine whether they are helping or hurting you in life.

3. Figuring out your life purpose

Many people don’t have a passion or a purpose in life. When you get to know yourself, you can figure out what you want to do to leave your mark on this world. [Read: What is my purpose in life? How to find meaning when you feel lost]

We all have a purpose in life, but a lot of people feel like they’re just drifting through without a plan. Take a good look at your values to try to figure this out.

Questions to ask to get to know yourself

Below are a few questions that will help you learn more about your identity. As simple as these questions might be, you’ll find that asking them will help you learn more about your priorities, strengths, weaknesses, and what you can do to make your life better.

1. What do you like most about yourself? 

We all have at least one thing that we like about ourselves. It can be something physical, quirky, unique, or even something fairly common. 

By knowing what you like most about yourself, you’re reinforcing the fact that you are worthy of being liked by others, and that you deserve to be treated as someone of value. [Read: The steps to help you see yourself in a better light]

 2. What’s your least favorite quality about yourself? 

Just as we all have certain things that we really like about ourselves, there are also things that we wish we could change. For example, it could be something about your appearance, social skills, or motivation. 

When you know what you don’t like about yourself, you can pinpoint different ways in which you can improve those qualities. Think of this question as the one that helps you spot your weaknesses so that you can work on them.

3. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would do? 

Some people probably feel strongly that they would donate it to charity. Others would put some away in savings for their kid’s future. Some would probably use it to travel the world and never look back. [Read: Follow your dreams – all the amazing reasons why it’s worth it]

This seemingly cliché question does two things.

First, it shows you where your priorities lie, whether it’s in building a house, investing in a business, or saving money for a rainy day. Second, it shows a bit of insight as to what you truly would do if money were no object.

4. What are you most afraid of? 

The things that you’re afraid of are the things that are holding you back. Until you are able to face your fears, you won’t be able to really explore all the things that your life has to offer.

Fear changes people, sometimes for the better and sometimes in the worst ways possible. When you know what you’re afraid of, it becomes easier to see how your fear is holding you back and what it’s holding you back from. [Read: 36 secrets to motivate yourself to achieve anything your heart desires]

Once you know these things, you can either choose to face those fears or just let them remain if it’s not holding you back from anything significant.

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

Setting goals or making plans for your future is important, but you shouldn’t be too worried about planning your life too meticulously.

Having a general goal for what you want to accomplish within the next five years opens your eyes to the different paths you can take to accomplish those goals.

6. How do you deal with a rainy day? 

Though a lot of people love the rain, very few of us genuinely embrace it when we have to head out for our morning commute to work.

By asking yourself how you’d handle a rainy day, you’ll acquaint yourself with the many ways in which you can be optimistic despite being presented with weather that dampens the spirits.

If, on the other hand, you allow your mood to be completely dampened by a sudden change in weather, you’ll learn that it may be time for you to start looking at the bright side of things instead of wallowing in misery over things you can’t change. [Read: Reasons why playing the victim only makes your life worse]

7. What is the one thing you’re most proud of? 

Where our pride lies is where our priorities often lie. It’s our greatest investment and the one accomplishment we can always keep in mind when the going gets tough.

Are you proud of your degree? Are you proud of your career path? Are you proud that you’ve raised great kids? Are you proud of the fact that you’ve accumulated so many friends throughout all these years? 

Knowing what you’re proud of reminds you why life is great and why you should keep going, despite how bad things may seem. [Read: Inspiring ways to bring out the best in yourself]

8. What are you the most thankful for? 

Celebrities aren’t the only ones who get to give acceptance speeches. What are you the most thankful for in your life, and why? 

It’s important to have gratitude in life, and it’s equally important to express that gratitude to the people you’re thankful for. Even if you’re thankful for something as simple as a pet rock, you’d better let that pet rock know!

9. What are your strengths?

Too many people don’t feel very good about themselves. Instead, they are hard on themselves and only focus on the negatives.

You should look at what your strengths are, too. What are you good at? What are your passions? [Read: 15 good qualities of a person that make them a very good human being]

10. What are you ashamed of?

It’s great to focus on your strengths, but it can also be helpful to look back on what you’re most ashamed of in your life.

However, you shouldn’t do that to punish yourself. Instead, you should use it as an example of what you could do better in the future. Use this knowledge as a building block to do better the next time around.

11. Why do you do what you do? 

You would be surprised at how many people answer “I don’t know” to the question, “Why do you do what you do?” But if you don’t know, then who does?

Part of knowing yourself and becoming self-aware is analyzing your behaviors and the motives behind them. If you don’t know the answer immediately, don’t worry. Just keep exploring it and you will come up with the answer. [Read: Signs of attention-seeking behavior that mask insecurity]

12. What drives you?

Everyone has something that gets them out of bed in the morning. Ask yourself what drives you. What are your passions? What are the most important things in the world to you? 

13. What do you admire in others? 

Sometimes we don’t know ourselves very well, but we do know what we like in other people. So, look around at the people you know and analyze them. What good qualities do they have?

Think about how you could emulate them so that you can be the best version of yourself, too. [Read: How to build self-confidence and realize you’re worth it]

14. What do you want to contribute to the world?

Doctors save lives, artists inspire, and comedians entertain. We gain dignity by what we contribute to society.

Imagine waking up to 50 people lining up your door. What do you want to offer them? Why would people go to you? List at least three things.

15. What are the things you’re good at?

If you’re having a hard time with the first question, it’s probably because you’re so focused on the things you want to be, and not on what you already are. It’s great to follow your passion, but it’s also great to offer what you’re already good at.

So maybe you’re really good at writing but you want to be a musician. You can work as a copywriter by day and have gigs on the weekend.

Don’t be paralyzed by thinking you’re only meant to do what you’re passionate about.

16. Who are your role models?

Studying the career paths and personal lives of the people you admire the most can inspire you. Or at the very least, they can make you feel less alone.

Google them and find out how they did it and learn about their challenges. Print out their pictures and quotes and pin them on your board. Whenever you hit roadblocks, just seeing their photos can push you to carry on.

17. Imagine your epitaph

What does it say? How grim it is to think about death when we’re visualizing our future? But this is an effective way to know what we want out of our existence.

Since it’s an epitaph, limit your description to up to ten words. Examples: “The man obsessed with telling genuine stories,” “Inventor of crazy things,” “Best mom in the world.” What’s yours? [Read: 52 feel-good secrets to help you feel better about your own life]

18. Imagine your 75th birthday. What do you want people to say about you?

This is similar to an earlier question, but is more detailed. So imagine an old and wrinkly you, sitting on a chair, listening to your guests say things about you. What do you want to hear?

Maybe you want to hear your daughter talk about how strict but loving you are. That you’ve helped her become the best version of herself.

Maybe you want to hear your neighbor tell you that they always appreciate your warm smile and gifts.

Maybe you want to hear your co-worker telling you that the office has been boring ever since you left.

This will guide you to sculpting the kind of person you want to be.

19. Money vs. passion?

You’re lucky if you can have both, but most passionate pursuits *starting your own company, becoming an artist, etc.* require 70% or more of your time and focus.

If you’re at the crossroads and you really find it hard to decide whether you should work full-time at a corporate job or do freelance gigs doing what you love, you have to know right now what kind of suffering is more tolerable for you.

If you choose to follow your passion and it’s not lucrative, accept the possibility that you won’t be able to own five houses in five years.

Likewise, if you choose to stick to financial security first, you’ll have to deal with the “what if’s” that will visit from time to time. [Read: 70 true secrets to happiness to have a real and happy life]

20. What kind of people do you want to interact with on a daily basis?

Think of the people in your life right now whom you really want in your life five years from now.

If you don’t want to include your best friend in the picture, then you have grown apart but are still in the process of cutting the cord. It’s okay. At least you’re clear about what you want and don’t want in friendships.

Once you’ve made a sketch of the people you want, make sure you say hi to these kinds of people when you see them. They’re as rare as gems.

Likewise, don’t get too close with the people whom you can’t imagine having laughs with in the future. [Read: 17 types of bad friends you need to unfriend from your life]

21. What non-negotiable qualities are you looking for in a spouse?

Who we marry affects our future in all aspects. If you want to get married at all, list the qualities you are looking for in a relationship.

Do not be too superficial or ambitious *filthy rich, most handsome guy in the world*, because you might end up being disappointed all the time.

Simply list the non-negotiable qualities that will be your guidelines in choosing a partner. Example: 1. Should look at me when I’m talking, 2. We should be able to laugh effortlessly, 3. Should have a good income, etc.

22. Do you want to have kids? How many?

You have to remember that it’s perfectly fine not to have kids if you really don’t want to. But if you are planning to have kids, ask yourself how many can you really raise considering your answers to the questions above.

If your dream is to become a self-made billionaire or an artist, it’s almost impossible to raise a dozen kids. Based on the lifestyle you’ve envisioned above, how many kids do you think you should have?

Remember, you can’t do it all at the same time. While raising kids, you can’t be 100% devoted to your career, and vice versa. [Read: 48 real secrets to change your life and find the right life path for you]

23. What things make you joyful and exuberant?

List all the things that make you happy. Raindrops? Tea? Warm bath? Hugs? Don’t hold back. Get a pen and paper and keep writing for ten minutes. Incorporate all of these things into your plans for your future.

If gardening really makes you happy, make sure you get a home with a garden. If painting gives you joy, make sure that in your future home, you have a studio where you can paint.

24. What is your perfect daily routine like?

Envision yourself waking up five years from now. What time is it? What kind of breakfast are you preparing? Do you go out to run or do some yoga in your living room? What’s your routine at night? What makes you excited for the weekend? [Read: A helpful reflection on what you’re doing with your life]

25. What ten words do you want to describe your future self?

More than a career and relationships, it’s important to know the kind of person you want to be in the future.

Think of core characteristics like being patient, generous, always smiling, genuine, funny, a source of joy to yourself and others, etc.

Write them down and read them from time to time. Start cultivating your personality because it shapes your future more than money, connections, and other things mentioned above.

How to get to know yourself and become enlightened about who you are

If you want to stop being blind to the person you truly are, you’ll have to work for it. It’s not automatic. It can sometimes be quite difficult because most people are afraid of looking deep within themselves and finding something they don’t like. They think it’s just easier to avoid doing it.

In order to learn how your mind works and how you really see the world, follow some of these tips.

1. Spend time alone

Most people don’t realize how much others influence them. Spending so much time with one person can make you take on their personality traits. After a while, you might not even remember what you were like before you got to know them.

Spending time alone will help you figure out what you really like to do and what you want in life. You’ll get to know yourself much better if someone else isn’t influencing you all the time. [Read: Ways to have more me time with a hectic schedule]

2. Analyze your reactions to certain situations

When you get upset about something, ask yourself why. Figure out what specifically triggered your bout of unease. Sit yourself down and get to the bottom of it.

Usually, this will help you to pinpoint sensitive spots and why you react that way. Figuring this out will help you to know yourself a little bit better.

3. Follow your passions

Think about what you love to do more than anything else. Do that more and do it better. Our passions are the core of who we are. By following yours, you’ll discover even more about yourself.

4. Think about what makes you the angriest

Behind our anger is passion. This is almost always true. If you think about the times you’ve been the angriest, you’ll probably learn something extremely important about yourself. [Read: How to stop being angry and finally free yourself]

5. Cut out toxic people

Who you truly are can be hidden if you’re always around toxic people. They drag you down and keep you from truly revealing yourself. Get rid of them. You should never allow room for those types of people in your life – especially if you want to figure out who you are.

6. Write in a journal

Most of us don’t analyze our everyday lives. We don’t sit and think about the decisions we made and why. When you write in a journal, you’ll see your life from a different perspective.

You don’t even have to write about anything extensive or complex. Afterward, read back through what you’ve written, and you’ll have a far better understanding of who you are.

7. Discover your core values

We’ve all got things that we believe in more than anything else. That’s what we value most. Once you figure that out, you’ll understand who you are at your very core. Don’t shy away from figuring out what you value. [Read: How to be a high-value woman]

8. Think about morals and what you believe in

Morals shape our behavior, but not everyone has the same ones. Some people think it’s perfectly fine to lie to friends while others think it’s completely wrong.

What do you believe in? Ask yourself that question. When it’s answered, you’ll know yourself a little bit better than you did before.

9. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good

The more comfortable you are around people, the more your true self will emerge. When we feel judged or uneasy around people, we hide. [Read: Good friends are like stars – 18 ways to build lasting friendships]

In order to learn how to get to know yourself, you can’t hide from who you are. You need to be able to show that side of yourself, and that can only happen around those you like and trust.

10. Get physical

Exercise and go climb mountains and jump off cliffs into deep water. Getting to know yourself is just as physical as it is mental and emotional. Your body can do amazing things. Figure out what your limits are and how far you can push them. [Read: The benefits of exercise on your mind and body]

11. Experience new things

You can’t grow and learn about yourself as a person if your life is exactly the same day in and day out, so get out there and do more things! Go to concerts and go on trips. Visit friends from far away or go on vacation alone.

12. Do stuff that terrifies you

Fear is the limit at which we trust and know ourselves. If you go beyond that, you learn what you’re truly capable of. Obviously, don’t go doing something dangerous that could get you hurt, but face your fears safely.

13. Push yourself to accomplish goals you never thought you could

You only think you’re capable of doing what you’ve already done. In order to get to know yourself better, push those boundaries.

Aim for goals that you don’t think you can accomplish and surpass them. Once you reach that point, you’ll realize what type of person you are and just how hard you can really work. [Read: 16 strategies to get your shit together]

14. Talk to people you normally wouldn’t

It’s crazy how much other people can show you different sides of yourself. If you see someone at the bus stop but you would normally never start a conversation, say hello.

Talk to them and see what they might be able to show you about yourself. You never know how much someone can pull certain things about you to the surface.

15. Get uncomfortable

The truth about who we are comes out most when we’re uncomfortable. That’s not necessarily a bad place to be. Usually, discomfort stems from the unknown or from fear. Do things that make you uncomfortable but that you can still handle, and you’ll learn a lot more about yourself. [Read: Are you a user? 15 uncomfortable facts to help you face the truth]

16. Keep a regular journal and a dream journal

Journaling helps you get your thoughts down on paper. We have about 50,000 thoughts a day, so most of them go unnoticed. At least when you keep a journal, the important ones make it through. That way, you can consciously know what you have to work through.

A dream journal is also helpful. Dreams are often not literal, but they can give insight into your subconscious mind. Your mind uses sleep to process things that your waking mind isn’t dealing with properly.

17. Meditate

Meditation is so healthy and helpful. Not only does it calm your mind, but it’s also good for your physical health. It allows you to chill out and let go of the stresses in your life.

Because it slows down your brain waves, it allows you to access emotions and thoughts that are not normally accessible to your conscious mind. Try to do it every day for at least 10 minutes. [Read: Daily reminders to help keep you going forward]

18. Consult with a life coach

Life coaches are trained to help you discover yourself and your life purpose. You might not know where to start, but they provide you with the direction and route to self-discovery.

19. Forgive yourself for everything

Even if you’ve done some terrible things in your life, you need to examine them, forgive yourself, and let go. It also helps you to understand yourself better when you look deep into why you made the mistakes you made. 

[Read: Questions to help you get to know yourself]

Why is it hard to know yourself? 

It seems like getting to know yourself should be an easy task. After all, you live with yourself every day, so why wouldn’t it be? Well, it’s definitely not as simple as it sounds.

1. You are always changing

Let’s face it – you’re not the same person you were when you were five years old. You’re not even the same as last year, for that matter. As people, we are always changing. Your likes, dislikes, values, and much more change throughout your life. [Read: Overcoming self-doubt – 26 signs and best ways to stop doubting yourself]

2. It takes time and effort

Getting to know yourself takes some time and effort. It’s not something that can happen overnight and it’s an ongoing process. Quite frankly, a lot of people are too lazy to put in the work, so they just don’t bother.

3. You might be trying to be like someone else

A lot of people look outside of themselves to define themselves. In other words, they look to people that they admire and aspire to be like. When you do that, the focus is on what you want to be rather than who you really are.

4. We’re not honest with ourselves

A lot of people are in denial about who they really are. It could be because they don’t want to look deep inside themselves.

They are afraid that they will not like what they see, so it’s just easier to live in denial or leave it unexamined. [Read: Positive self-talk – what it is, where it comes from, and how to master it]

Why do we experience a loss of identity? 

Some people lose their identity during an identity crisis. When that happens, it’s because they are questioning who they are in many aspects of their lives.

They are probably experiencing a lot of personal conflict from questioning who they are and what role they play in the world. 

Major life events can also prompt people to feel a loss of identity. A divorce, a geographical move, or anything else can lead to an identity crisis. [Read: How to spot codependent behavior early and regain your self-identity]

Many times, this causes people to question who they are and what their values, beliefs, and interests really are. They are probably searching for more meaning, passion, and purpose in their lives.

It’s not unusual to question who you are. However, questioning yourself so much that it affects how you think and function could lead to a real identity crisis.

Other people can often know you better than you know yourself

Have you ever met one of these people? They just seem to see through you in ways you can’t describe. [Read: What is a thirst trap? Are you perpetuating low self-esteem?

They know you better than you know yourself. People like this often end up in the field of psychology, and some even become psychologists or therapists.

The reason that they can get to know you is simply that they can see your actions from an outside perspective. They see what you do, listen to what you say, and can determine who you really are even if you’re blind to it yourself. [Read: How to become more emotionally available]

Who am I?

Finding yourself doesn’t require a month-long sabbatical. Sometimes all you really need is the right set of questions to ask yourself.

When the existential crisis hits, this is one question that is sure to keep running through your mind. We learn a lot about ourselves through the way we handle different life experiences. In lieu of those experiences, we can always turn to a bit of introspection to reacquaint ourselves with who we truly are.

Why do you need to get to know yourself?

No one else will get to know you better than you. You can’t always rely on friends and family to keep reminding you of your identity. [Read: 34 life-changing steps to fall in love with yourself all over again]

1. You will have a point of comparison

Getting to know yourself means that you’ll have a point of comparison for times that you feel like you’re losing grip or you’re starting to turn into someone that you don’t want to become. You will have a place inside you that you know feels “right,” and you can steer yourself back there whenever you need to.

2. You will be able to know your limits and your strengths

The better you know yourself, the better you’ll be able to handle a crisis because you’ll know your limits and your strengths. It helps to build your personality and gives you some insight into what you can change about yourself to improve the way you live your life.

3. You will be able to stay grounded in reality

By being in touch with your identity through introspection, you’re keeping yourself grounded in reality instead of feeling lost about who you really are.

Even looking at the negative aspects of yourself will help you to accept them and improve yourself. [Read: How to be kind to yourself and others and love life instead of hating it]

4. You will be able to respond to life more effectively

When you know who you are and stay true to yourself, you will be able to respond to life better. When bad or unexpected things happen, you’ll have your core values to fall back on and use to lift yourself back up again.

5. You will be able to discover and understand buried emotions

Everyone has emotions, but some of them are pushed way down in order to avoid dealing with them. Those are usually negative emotions. When you get to know yourself, you will be able to uncover them and deal with them more effectively.

6. You will be able to create the life you truly want

Isn’t that what everyone wants? Of course! Everyone wants to be happy and live their best life. But you can’t do that unless you know yourself inside and out. Getting to know yourself will allow you to live the life of your dreams. [Read: How to build self-esteem and love life with these simple life changes]

The process of learning how to get to know yourself can often be a long one. Some people go their whole lives and never truly know themselves. Get ahead of the game by doing these things throughout your life.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...