Alternate Title: Know thyself and you may work wonders
This post is a beginner round in self-awareness. More advanced and “heavy” prompts are coming soon.
[Skip to “3 rules” if you just want to get started.]
Think for yourself
Nothing I write here will impact your life in a meaningful way unless it’s relatable.
And while I do think I have some good material on this blog. I’m also aware that it’s not written in a way that’s likely to appeal to the masses. Oops.
Most people aren’t focused on ideas. They just want results.
But, I can’t offer anyone results. I’m a stranger on the internet. I don’t know your life story, let alone how to cater my theories to work alongside your own perspective and approach to life.
So that means you need to do some of the work yourself. And I’m not talking just in terms of execution, rather I’m including the theory aspect of it all too.
We’re all different people. And so, no matter how neutral and open I try to keep my posts, there’s no way every theory is going to connect to you. So that’s why you should think for yourself. Take what makes sense to you and discard the rest, if need be. Add stipulations or exceptions in your head for whichever concept. And heck, make some of your own theories.
That sounds a little hard…
Look, if you’re not used to self-reflection, no worries. It’s like my #1 hobby. I can guide you through it. In fact, let’s start with some beginner prompts this round.
There’s 3 rules to keep in mind when doing these prompts:
- Answer honestly. If you can’t be honest with yourself, then your capacity to become a better you is drastically hindered. So, do yourself a favor and just be upfront.
- Would outweighs should. Answer these prompts, not from the perspective of “I wish” or “I’m expected to,” but as “I am” or “I believe.” You want to capture who you truly are right now. So, give sincere and realistic answers, not some fictional or wannabe future-self responses. [We’ll do that another time.]
- Don’t be hard on yourself. I know some of you reading this don’t have much confidence in yourself. Well, try and put that aside. Don’t beat yourself up.
Covering the Basics
To start, the first set of prompts are related to basic parts of your identity. They’re things you’re used to filling out on documents and might not think much about. But, if you do feel strongly about them, then they’ve likely shaped who you are in so many ways that it’s hard to be concise.
Prompt #1: What does your name mean to you?
And I’m not just talking about what may show up on some name-meaning site. How do you feel about your name? Do you like it? Think it fits?
Dig Deeper: Is there a story behind your name? Are you a namesake? Do you have an unusual spelling? Do you prefer a nickname and/or does it depend on who says it?
[Personally, I can’t imagine changing my name. Yet at the same time, I do have a slight vendetta. It’s a case of “ah, that’s setting the bar high.”]
Prompt #2: What’s your gender? [Female, male, non-binary?]
And don’t one-word answer this. Instead, pause for a second and consider how your life has been shaped by gender. Even if you’re ambivalent about the concept, how have others’ perspectives affected or contrasted with yours?
Dig Deeper: Have you had negative experiences and/or assumptions based on your gender? Is it a key part of how you view your identity or just a detail?
Prompt #3: When’s your birthday?
Come on, what do your age and generational stereotypes have to say about you? How does that compare to how you view yourself? If you’re into zodiac signs (or heck, even if you hate the concept), do you think you match yours?
Dig Deeper: Consider some memories and grievances even. Does your special day get overlooked or grouped with a holiday or tragedy? Has your birthday always been spent school-free?
Prompt #4: What’re your sexual and romantic orientations?
Are you still figuring things out? Is your label unknown to most? Or do you dislike labels in the first place?
Dig Deeper: The media loves to talk about romance and sex. Does that work for you, make you uncomfortable, or something else?
Secondly, let’s take a glance at perspective. Remember, everyone has a unique outlook on life. But, that doesn’t stop us from connecting to others and finding similarities. That’s why this next set of prompts is meant to give you an idea of your perspective. It’ll help you consider more of your unique perception and how that interplays with everyone else.
Prompt # 5: What’s your personal motto? [Or favorite quote if you don’t have a motto.]
The world is an interesting place. And the number of ideas and perspectives seems infinite. However, eventually, almost everyone finds their own simple way of looking at it all. So, what’s yours?
Dig Deeper: Consider the topic of your motto or quote. For example, is it something about love? Happiness? And what kind of vibe does it give? Is it optimistic, neutral, or pessimistic?
[If you’ve read the FYI page for this blog then you know my personal motto is “it’s a matter of perspective.” I’m also partial to “honesty is the best policy.”
Prompt #6: What’s something a lot of people like, but you don’t?
Come on, let’s be honest here. Everyone has had this experience: You’re with a group of people and the topic of conversation changes to something you don’t understand or find terribly boring or annoying.
Dig Deeper: Can you think of a reason why this topic isn’t for you? Does it leave you emotionally charged? Or do you think it’s beneath you? If so, why?
Also, have you faced any issues because of your dislike? If so, how has this impact you?
Prompt #7: What’s something most people dislike, but you like?
Everyone sticks out from the crowd about something. So, what’s a hidden pleasure of yours? Or are you painlessly vocal about this concept?
Dig Deeper: Any special reason why you feel this way despite the perceived majority feeling the opposite? Why? And how does it affect you?
Prompt #8: Got any strange coincidences you’ve noticed?
Or some unexplainable or sounds “crazy” patterns that keep showing up in your life? Maybe it’s tiny. Maybe not.
Dig Deeper: What do you think about it?
Life can be pretty mundane, but we all have our strange bits. And how you choose to see yours can be a good indicator of how you approach life when there’s no longer a clear direction.
Wants and needs
Life is full of desires and expectations. And your “job” so to speak, is to balance those things with your actions. Sometimes, this can be a breeze. Other times, it may feel like you’re dangling on a tightrope that’s 100ft in the air.
Regardless, the following prompts should give you a clue of what you’re chasing in life and what you’re already satisfied with.
Prompt #9: What do you desire most in life?
Perhaps you’re living in survival mode and you just want the bare essentials. If you have food, water, and shelter then you’ll be good.
However, many people desire more things like: loved ones, a career, the perfect home, or to change the world.
What about you?
Dig Deeper: Try to specific with your desires. And flesh them out with reasons, how you think they’ll change your life, or even what you think is necessary to acquire them.
Prompt #10: What are the biggest expectations you hold for yourself?
The possibilities of how to live your life are endless. But whether it be society or ourselves, we set limits. So, what won’t you allow yourself to do? Or consider what you’re willing to break rules for.
[One of mine: To make my own path, rather than just do what’s expected of me.]
Dig Deeper: Are you holding yourself back by having these expectstions?
Prompt # 11: What are some expectations others have of you that are completely off base?
Sometimes other peoples’ understanding of who we are or why we do certain things is completely off the mark.
Dig Deeper: How has this impacted you? For instance, are you carrying any mental scars or current burdens from trying to meet others’ expectations?
Highs & Lows
The following prompts are meant to highlight the best and worst of yourself.
[Remember: Don’t beat yourself up. After all, once you recognize something, there’s a good chance you can improve it.]
Prompt #12: What are your best traits? [Include at least 3.]
Dig Deeper: Are these traits physical or part of your personality? What makes them great? Can you count on them to help you out of a difficult situation? Or do they tend to get you into trouble in the first place?
[Personally, I think mine are patience and honesty.]
Prompt #13: What are your worst traits? [Max is 3.]
Think carefully about this one. Don’t be afraid to “face the music.” If you want personal growth then you’ll need to learn how to handle the bad side of yourself.
Dig Deeper: What makes these traits the worst? Because it’s one thing to acknowledge something as negative, but another to confront the why.
Also, do you want to change these traits?
Prompt #14: What’s your greatest accomplishment so far?
Think about this in your own terms. Some people prioritize financial successes or accolades, but you may care more about relationships or spiritual growth.
Dig Deeper: Why does this accomplishment matter to you? Do you think it’s the greatest thing you’ll ever do? Why or why not? And how does your answer make you feel?
Prompt #15: What is your biggest regret?
Dig Deeper: What exactly makes it regretful? Is it something you wish you could change? Or would you still make the same choice, even though it’s left you with regret?
Prompt #16: What’s your deepest fear?
We all fear something at some point. But, that doesn’t mean we should never confront our fears.
Dig Deeper: Do you consider your fear rational? How has it impacted your life? Have you tried to confront it? And if so, how has that gone?
Prompt #17: What is your most unexpected, but satisfying experience?
Let’s end on a surprising, but positive note.
Dig Deeper: What made this experience so great? Is there anything you could do now that would give you some of that joy?