20 Questions to Help You Reflect and Grow: A Self-Awareness Guide

Self-awareness is key to personal growth. If you want to be the best version of yourself, you need to know who you are and what makes you tick. The questions in this guide will help you reflect on your life and identify areas where you can grow. By taking the time to answer these questions honestly, you can start making positive changes in your life that will lead to lasting happiness and fulfillment.

  1. What are your core values?
  2. What makes you happy?
  3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  4. How do you react under pressure?
  5. Do you have any unhealthy coping mechanisms?
  6. What triggers negative emotions in you?
  7. Do you tend to compare yourself to others?
  8. Do you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?
  9. What are your biggest fears?
  10. How do you deal with failure?
  11. Do you procrastinate? Why?
  12. Do you have any unhealthy relationships in your life?
  13. What toxic beliefs do you need to let go of?
  14. Do you live in alignment with your values?
  15. Do you make time for self-care?
  16. How do you react when things don’t go your way?
  17. Do you allow yourself to feel your emotions or do you stuff them down?
  18. Are you living a life that’s authentic to you, or are you trying to please others?
  19. What steps can you take to start living your truth?
  20. Are the choices you’re making today reflecting where you want to be or who you want to be tomorrow?

What’s self awareness and how can I practice it more often?

Self-awareness is the ability to see yourself clearly and objectively. It’s about knowing your strengths and weaknesses, your values and motivations. It’s about understanding how you react under pressure and what triggers negative emotions in you.

Self-awareness is key to personal growth because it allows you to make informed choices about your life. If you want to change something about yourself, you need to first be aware of it. Otherwise, you’ll just keep repeating the same patterns over and over again.

Let me repeat that for the people in the back, “If you want to change something about yourself, you need to first be aware of it. Otherwise, you’ll just keep repeating the same patterns over and over again.”

There are many ways to become more self-aware. One is to simply take some time each day to reflect on your life and observe your thoughts and feelings. Another is to keep a journal and write down your thoughts and experiences. You can also talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you gain insight into yourself.

The questions in this guide and my Self Reflection Workbook with Guide are designed to help you reflect on your life and identify areas where you can grow. By taking the time to answer them honestly, you can start making positive changes in your life that will lead to lasting happiness and fulfillment.

My Daily Habits & Story

In 2018 I had an awakening. I was in a toxic relationship. I had been brainwashed, gaslit and all these things that my therapist back then told me about but I was still sort of in denial up until that evening I was taking a shower. It was somewhere after 3 pm I do believe, therefore I don’t know if it was considered “evening” but let’s say late afternoon to appease the story.

It was at that time that I found an audio recorder in the shower caddy. Police asked why it was there in plain sight, because it wasn’t like this man was hiding it so to speak. It was very easy to spot. I think the reason is because I had a solid routine, like by the book routine, every day so to take a shower at that time was so off schedule for me.

So he felt he could get away with such things, and I am pretty confident he had been doing this for weeks leading up to this point as he knew things I said or were planning that I never said when he was in that house. So he had been spying on my kids illegally and me for a while before I caught him and eventually he was charged for these crimes.

In all honesty, he probably felt he could get away with it, too, because he had done similar things to other single moms he dated. I am going to assume they never pressed charges or got anywhere fighting against him, but I did. I don’t let people do evil things to me, especially not to my kids, and not have some form of justice for it. I won’t go deeper into my assumptions of what I think he thought or felt, as I can’t know that for sure since I am ME not him.

While this is a real-life experience, my brain may be foggy about the exact details as to time, and order of events. This doesn’t make what happened to me any less important a step toward the person I’ve become as of today.

I fell in absolute love, lust, or infatuation with this person. I don’t know what you want to call it. I would have done anything for this man. He had me convinced of things that weren’t true though. Not only was he evil in so many ways and doing to me what he had done to many single moms before me, but he was brainwashing me. I was a strong woman. I was independent for the most part, how in the heck was he able to brainwash little ole me?!

I am human. That’s how, and that’s why.

I love people, and I always give them the benefit of the doubt. That was until this situation changed how I perceive people.

In essence, this man had me convinced that my children were just jealous kids who didn’t want their mom to be in a relationship or be happy. Whilst I knew in my heart this didn’t sound like my kids. I had been in relationships before and they never really gave a bother about it. Why would they not want Mama to be happy?! That sounded odd.

But this man kept going. He kept telling me simple lies like this and talking in circles so much that he had be believing that my kids didn’t want me happy, especially my oldest (who by the way was the most dangerous of all to him as they could see through the cover of this person’s disguise). I feel like the biggest jerk typing that out, I legit felt that way, or so was brainwashed into thinking/feeling that way in the moment.

My children were and are my world. This situation had me being someone I never ever imagined being. The man came before everything because he had to. He would cry/whine to me about high anxiety and how dare I go talk to my kids or deal with them first, before talking with him about his problems because his anxiety matters or his feelings matter.

Now, mind you of course my partner’s feelings matter, and the kids’ matter. You see they both matter, but in my world younger kids especially need their parents to be there to listen to them, be their guide, and their support team. The adults can wait a bit while the children are tended to because that’s how parenting works … at least in my world, it did until this chapter.

During this chapter, I failed (or screwed up to say it in a different term) in so many ways and while I’d love to be angry at that man and blame him 100%, I truly can’t do that.

I don’t stay in a space of anger or resentment for it’s unhealthy for my growth.

Instead, I keep evaluating what happened, watching for signs of how I may be going down that road again, and ask myself those 20 questions to help you reflect and grow. I dive into my Self Reflection Workbook and Guide and do the hard work all over again.

I try to figure out why I have a trigger reminding me of this man in both good and harmful lights. Why is it that I am missing some piece of something from back then. Do I need to adjust today to make way for a more improved me tomorrow? What can I do today to diminish those false beliefs that this man was anything but who he was in that time. I gave him chances, I was confident of that back then, so why do we – as humans – give ourself doubts about the choices we made and were quite confident about in years past? These are all things to ponder when becoming more self aware of patterns you have.

You see being self aware and practicing self reflection for personal growth is a continuous process. I have no false belief system that I will wake up one day and be this perfect human being that I’ve always desired to be or was meant to be.

I believe I am on this planet to continue experiencing life’s magical experiences each day as it comes. I am here to help others live their best life through sharing my experiences; yes even the ones that leave me feeling like crap! I know that in telling the story of dating a man who brainwashed me and introduced me to what gaslighting was part of my story and journey to get to where I am today.

A big thank you to my therapist, friends, and family who helped me get through those new terms & guided me through the murky waters back then!

So this man did a lot of damage to my heart, my mind, and my relationships with my kids. While I am not sure I will ever be able to explain in words the full impact of how this man changed my life, I can say that the experience left me feeling like an empty human being.

I had to find people that he never paid (although he said he would) and pay them funds to make sure I was not associated with ‘not keeping my word’ with someone, especially in my hometown where I grew up. I had to pay off the landlords for years and I had to walk away from a business I had completely helped build, and was only making cash flow because of the connections I had prior to meeting this guy.

FYI – I came back swinging and took a few years to build something that was mine, so while I was annoyed I didn’t have half of the biz I built due to no contract in hand, I was able to rebuild my original business to many multiples of its original size once the dust settled and I focused on my strengths.

He still thinks he “built me” and my online presence. I know that he told the police officer that had to escort him back to the house for his things, because yes I finally did get a restraining order back then, that he showed me how to do a website and be an online entrepreneur. But … he didn’t. I owned Brandy Ellen, and I owned Happily Blended and I was already branded as BrandyEllen for many years before meeting this man. I already knew how to build WordPress sites and customize them, along with many other skills I taught myself from 2006 forward.

Yes, I do still get annoyed when I remember him saying how he built me. I am just like seriously, you did more damage than good in my mind, heart, and soul. Build me? What did you build? A person who now is more skeptical about human beings than ever before? Sure. A person who is struggling to get her light back? Sure. You did that. Congrats! *said in sarcasm*

Did he teach me anything? Oh yes! He taught me how not to treat clients or customers. He taught me how lying and deceiving clients (or even friends/connections) by making fake screenshots and keeping “back door entries” into people’s websites to manipulate them later if they didn’t do what he wanted was a thing that people do. Thanks for creating an issue in me with trusting web developers again …

Basically … yes he did teach me some concepts along the way both useful and damaging but you know what? For every challenging situation that arrives, another positive challenging situation comes to test me and see if I learned the lesson I was supposed to learn.

I am still here. I am still learning, building, and I am still hopeful that one day I wake up and it’s fewer moments of having triggers in my daily life reminding me of the deceitfulness that was that chapter in my world.

Final Thoughts

Yes, those years in my life make me sad to think about. I truly loved that man or so I thought. I truly was heartbroken and shocked to my core but shouldn’t have been, when things fell apart. I am now still growing and learning.

I have moments where I miss the excitement of the good days I had with this person. There are times when I think that I could still be friends with this man, much like I could be with other normal ex’s in my world, but when you look at the BIGGER PICTURE, it was a nightmare that destroyed all that truly mattered to me as a person – my family and connections and ability to live my truth no matter what.

This man is unlike the other men I’ve dated in the past, and I mean this in a confused, annoyed, and curious way. As psychology does fascinate me, but not enough to allow myself to get hung up with thinking someone is someone they are not.

I have more useful goals and visions to put my time towards this year that will lead me forward, not backward in life.

And this, my friends, is what I hope for you, too! Always pause and reflect upon your current thoughts to see if they’re coming from a place of safety, reality, or good intentions. Do they align with who you are and want to be? Will making the choices to be friends with that ex, or to eat that food that makes you feel like crap help or harm all that you’ve worked on?

Only you can answer those questions … only you!

By taking the time to honestly answer these questions, you can start making positive changes in your life that will lead to lasting happiness and fulfillment. If you want to be the best version of yourself, self-awareness is key.

Use this guide to reflect on your life and identify areas where you can grow. With a little effort, you can make changes that will improve your life in lasting ways. You deserve to be happy and fulfilled—it’s time to start making it happen!

I hope this guide was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. I’m here to help you on your journey to self-awareness and personal growth!

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