Questions are a form of self-talk. They’re one of the best ways to have a meaningful conversation with yourself. And thought provoking questions are one of the best ways to change your perspective.
Don’t believe that?
Let me give you few examples.
First, people who ask questions like:
- Why me?
- Why is god doing this to me?
- Why am I such a failure?
- Why can’t I get anything right?
- Why are the situations so difficult?
- Why am I such a wimp?
- Why I always fail?
Those people usually suffer a lot because their focus is directed into negative self-talk (negative questions). And, surprisingly, whatever questions you ask, your mind will do its best to come up with answers for these questions.
I bet that, just by reading the above questions, you started to feel bad.
And it’s not only about self-talk. Questions can shape your beliefs (negative or positive) and reinforce them. The first step to change a belief is to start questioning it, to start asking questions.
The above negative questions will reinforce a lot of negative and limiting beliefs. And vice-versa.
Questions have the power to create big changes and amazing breakthroughs. Why? Because they help you shake off and question your beliefs. And if you used them correctly you can destroy the limiting and toxic beliefs you have about yourself, your abilities, and even life itself.
The questions below will help you look at things from a different perspective, question the toxic beliefs and start building new empowering beliefs and thinking patterns that will empower you.
Contrary to many lists you can find online, these questions aren’t here to entertain you. In fact, some of them might make you squirm a bit and hate my guts for writing this post.
These questions are carefully designed to make you think deeply about yourself, your life and your situation to do something about it.
Go through the entire list, stop at the questions that resonate with you and think for a while.
The 77 Thought Provoking Questions List
The questions are divided into 7 categories to help you organize your thoughts better and not overwhelm you.
A quick reminder before we start: sometimes the truth hurts, but it’ll liberate you. You better be slapped by the truth instead of being kissed by the lies.
Let’s get started.
Ask these questions when you need to spend some time with yourself. Think of them as questions that will help you to have a better conversation with yourself. A better conversation eventually means a better relationship.
Also, some of them are helpful when you lose faith in yourself and you need a kick.
- Why not you? (When thinking about a goal)
- What one thing you can do today so that when you look in the mirror tomorrow you be proud of who you’re looking at?
- When was the last time you did something nice to yourself (exercised, prepared a nice and healthy dinner, took a rest and slept well, planned for your future, read a book …etc)? How about now?
- What about your health? How much are you taking care of yourself? What can you do to improve your health? (Health and energy are highly connected to your performance and mood).
- What was the most important (and difficult) decision you’ve ever made?
- What’s one action you can start doing today that will improve your social life?
- What are few meaningless activities that you’re doing that are consuming a lot of your time? (To become more aware of how you spend your time and stop wasting it)
The People in Your Life/Around You
Those questions will help you have better relationships with the people in your life. They’ll help you become aware of both healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Healthy ones to embrace them. Unhealthy ones to walk away.
Also, some of them will tackle the way you communicate with people, there’s always a room for improvement.
- Who loves you? (Be fair, even your dog counts!).
- Who is in your life inspires you to become the best version of yourself?
- Who are same-minded people you can surround yourself with?
- Do you realize that those people around you aren’t super humans (and they have their own insecurities and imperfections just like you)?
- What are you trying to do to gain approval from people around you? For your own self-respect’s sake, how can you stop these behaviors?
- Who is in your life trying to define you by your “ugly past”? (Walk away)
- Who makes you feel like you’re not worthy or that something is wrong with you? (Walk away)
- Why follow the crowd? Are the people I’m following are really happy and successful?
To become self-aware is to become empowered. You need to be painfully honest with yourself sometimes.
These questions will help you examine your behavior and thinking patterns closely. By doing that, you’ll have a better understanding of yourself and you’ll have a chance to improve and grow.
Better awareness equals self-development. When you’re aware of what right, you’ll cultivate it. When you’re aware of what’s wrong, you’ll correct it.
Some of these questions may resonate with your own unique situations. Others won’t, but they’ll resonate with someone else’s unique situations. So, take what resonate with you and leave the rest for someone else.
- What’s your biggest fear in life?
- In what area in your life are you trying to be perfect? How this pursuit of perfection is damaging you?
- In what area in your life are you in the “inaction and over thinking mode” (because of fear and hesitation usually)? What can you do to break free from that?
- In what area in your life are you doing the same things but expecting different results (and seeing only the same results)?
- In what area in your life are you sabotaging yourself (you have what it takes, and you know it, but you’re still screwing up yourself)?
- In what area in your life are you being impatient (and expecting very fast, or even immediate, results)?
- What is the one thing that you’ve been putting off lately (and is causing you mood swings because you’re running away from it)? (Hint: identify it to deal with it immediately)
- Are you trying to control things that are out of your control? Honestly?
- Who are you comparing yourself to in an unfair way? (You just started and he/she has been doing this for a long time. Of course, he/she is going to better and more experienced).
- What distractions can you cut out of your life to become more focused on what you really want?
- What is one thing that is sucking your mental and/or physical energy (certain people, unhealthy relationships, unproductive routines …etc)? What can you do to solve that?
- Do you realize that media (music, movies, articles, books or whatever goes inside your mind) has a great impact on your ideas, belief and thus your behavior (and even your mood)? How can you use that to your advantages (and stop it from damaging you)?
- What are the things that are holding you back from achieving your full potential? (Bad habits, behaviors, beliefs …etc).
- What can you do to liberate yourself from these things?
- What bad labels do you put on yourself on a daily basis (I’m stupid, I’m such a wimp …etc)? Do you truly realize how harmful this can be and why you should stop doing it?
- What are you grateful for (or what could you be grateful for)?
What Do You Really Want Out of Life?
Those questions will help you find what makes you happy. A lot of people complain that they don’t know what to do with their lives, well, these questions can help.
They’ll help you become aware of what you’re fond of. They’ll also help you to take a look at what really matters to you, what drives you, and what you can do with your life.
- What can keep you up all night working on it even though you’re totally exhausted?
- What’s the most important thing to you at the current moment?
- How are you keeping yourself from achieving/reaching that thing?
- How would you act if you were 100% sure that your life would get better (and that you would reach your biggest goal)?
- What book, article or quote you’ve recently read that inspired you? What book, article or quote could you read to get inspired and charged up?
- What do you want to be good at (what do you want to master/learn)?
- When was the last time you’ve lost the sense of time? What were you doing?
- What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done in your life? (Even though your heart was racing, you did it anyway)
- What’s your definition of success?
- How can you achieve that?
- What is your definition of love (what does it mean to you to be loved)?
- How can you achieve that? (Remember not to try to control what you can’t control).
- What you in life (money, family, freedom, the idea of fighting for your dreams, the idea of changing the world …etc)?
- What one important lesson can you learn from the last mistake you’ve made?
- What’s one thing that when you think of it you say to yourself “there’s something worth living for”?
The Harsh, Painful and Ugly Truths
OK, here’s the ugly part. Sometimes you need to call yourself on your bullshit and be painfully honest with yourself.
Use these questions to face yourself. They’re not pleasant. They might feel uncomfortable when asked and answered. However, the truth can set you free.
I would ask myself these questions if I noticed that I’m lying to myself, escaping from my problems, wasting time, or acting like a coward.
It’s like when my best friend is really worried about me and starts showing me the ugly truth I’m trying to run away from. That can be painful, but very eye-opening, let alone useful.
Again, Some of these questions may resonate with your own unique situations. Others won’t, but they’ll resonate with someone else’s unique situations. So, take what resonate with you and leave the rest for someone else.
- What is your favorite method to escape your problems? (Facebook, YouTube, porn, drugs, sleeping, eating, socializing, T.V …etc).
- What bad emotions are you experiencing as a result of escaping your problems?
- Is your life now better because you’ve escaped your problems and ran away from negative emotions?
- Ain’t you sick enough yet? (From running away from your problems)
- What’s one thing you can do today to start facing your biggest life’s problems? (Maybe just the decision to never escape anymore. Try that, it’s really helpful.)
- What are you lying to yourself about? What are you trying to hide from yourself? (Not true in each case, but sometimes we do lie to ourselves and hide the truth away.)
- Are you waiting for someone to come around and save you or for something to suddenly happen and change your life?
- What if there was no “next time”? What if it’s “now or never”?
- Who said it is going to be easy?! (“It” refers to the changes that you want to create in your life. Change is never easy.)
- Are you willing to make few sacrifices in order to reach where you want to reach?
- Do you want something for nothing? Honestly? (Look at your actions. Do you want to get something but you’re not willing to do what it takes and make few sacrifices.)
If you can’t vividly imagine what you want, don’t ever expect to physically look at it.
Those questions will help you imagine what you want to get inspired, and what you don’t want to horrify yourself (and get motivated).
Also, they’ll help you consider the possibilities of doing something. To ask yourself what if? And act based on that.
- If today was the last day in your life, would you be proud of who you are today?
- If today was the last day in your life, would be happy doing what you’re about to do today?
- If you could face one fear today and push through it, what would it be? And how would your life flourish as a result?
- How does it feel after doing something extremely difficult and scary? Are you feeling proud, confident and excited?
- Imagine yourself living the kind of life that you hate. Imagine every minute and every hour. Imagine waking up every day to live a life that you don’t like. How that makes you feel? Are you willing to live like that for the rest of your life?
- Imagine you’ve given up today, how are you going to feel about yourself when you look into the mirror a few years from now?
- If you can face your biggest fear today, and liberate yourself from it, how would your life become? And how would you feel about yourself?
Ask yourself these questions when you find yourself stuck or when you’re facing a problem.
They’ll help you look at the same situation from a different perspective. That will help you to think in a realistic and creative solution. And sometimes, just looking at the same troubling situation from a different perspective can be the solution.
- Why not? (when you think about a goal, usually a goal that seems unrealistic. i.e. why not be successful at X?)
- What another way to look at the same situation? (again, you ask these questions when you face troubles.)
- What can you do differently this time?
- What can you learn here?
- Couldn’t something different happen this time when you try?
- Who has gone through this situation successfully before? What did he/she do?
- How can you get help here (reading books, or articles, asking someone, group support, faith and help from god …etc)?