100 Reflection Questions for Personal and Career Growth
Updated September 28, 2023
An illustration of a person working on their laptop from home with their cat sitting next to them.
Reflection is a powerful tool for self-discovery and growth in many areas of your life, including your career. Using self-reflection, professionals can develop an understanding of their underlying motivations, make smarter career choices and work better with others. Reviewing reflection questions can help you learn to reflect on your feelings and experiences in a way that contributes to personal and professional development.
In this article, we explain what reflection is and why it matters and share 100 reflection-based questions you can use to guide your choices, thoughts and reactions in your personal life and at work.
What is reflection?
Reflection, also known as introspection or self-reflection, is the process of examining your thoughts and feelings. It allows you to think about past or current experiences in-depth and set goals for your future. Although helpful at any time, reflection can be especially beneficial when changing jobs or transitioning into a new career path. You can engage in reflection through a variety of activities, such as meditation, journaling, exercising or talking with a trusted confidante.
Self-reflection helps you examine your thoughts and create an inner dialogue that influences how you view and interact with the world. It may take time, but reflection is a critical step in your growth.
Related: 18 Ways To Achieve Self-Growth
Why ask yourself reflection questions?
Reflection questions may help you better understand your thought and feelings on a variety of topics. They could help you identify your personal and professional values and goals, which can inform decisions such as what job to apply for and how to carry yourself when in the workplace.
The benefits of reflection may include:
Reducing negative thoughts
Increasing your understanding of yourself and your coworkers
Emphasizing your strengths and improving your weaknesses
Clarifying your intentions for your time and talents
Defining professional goals and being strategic with opportunities for growth
Developing creative thinking skills
Encouraging engagement in work processes
100 helpful reflection questions
No matter what stage of your professional journey you're in, self-reflection can improve your work and career satisfaction. Here are 100 reflection questions to help you think about your past, current and future achievements and goals:
Questions about your past
Here are 10 questions that can help you reflect on your past and find value in your experiences:
1. What do I wish I did differently in the past year?
2. Have I maintained a good work-life balance in the past year?
3. What are some challenges I've overcome recently?
4. What past experiences helped me make important decisions?
5. If I could go back in time, what might I do differently?
6. What accomplishment from the past year surprised me?
7. What's the most courageous decision I've made?
8. How does where I am now compared to where I expected to be at this point 10 years ago?
9. What am I most proud of?
10. What's a significant risk I took that had a positive outcome, and what did it teach me?
Questions about your present
Here are 10 questions you can use to reflect on your present situation in life and at work:
11. What are my biggest limitations?
12. What are my values?
13. How do I define success?
14. How would I spend my time if money were not a factor?
15. What are my greatest personal and professional strengths?
16. What are some areas in which I can improve?
17. What is my morning routine, and how does it help me prepare for my day?
18. How do I feel about my role in my personal and professional lives?
19. What distracts me from reaching my full potential?
20. How do I respond to conflict?
Questions about your future
Here are 10 questions you can use to reflect on your plans for the future:
21. What is my primary concern about the future?
22. Where do I see myself in five years?
23. What are my future career goals, and what steps do I plan to take to achieve them?
24. How can I learn from challenges to create a positive future for myself?
25. Am I taking steps now to prepare financially for my future?
26. Do I anticipate major life events shortly that might change my routine and, if so, how can I minimize the challenges they may present?
27. How would I describe the person I want to be in the future?
28. What do I want a typical day to look like in the future?
29. What are some personal changes I want to see in the future?
30. What are some professional changes I want to see in the future?
Questions about your habits
Here are 10 questions you can use to reflect on your current habits and how they present challenges or help you grow:
31. How have I improved my work habits?
32. What work habits can I add to my daily life?
33. What personal habits can I add to my daily life?
34. What is one habit I want to stop or replace?
35. What are some positive habits I have that help me stay organized and motivated?
36. Would resources, like habit trackers, help me develop healthier routines?
37. What positive habits come most naturally to me?
38. What habits have I developed that encouraged me to challenge my complacency?
39. What habits do I prioritize in my work life?
40. What habits do I prioritize in my personal life?
Questions about your personal relationships
Here are 10 questions to help you reflect on how you feel about your personal relationships:
41. How do I handle it when my peers think or behave differently than me?
42. Do I ask my peers for help when I need it?
43. How do I apply constructive feedback from my peers to make improvements?
44. What are some traits I look for in people when initiating personal relationships?
45. What are some traits I try to avoid in others when initiating personal relationships?
46. Do I look for personal relationships that confirm or challenge my beliefs, values and ideas?
47. Are most of my personal relationships mutually beneficial?
48. In what ways do I rely on my friends, partner or family?
49. In what ways do my friends, partner or family rely on me?
50. When is the last time I asked a friend, partner or family member to help me make an important decision?
Related: 7 Tips for Personal Growth
Questions about your connections with colleagues
Here are 10 questions to help you reflect on your professional relationships:
51. How can I be a better team member at my workplace?
52. Which work relationships could I improve? What steps can I take to make them better?
53. How is my work style different from that of my coworkers?
54. How do I apply constructive feedback from my colleagues and managers to improve?
55. What are some traits I enjoy in colleagues or managers?
56. What are some traits I find challenging in colleagues or managers?
57. How do I find value in my differences from my colleagues?
58. How would I describe my current relationship with my colleagues?
59. How do I benefit from interactions with my colleagues?
60. How do I use my approach to developing personal relationships to form professional connections?
Questions about your career
Here are 10 career-specific questions to help you gain insight into your professional life:
61. What have been the most challenging moments at work?
62. What achievements am I proudest of in my career?
63. What can I do to prepare for my upcoming projects?
64. How can I be more productive at work?
65. What are my greatest strengths and weaknesses in the workplace?
66. What new knowledge and skills do I want to gain at work?
67. How do I use and expand on my current skills at work?
68. Do I prefer working in a leadership, team or independent role?
69. Do I find my current career fulfilling?
70. Do I want to stay in my current career or consider a change?
Questions about your personal wellness
Here are 10 questions to help you reflect on your emotional well-being and self-care approach:
71. What is my self-care routine?
72. What motivates me?
73. What empowers me?
74. What makes me feel mentally and emotionally strong?
75. How do I recharge my energy at the end of a long day?
76. How do I encourage myself when I'm confronting a challenge?
77. What helps me stay focused on my present situation?
78. What are some ways I take time for myself?
79. How do I manage distractions and organize my thoughts?
80. How do I prevent burnout at work?
Questions about your physical health
Here are 10 questions to help you gain insight into your physical health and how it affects your personal and professional life:
81. How do I feel physically?
82. Have I been drinking enough water?
83. Do I enjoy a healthy breakfast most days?
84. How can I develop or maintain healthy eating habits?
85. How does my physical well-being help me perform better at work and in my personal life?
86. How often do I exercise?
87. Could I benefit from changing my health and wellness routine?
88. What are some benefits of prioritizing my physical health?
89. How do I make time to exercise and prepare nutritious meals?
90. What are some steps I can take to find enjoyment in making healthy choices?
Questions about your goals
Here are 10 questions to help you reflect on your current goals, improve your process for achieving them and create new personal and professional goals:
91. Have I achieved the professional goals I set for myself in the past year?
92. Have I fulfilled goals or deadlines that my manager set for me? If not, what factors were limiting for me?
93. How do I reward myself when I reach my goals?
94. What are some of my short-term goals?
95. What are some of my long-term goals?
96. How do I monitor my progress toward my goals?
97. Have my goals changed or stayed the same since the beginning of the year?
98. Do I reach my goals regularly or is that an area where I'd like to improve?
99. What's my biggest goal for professional development?
100. What's my biggest goal for personal development?
Tips for a self-reflection practice
Here are some of those tips to help you start a self-reflection practice:
Ask yourself "what" and "why" questions
"What" questions are often more objective, which can be important when trying to reflect on areas in which you can improve. Staying objective allows you to focus on the possibilities of your career and look forward to the future with hope and excitement. These types of questions also allow for more positive thinking and can help you discover how you've been successful in the past.
"Why" questions can help reach the root of your thoughts, feelings and opinions. Understanding the reasons you think certain things or enjoy certain experiences could help you gain insight and replicate decisions. For instance, if you're naturally introverted and disliked your call center job, you could ask yourself "why" and discover you find repetitive social interaction draining. By understanding the why, you can understand your needs and make appropriate moves that make sense for your career.
Keep a schedule
Be intentional about setting aside time for reflection. Also, it's okay to pace yourself and set sustainable, small reflection goals. A reflection practice of only five minutes can still provide benefits.
Be honest with yourself
When going through your reflection questions, try to answer them as honestly as possible. Once you've identified some goals, ensure they're attainable. Then, hold yourself accountable for making progress toward them by continuing your reflection. You might ask yourself what steps you've taken each week to progress toward your goals or ask yourself what can be done to achieve sub-goals.
Keep a record of your reflections
Recording your thoughts and patterns in a self-reflection journal can be a useful part of any reflection practice. Try to write in your journal regularly, even if your reflections are short. You can also try using techniques in your journal such as free writing, making lists or sketching to help you expand on your reflection questions. A journal can also be a good way to see your progress over time.
Work with someone
If you want the assistance of someone with experience, consider scheduling a session with a career coach or therapist. These individuals have training and skills to help you reflect on your personal feelings, desires and habits and make proactive changes in your life. They may also provide you with self-reflection prompts to further your thinking and discuss your thoughts with you in a safe, confidential environment.
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