Personal development and growth can happen by accident and does occur just by participating in life and all its challenges. However, if you are reading this, I’m assuming that you would like a little more deliberate input and would prefer not to leave your self growth to chance.
Below are 20 self exploration exercises to present fresh ideas that could help with getting you unstuck and moving forward with greater momentum. Many will also give you further clarity for your life journey.
I am glad that I created this short list of 20 self exploration exercises for you, it reminds me to get in and revisit some of those wonderful exercises, tools and tips as well.
Enjoy exploring this handful of mini-tools and exercises for expanding your awareness and raising the bar on what you are out to achieve in your life.
1. This first tool was created by a good friend of mine. I think you’ll love it as much as I do. Search in your browser for “Dream Minder” and you’ll see Dreaminder. It will help you remember your dream. Here’s how: Write down what you want out of your life. Send it to yourself in the future. Start working towards your dreams and read other people’s dreams for inspiration. There’s a check box which allows your dream to be published anonymously. Your dream will be sent to you on the date you nominated.
2. Abraham Maslow created a simple hierarchy that categorizes the needs of every human being. He once said: “If they [we] are dominated by a higher need, this higher need will seem to be the most important of all. It then becomes possible, and indeed does actually happen, that they may, for the sake of this higher need, put themselves into the position of being deprived in a more basic need”. The Sphere Of Life helps you to get a great overview of various areas in your life. You can check in and quickly see if you’re ignoring one that may need a little extra attention. Simply search your browser for the words “ingenuity4u sphere of life”, to find it.
4. Given that it is our mind registering all the things that surround us, and that the thinking of our mind is in the form of words and pictures, then our interpretation of what we see is paramount. It is one reason that gratitude journals and visualization tools are so effective. In the moment of recording those things for which we feel gratitude, we fill our mind with the upside of our lives. That compounds, every time we do it. The mind creates new neural pathways, changing our possibly negative perceptions to deliberately generated, affirmative patterns of thought. Search for “GratitudeLog” and you’ll see a great site and community to help you along.
5. What do you see around you, and what do you take on board emotionally, when you say to yourself: I have no money? Try this at home! Look around your home and say those words several times over. Do you notice what your mind is picking up and tuning in to? Now, try the flip side of that exercise, allowing at least five minutes to just be with it. This time, walk around your home saying: I am so wealthy. What did you notice? You can use that very simple exercise with anything you like. Walk around for an afternoon, with the words: I am so alone. Then try it differently, and this time repeating the words: I have so many wonderful people sharing in my life. Consider then how else you use language to interpret the things surrounding you each day. How do you think the cells of your body might logically respond to the words: I am starving? What image does that conjure? Would it cause a shift in the cellular and chemical response of your body if instead, you were to tone that down, and use the words: I am hungry? New words, new pictures, evoking empowering emotions.
6. This is a ridiculously simple exercise in framing and instructing your subconscious. 1. Each day, take a clean piece of paper, divide it into two columns, write “successes” at the top of the left hand column and “failures” at the top of the right hand one. Then date the page. Under “successes”, briefly note each of your successes that day, one per line. Include both the little and big ones. 2. Similarly, under “failures,” list each of what you perceive to be the day’s failures. 3. Then read through your success list. After reading each success, remember the experience it refers to and say to yourself, “That’s a success. I’ll have more of those!” 4. Next read through your “failure” list. After each failure, remember the experience and say to yourself, “That’s a failure. I’ll have less of those!” If you do this every day, you will soon see that the daily list of successes increases and the list of failures decreases simply because you consciously framed the experiences that you consider successes and the ones that you consider failures and told your unconscious to focus on generating the former and reducing the latter. What you focus on is an instruction to your subconscious. If you want more successes, focus on successes. To be completely fair to the originator of this idea: This lesson is from “How to Get Lots of Money for Anything – Fast!” by Stuart A. Lichtman and Joe Vitale.
7. Get yourself a jar and throw in a coin each time you sell out on yourself and your dreams with an excuse. Donate toward having those things that are not yet in your life because you’d excused or reasoned them away.
8. You have more natural energy when you are complete with your environment, well-being, money and relationships. The Clean Sweep Program consists of 100 items which, when completed, give you the vitality and strength that you want. Search in your browser for “Forward Steps Clean Sweep Program”, and you can download my PDF of it. The program can be completed in less than one year. Congratulations on starting this one! Instructions: 1. Answer each question. Be rigorous with yourself. If the statement is sometimes or usually true, please do not check the YES box until the statement is virtually always true for you. If the statement does not apply to you, or will never be true for you then check the YES box. You get credit because it doesn’t apply or won’t ever happen. 2. Print the form so that you will have a record of your responses, and a reminder of the areas of improvement.
9. Each of us has a higher consciousness, an intuition, that is connected directly to the energy of the universe and provides us with the absolute truth and our inspiration for our existence. We all create obstacles for our intuition, and often times do not get the messages it is trying to send us. If you’re trying to decide between two specific options, you can do an interesting variant on the coin flip to help get in touch with your intuition. Decide that if the coin lands on “heads” you’ll go with option one; if it lands on “tails”, you’ll go with option two. Now here’s the key: After you flip and get the result, see how you FEEL. Were you disappointed and said, “Oh heck!”? Or, were you pleased and said, “That’s great!” or “Whew!”? Based on your response, you will know the right answer for you. Try this for yourself, it works and it’s fun.
10. Get in touch with what you want your legacy to be. Really get to feel and know what you honestly want your life to be about. Try a fun little exercise of designing your own tombstone or of writing your own epitaph, even your own eulogy.
11. Write down a problem you want to solve or the question you want answered. Be very specific. Close your eyes and grab a book from your bookshelf. Any book whatsoever. (Don’t despair if it is completely unrelated to your question – that is often better). Randomly open the book to any page. Let your finger run down the page to stop wherever you’d like. Read the section your finger is pointing to. Make this answer the answer to your question. Figure out how IT is the answer.
12. Carry a notebook with you to write down questions that come to mind. Allow yourself to be OK with questions that are not answered. Sometimes we just need to float around with those for a while. There’s nothing like just the right question at exactly the right moment to provide an “Aha!” moment. Search the internet for “Forward Steps 50 Power Questions”. You never know what answers may pop up for you or which new ideas might spring from very honest responses to those. “Our journey is to discover the questions that will enchant the answers within us to come out dancing.” -Mary Marcdante.
13. Revisit your current goals and ask yourself for each, am I moving towards something that inspires me or am I pursuing this goal to move away from an undesired situation? One of these two choices brings with it much more power and fun for accomplishing what it is that you’re actually seeking to achieve, from your heart. As expressed by Abraham-Hicks, “Get so fixated on what you want, that you drown out any vibration or reverberation that has anything to do with what you do not want.”
14. Holographic Creation is the process of spiritually pre-creating reality by building a light matrix or hologram out of the electromagnetic spectrum. You can holographically create events, situations, and things through the focused imaginative powers of your mind. Christopher explains this further in his book titled I Create Reality: Beyond Visualization. This book shows you how to identify what you really want, so you can create what you want, instead of what you may have been creating year after year. You can download his daily exercise in a copy of the Holographic Creation Sheet or use the online Holographic Creation Exercise each day. Just search online for those. You’ll find them!
15. Cosmic ordering has been around in one form or another for years and I am amazed at how it works. Here’s an experiment, when you desire something, actually type or write it out. It then gets it from your head out into the world. No matter how silly, grand, small, or impossible it seems, get it out of your head and onto a public screen. Search online for “Steve Aitchison make a wish”. When other people read your wish at his blog your thoughts are automatically merged with theirs, in other words they are thinking about you, therefore strengthening your wish. The more people that read the wish the stronger it gets. A word of caution: be prepared for what you wish for. You have to think about the consequences of your wishes and the wording of it.
16. Enjoy a feeling of writing your own cheque. Write your own cheque and print it out. Place your personal cheque in a prominent position where you will see it every day. You could even save it as a screen saver. Each time you look at your cheque, believe and feel you have the money now! Search online for “Write your own Abundance Cheque” and you will find lots of tips or tools for this exercise.
17. Write your own mission statement. You have a purpose in life. You know in your heart what’s most important to you. In fact, your mission and values are expressed every day, by how you live ñ you just may not realize it. For an introspective path to creating your mission statement which asks thought-provoking questions that help you uncover your core values and highest goals, search for “Franklin Covey mission statement”. This quick exercise will help you discover your values and principles. You’ll type the first responses that come to mind and then use your answers to free-write your mission statement.
18. When you or someone else is faced with making a decision, check out the effects, consequences and outcomes while exploring the overall. Here are four questions to try. Ask them in the order presented. After asking each one, ask “…and what else?” a few times over. Those four questions are: What will happen if you do ‘X’? What won’t happen if you do ‘X’? What will happen if you don’t do ‘X’? What won’t happen if you don’t do ‘X’? A couple look the same, they’re not (read again)!
19. This is an exercise that you can apply to any area of your life whether that be your job, business, body, family, income etc. Listen to the entire talk and then take the action, of course! To do this exercise, search for “Zig Ziglar attitude makes all the difference YouTube video”.
20. Take on the role of creator and paint a masterpiece for your future. Each week, write a letter to the “future you” then, the following year, re-read one of those letters. Read them once every week, matching the previous year’s weeks.
If you know anyone who could use some of the ideas present in the list of 20 self exploration exercises, then by all means share this blog post with them.