Top Twelve Questions for Personal Growth

Ask to Receive!

Truly, the most important habit for personal growth is to ask questions.

I often take whatever is bothering me and just add, “How is this (insert issue) a problem for me in this moment?”

The next step is to not freak out if you don’t get an immediate answer!

I know, I know! Sometime — okay, maybe often — you want an answer NOW — not in five minutes, not tomorrow — NOW!!

I get it! I find myself at this place of the immediate answer when life is shifting and changing literally right before my eyes.

I’ve learned that the immediacy is often hiding the pain of the change.

Something needs to be different and it’s causing me discomfort.

What I have learned is that if I don’t get caught in the gotta-have-it-NOW energy, then I stand a great chance that the answer will come sooner than later.

But here’s the concept to remember: if you do not ask, you will not receive an answer.

I know this sounds perhaps overly simple.

But it is an important spiritual concept: Ask to Receive.

That’s where questions make a difference because literally a question is an Ask!

Here’s another perspective about questions for personal growth:

The wise person asks questions.

My father has said this to me since I was a young child just learning to read and learning to live a happy life.

“When you ask a question,” Dad explained, “You are giving yourself the opportunity to learn.”

In personal growth — in life itself: Learning is life.

Learn always. Open to learn.


Simple: ask questions!

About this list of questions for personal of growth

In one way this is a random list.

In another way, this is the list that came when I asked, “What questions are good for personal growth?”

I thought for a bit, and little by little these questions came forward for me to share with you.

I really hope you find at least one that brings you a deeper level of personal insight!

Question #1: How do I want to change? What do I want to aim for?

Yep, this is a two-for-one deal. Here’s why.

The world is changing.

This is a true statement now and was a true statement 3000 years ago.

Change is constant.

Given the nature of energy, the world will always be changing.

Therefore, the questions before you:

How do I want to change? What do I want to aim for?

For me, I have ideas about change and aim for myself.

I am considering options – many I didn’t have even have just four months ago.

My life is changing at an incredible speed.

The more I learn, the more baggage and blocks and BS I release.

Every release creates room for more change.

More change creates more release.

Within the change and release, my aim shifts.

What I feel is possible today didn’t feel possible yesterday.

This makes me anticipate with excitement what might be possible tomorrow that I’m not considering today.

Aim may not be constant and maybe more about process forward than a particular destination to obtain.

Yet, as I look back over the last six months, it’s been my willingness to look fear in the face and say, “No!”

Then turn to my expectations and say, “Goodbye!”

Without fear dominating and without expectations limiting my view, I can open my heart to the amazing possibilities available.

My truth is that I am not worthless.

My truth is that I am worthy beyond my imagination, beyond the horizon of today’s vision.

In this place, freed from fear and expectation, I can meet my future head on and clearly ask:

How do I want to change? What do I want to aim for?

Question #2: Why do I create noise in my inner life?

Knowing that you are worthy of love is a process of peace within.

The chaos of constant self-questioning hinders inner peace.

If you question everything you have said or done, inner peace will be elusive.

Relentless questioning comes from both a lack of trust and a lack of confidence.

The constant barrage of judgment eats away at the self’s ability to believe, to trust, to receive truth.

Judging self constantly creates turmoil and tips balance away from worthiness.

However, as the critical voice weakens, as self-questioning quiets, and as trust in finding personal truth strengthens, the inner experience calms.

In this peace-within comes the fortitude to learn about self and acknowledge worth.

Inner peace reflects love of self, holding, in loving hands, an open heart.

Within this peacefulness question moves away from judgement and finds a path of understanding.

Posing questions for contemplation and reflection emerges from within an inner sense of confidence and peace.

In the quiet, you can hear you.

In the calm, you can choose your path.

In the peace, you feel you worthy of love.

Give yourself the opportunity to consider why inner peace might be challenging by asking yourself this question:

Why do I create noise in my inner life?

Question #3: At the deepest levels, how do I experience or feel spiritual or physical separation?

There is a paradox within which blocks your ability to love yourself.

Buried deep is the belief that the physical self is impaired, imperfect, flawed, and, worse yet, unfixable.

The belief takes a further step and sees the spiritual self as also damaged and irreparable.

The perception of brokenness creates a separation between the physical and the spiritual.

Maintaining this separation elevates the physical over the spiritual, poisoning desire for deep spiritual connection.

In the separation, the self feels helpless and dependent on the authority of outside truth or the arrogance of ego.

Outside truth is truth which comes from some source outside of self.

When there is a lack of confidence in either the physical or spiritual self, it is difficult to trust self to find truth within.

Truth from outside doesn’t seem flawed or untrustworthy.

Yet, to always rely on outside truth undermines inner confidence and the sense of personal worth.

But without self-belief, outside truth seems the more sensible choice.

As an inflexible definition of self, within ego, there is no motive to learn or grow.

The self has grabbed onto a stagnant view which it is afraid to lose.

This view provides a false sense of security by offering standards of behavior to maintain the inflexibility of ego.

Arrogance comes because there is no willingness to look beyond this view and see that self is stuck in false belief.

Reconciliation can occur by shifting belief.

Not an overnight fix — but a motion which sustained for a few moments can gather enough momentum to shift self-awareness.

The shift begins by letting go of the notion that the physical and spiritual within are separate.

The truth of self is unity.

Rather than separate, the physical self is integrated with the spiritual self.

Most importantly, there is no flaw with either aspect, spiritual or physical.

In this moment both are full and complete and without flaw. Instead, there is room to learn and explore and, in each moment, see self as amazing and awe-inspiring.

Within the awareness of this inner beauty, self is able to find itself worthy of love.

Give yourself the opportunity to consider a move towards a sense of unity within by asking yourself this question:

At the deepest levels, how do I experience or feel spiritual or physical separation?

Question #4: What stands in my way to feeling joy and peace in this moment?

When I feel out of sorts, I sit down and stare at the wall or the forest or whatever vista is before me.

I ask a question and, as I stare, I pay attention to what comes into my awareness.

As best as I possibly can, I try not to editorialize or criticize.

Like watching the images of the movie shift on the screen before, the motion comes and goes, and I only witness the movement.

I have found over time that the process will uncover and bring forward much understanding I can’t get to when analyzing.

The layers unfold, revealing deeper connection and deeper meaning.

This process of reflection gets me past the superficial and the easily assumed.

Down into the nitty-gritty which wants to stay hidden but is released like a helium balloon into my awareness.

Know that sometimes you can sit and reflect for hours and get nothing until the next morning when you’re awake.

At other times you only need several minutes, and you got the needed clarity.

Judging or expecting reflection to reveal in a pre-determined way is self-defeating.

The point is to open to the flow and pay attention.

The point is not to be stepping in and directing traffic.

Tune in.

Follow flow.

Ponder and reflect.


What stands in my way to feeling joy and peace in this moment?

Questions #5: Where is your essence of excellence today?

Yesterday, the fishmonger at my local grocery store was in excellent spirits.

He had arranged for an amazing sale of fresh Alaskan Coho Salmon.

I love salmon, especially fresh.

A treat I used to enjoy often when I lived in a small seaside town in Washington State.

When it was my turn to order, I smiled at the gentleman and asked, “How are you today?”

He gave me a great grin and replied, “I am the essence of excellence.”

Not a brag.

A simple fact he recognized and claimed for himself.

What I like more than salmon is the reminder to see the best of me.

Fishmonger as powerful teacher is also an amazing gift.

In passing on these words, he encouraged me to look in myself for my essence and my excellence – and most importantly, the connection between the two.

Let me pay this forward on behalf of your personal growth and suggest that you ask:

Where is your essence of excellence today?

Ok! That’s been five questions on personal growth that I think pack a lot of punch.

Let’s take a break.

Deep breath.

Stare off into space a bit.

Let what you’ve been learning sink in a little more.

Look in your awareness, feel into your body.

Shift is happening.

One more deep breath.

When you are ready, move on — there’s still some great questions to go!

Question #6: Why do I run in the face of fear?

Life is not all rainbows and unicorns. Nope!

On a regular basis, life rolls out the unexpected, the painful, the disgusting, and the frightening.

That’s just on the inside.

On the outside is everyone else having their experience being pushed to the edge and then beyond their ability to cope.

You get hurt.

You feel your sense of safety is challenged if not broken.

Your trust in yourself may break down.

Lordy! Ducking each lob, shifting, pulling back, trying to avoid the spitballs and the ice balls and possible head-on collisions.

In the barrage of personal growth, the biggest challenge is to your heart.

In the face of fear and attack, it’s natural that your heart wants to slam the doors and find its secret safe room.

Pulled back, out of the line of fire can feel like the best solution.

The problem is that whatever made your heart beat a hasty retreat is still plugging up the works.

The best way to release fear is not to just back away.

The only way to release is to release, let go.

Hiding, running away, ignoring, denying — these might give you a chance to catch your breath, but in the end don’t accomplish the goal of release.

The only way to release is to do the work.

The only way to counter fear is to look it in the face and see what it wants to dump on you.

When you run away, you run with the load dumped into your tenderest spot — your heart.

When you stand and challenge, you create strength and resiliency.

You begin to shift the lyrics of your life and create new music to support your journey.

Duck and run are left in the past.

Trust and truth fuel your choices.

This doesn’t mean that SH*T doesn’t happen — because it will.

Instead, you will give yourself a fighting chance and no longer let your heart be a dumping ground for the painful, disrespectful flotsam of the world.

Standing up to SH*T is hard and requires practice.

Also a bit of a catch-22 because to stand up you need to feel confidence in your heart.

To feel confidence, you need to release prior pain to have the strength to stand up.

The release and open process is not a one-time, giant step, fix-it moment.

Instead its baby steps to allow the various bits to soften and move on.

As the bits move on, you recover your heart and build the strength and resiliency needed when the world tosses another spitball your way.

Give yourself the opportunity to consider your reaction to fear by asking yourself this question:

Why do I run in the face of fear?

Question #7: How do I allow fear to get in the way of my ability to love?

Fear creeps into the cells of your body and freezes energetic motion.

Emotionally frozen, intellectually stilted, it’s hard to feel confident, to feel safe, to feel open.

It’s hard to connect heart to heart.

Fear paralyzes and overwhelms, making love scary.

Interestingly, motion will counter fear.

Getting outside, breathing fresh air, walks, and bare feet on grass will literally help clear the air of a stagnant physical body and release the fear.

The body’s physical motion cleanses the cells and refreshes energetic pathways.

Each breath in releases fear, making room for more supportive personal choices.

Aired out, love coats the cells and empowers the body.

On the emotional side, the motion of spiritual practice counters embodied fear, releasing what no longer serves.

While chanting, mantras, prayer, and sacred reading are all helpful, nothing more elaborate than a simple affirmation and purposeful breathing are required.

In fact, getting worked up over the perfect practice can have the opposite effect, expanding fear rather than eliminating.

Take a deep breath and say, “I love myself. I release my fear now.”

Exhale, letting the fear flow out. Each breath in cleanses. Each breath out lightens the load.

Releasing fear opens the heart to experience love.

Without fear, offering love doesn’t feel too vulnerable or too scary.

Without fear, trust helps receive love.

Fearless, heart opens and embraces the beauty of the world and the love of self.

Give yourself the opportunity to consider using motion to release fear by asking yourself this question:

How do I allow fear to get in the way of my ability to love?

Question #8: What is my intention for today?

This is a morning question — while you are brushing your teeth or eating breakfast.

Clear intention is a powerful force for what I call GSD – – Getting Shit Done.

To accomplish, to be productive, requires the focus of intention.

Intention helps you begin with the end in mind.

Intention creates direction for your action.

Intention creates the road to GSD.

The only way to do anything is to do it.

Intention helps you know what to do.

Intention + Action = GSD

All you gotta do is ask:

What is my intention for today?

Question #9: How do labels of relationship interfere with my sense of self truth?

Within personal growth, here’s the main idea: You define YOU.

The way you define yourself comes from within, from your ability to trust yourself to receive truth from your heart.

When you feel worthy of love, you don’t seek relationship to define you or to give yourself substance.

Seeking relationship to define you is looking outside of self for truth and validation.

There is no harm in being friend, lover, spouse, or parent.

However, these descriptions are of relationship and not WHO you are.

When you feel love-worthy, you are aware that self-expression is self truth.

Love emerges from within you and your sense of love.

Love does not come from labels.

Labels are distracting and create artificial limits.

When there is self-clarity, relationship supports you to be and become rather than hold you back from the truth of you.

In love-worthy, you define you.

You define your truth.

In the expansion of the next moment, you are prepared to define self differently as the truth of you expands to meet the new possibility now available.

In your willingness to feel worthy of love, you have defined the basis of relationship with self.

You haven’t given up or denied or ignored.

You have accepted as is and embraced self with love.

Now any relationship with others will be formed from this personal foundation, in strength and in love.

No longer defined by others, YOU lovingly define you.

Give yourself the opportunity to consider blocks to self-definition by asking yourself this question:

How do labels of relationship interfere with my sense of self truth?

Question #10: How does failure help me learn?

Failure is an excellent tool for learning.

When you fail, you are making an effort to shift your life.

You are engaging.

You are leaning into the deeper road.

You haven’t given up … not yet!

This question is aimed at helping you find the gift of failure in your life.

Looking at failure and considering the various aspects will help you soften towards the fear of failure.

Instead you see failure as something to invite in and be part of your life.

No longer in resistance, failure becomes a partner in your learning process.

How does failure help me learn?

Question #11: How am I in resistance to new learning?

Here’s the companion question for Question #9.

What you know today comes from what you learned yesterday.

However, yesterday’s truth may not work today.

Today, because you are a new and different person from yesterday, there’s something new for you to learn today.

If you resist learning, life stagnates and gets boring.

Excitement comes from the exploration inherent in learning.

Your best self deserves the new truth.

You deserve giving yourself to learn the new stuff by looking at whatever it is that might be getting in the way of the new stuff.

Never hurts to ask, even on a daily basis, this question:

How am I in resistance to new learning?

Question #12: Why do I feel a lack of confidence in myself?

Confidence has to do with edges.

Edges in the sense of barriers and cliffs or high points and low points.

Imagine standing on a high plateau and walking to the edge.

The closer you can get to the edge, the more confident you feel.

Confidence is also closely related to the self’s ability to trust. In fact, confidence can be defined as a measure of self-trust.

The higher the level of self-trust, the more confidence is felt.

Confidence also emerges from connection with truth.

Truth helps confidence express authentically. Without truth, confidence is hollow and empty.

Confidence needs belief to emerge and transform.

In this respect, belief is an inner conviction that effort made on behalf of self is worthwhile and effective.

Without belief, confidence lacks the nurturance needed to sustain itself especially in the face of adversity.

Belief in self can support confidence through the worst that life might throw out.

When you are feeling self-unworthy, this confidence triad of trust, truth, and belief doesn’t have the glue needed to help build a foundation for confidence.

Confidence comes from progressive steps taken one by one.

Each step adds a bit of trust, truth, and belief and over time confidence expands and becomes present in life.

Like the baby learning to walk, confidence comes from experience over time.

On the spiritual path, expanding confidence on the physical level directly influences and expands spiritual confidence.

But confidence can only expand when self-love is present.

When feelings of self-unworthiness drop away, confidence emerges on all levels.

Trust, truth, and belief emerge, and you find you are confident right to the very edge.

As confidence grows, your edges expand.

Give yourself the opportunity to consider the motion of confidence within you by asking yourself this question:

Why do I feel a lack of confidence in myself?

Bonus Question: What is my truth today?

Ok! That’s been my list of top twelve questions for personal growth!

Because one can’t have too many questions, let me add my most favorite question as a bonus.

This is a question I ask every time I open my Akashic Records.

I have used it for over twenty years.

Because of this consistency, I have learned to listen patiently to the nuance raised by asking.

I’ve learned that answers are usually not what I expect, nor do they come in ways that I imagine.

Believe in yourself or when self belief is weak or absent, give yourself an opening to a new perspective and ask:

What is my truth today?

Have a great day! And give yourself some new options for personal growth by asking that question in the depth of your heart!

Hope this has been a helpful list!

If you like asking questions, you might find opening your Akashic Records to be really fulfilling!

My experience in the Akashic Records has really upped my question process and, along the way, I have also learned to deepen my ability to trust myself. To learn more, take a peek at my book: Open Your Akashic Records!

Headshot of Cheryl Marlene, Spiritual Guide in the Akashic Records

A mystic, futurist, and trailblazer in spiritual consciousness and the Akashic Records, Cheryl is unafraid of the tough, the raw, and the real aspects of doing deep work.

Cheryl has expanded the collective understanding of the Akashic Records beyond the outdated myths of yesterday into a dynamic healing spiritual practice of divine and human consciousness. She consults in the Akashic Records with clients around the world through one-on-one sessions, extensive research, and future-driven, strategic business development.

Cheryl’s clients and students know her as a relatable, funny, everyday person who loves red dresses, urban fantasy books, and skinny margaritas. When she is not hard at work on her next book, she is on the hiking trail listening to the beauty of nature and the heartbeat of the mountain.

Through her journey, she has distilled her intention for life to these seven words: BELIEVE. Laugh. Learn. Love. Be. Become. Always.