Transitioning into a new year, we often engage in self reflection and strive for personal growth as we set resolutions. AMAZEworks hopes to help cultivate this reflection through this list of 22 journal prompts to guide you through reflections on identity for 2022. We encourage you to engage in these questions on your own and also share with family, students, friends, and community members.
On identity development
- Think about your identity, now and when you were a child. What makes you unique? How was this identity nurtured, or how could it have been nurtured?
- What have been the biggest influences on your identity development?
- What emotions, thoughts, and questions arise for you when you reflect on your various privileges? Where do you think these emotions, thoughts, and questions are coming from? What support do you need to help you process these emotions, thoughts, and questions?
- What stereotypes or negative messages did you receive from home, school, society, and/or the media about yourself or those who were not your childhood version of “normal” or “ordinary?” How did these messages help shape the value you put on yourself and/or other people?
- What defines a person? What defines you as a person?
On identity perception
- What do you think people notice about you when they first see you? What assumptions do you think they make? What would you like people to know about you when they first see or meet you?
- Do labels matter to you? Why or why not? What labels do you want to hold on to? What labels do you want to let go of? Why?
- What are your experiences with appeasing and changing who you are to fit in?
- Which of your social identities are seen, valued, and affirmed in society? Which, if any, are not?
- Think back to a time when you worried about how others would judge you based on something you wore or how you expressed your identity through your appearance. How did that feel? Who was supportive when you expressed your identity through your appearance?
On identity difference
- Growing up, what did you learn about noticing differences of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, body size, and other social identities? Were social identity differences something you talked about at home? At school? Why or why not?
- In reflecting on your childhood, when did you first become aware of class differences between you and your peers? What were your thoughts and feelings as your awareness and understanding of socioeconomic differences grew?
- Take a moment and think back to when you were a child and first noticed human differences. It could have been someone with a visible or invisible identity, had different skin color or hair than you, talked with an unfamiliar dialect or accent, or wore religious dress you were unfamiliar with. What thoughts and feelings did you have when you noticed these differences? How did you respond? What messages do you think you received by what you heard or did not hear?
- What is your racial and/or ethnic identity? How might you experience your race or ethnicity differently than someone else from the same racial or ethnic identity?
On family, culture, and traditions
- Do you and does your family celebrate the different parts of your identity? If so, how? If not, why?
- What stories did you hear from family members growing up that helped connect to them and your family history?
- What cultural traditions and celebrations are important to you? How do they make up important parts of your identity?
- What were some of the traditions you grew up with? What role do they play in your adult life?
- Which pieces of your identity do you share with others? Which pieces of your identity do you choose not to share with them? Why or why not?
- What is your gender story? Have you experienced limitations because of gender norms?
- What meaning does your name hold for you?
- Reflect on a place or a time in which you felt you belonged. What and who created belonging for you?