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In this modern-day living, most of us tend to live life without properly reflecting and this is usually because we've got our eyes fixed on our big goals and we're just rushing through life. Funnily, many people are beginning to understand the importance of knowing themselves better than anybody else does but creating the time to sit down and think is usually the problem as they'll always say that they have no time for that.
When we speak of self-reflection, you can see it as a tool that gives you the opportunity to analyze your achievements, your skills, your flaws, your fears, your needs, your wants, your aspirations, your position in life, what drives you, and your thoughts. It's more like an advanced form of mental gymnastics that comes with a thorough analytical tool. Selfreflection is a way to find yourself, it can help you start a major change in your life, propel you to take vital actions that are necessary for your growth and development, and assist in organization and planning. It can as well help to calm you down, make you feel confident, identify your goal, and aid you to attain greater motivation.
Self-reflection propels you to ask yourself a set of questions and these questions do help you discover who you are, what you need to do, and lead to more meaningful questions, even though they're extremely basic questions. These questions can do a lot of good in helping you improve your subtle toxic behaviors and they can also help you focus on positive thinking and inspire you to improve on your weaker fields as they become clearer to you. Some of these questions include:
- Do I worry over circumstances, situations, and events that I cannot affect?
- Could it be that I'm paying zero attention to my goals and tasks?
- Have I been passively thinking negatively?
- Do I know that my mind is influenced by my bodily treatment? If I am aware of this, am I treating my body properly?
- Do I just automatically endorse or dismiss some opinions or facts without taking time to analyze them?
- Are there some skill sets that I need to improve upon?
- What are my weakest areas?
- Why do I keep some opinions about myself? What are these opinions?
- Do I know what my strongest skills are?
- Am I holding anything back in achieving my goals?
- Do I know my flaws and what steps am I taking to work on them?
If we intend to proceed with the list of questions that you can ask yourself, we could go on and on and on because the list is endless.
Understanding how significant self-reflection is, this book serves to give you a fine insight into the tangible boons of self-reflection and the intricacies. It connects you with ways to reflect properly and guides you on how to let go of the past to focus on the present.
Chapter 1: Understanding Selfreflection and its Significance
Our everyday living and encounters do give us tons of opportunities to bask in self-love. From window shopping to looking at the mirrors, we're truly faced with countless occasions to adore ourselves and see how beautiful and amazing we are, and while it's indeed beautiful for us to see the beauty in appreciating ourselves for who we are, we should also take time to think of how splendid it would be if we can afford to invest a little time to shine an unveiling light on our consciousness and glance beyond our skin-deep presentations and outer legging-clad exteriors. Delving into the act of self-reflection is very vital when we're looking at our goals and actions but the question is, how often do we consider self-reflection? What of our emotional wellbeing and gut feeling? How often do we check back in with them?
What is Self-reflection?
Self-reflection can be simply explained to be the conscious act of taking an inward look at your emotions, performance, behaviors, and thoughts with the aim of improving and growing. Most times, we put both our personal and professional lives at a detriment when we brush aside this act to the very bottom of our to-do list. Little do we know that our aspirations for the future, gut feelings, and current goals can be aligned with our path when we take time to practice self-reflection.
With self-reflection, you'll get to understand the complex relationship that exists between your goals and emotions, and aside from the intriguing additional insight into the complex manner it provides, it can as well help you become more satisfied in your relationships, increase your productivity at your daily tasks, be better orientated, and become more focused with work when you practice it regularly. As highlighted by Robert L. Rosen, self-reflection has to do with imagining yourself in the future, reflecting on your interactions with others, thinking about your perceptions, assessing your strengths and failures, and questioning yourself about your values.
Why You Need Self-reflection
One can never exhaust the importance of practicing self-reflection.
Whether you thirst to gain a new perspective on a situation or you're in need of guidance, self-reflection is always there to help you. It can help you realign yourself with your core values and beliefs, help you refocus, and it can as well make you take some breaths to relax and then continue later. At times, looking at what makes us feel purposeful and motivated is what we need to do, rather than looking for practical solutions. This could be pretty much applicable if you're attempting something a little different; maybe planning a career switch or thinking of opting in for a change of job. This is because we can feel uplifted and enjoy a more satisfactory life when we're reminded of our talents and aspirations.
Self-reflection gives you the opportunity to make changes that are valuable and positive as it permits you to comprehend more beyond the surface and dig deeper. Many times, our heads are often rumpled up with several different emotions, feelings, and thoughts that need to be sorted and the beautiful thing about self-reflection is that it lets you take back control of what you've let go of mistakenly. It helps you to be honest with yourself, it helps you to get rid of negative influences as you become more equipped to take corrective actions, and all of this depicts that selfreflection does a lot more beyond making you cognizant and conscious of your feelings, emotions, and thoughts.
Another beautiful benefit of self-reflection is that it helps you become honest with yourself about what you can control and it makes you feel at peace with what you can’t control. If you've constantly felt helpless or you've always felt that there's a massive weight on your shoulders, you may want to consider practicing self-reflection for it can help you understand that there are some things you don't have control over and it can as well be handy in managing anxiety, depression, and stress.
What You Should Try to Avoid
Just as self-reflection can be very helpful, it can also be very harmful. For you to avoid the side effects that are likely to come with it, here are a few things you must take note of:
- Don’t get overwhelmed. Patience is the key when you're self-reflecting. Though it's easy to feel "consumed" by the need to cover everything from identity to ideals, relationships, desires, goals, and lots more, just try to focus solely on a subject. Always remember that a single session doesn't have to cover everything you need to reflect on. Create time for other sessions to reflect on other subjects too.
- Shift your focus from moments. Whenever you're practicing selfreflection, it's advisable that you focus on your positive traits and not on your success or failure moments because you're likely to arrive at needless disappointments when you analyze literal mistakes. Since you're not focusing on rewriting history and you just want to improve yourself, you should focus on traits.
- Don’t lie to yourself. One of the costly mistakes you can make is to lie to yourself while you're self-reflecting. Do well not to lie to yourself when you're self-reflecting so that you can reap the full and proper benefits you deserve.
- If you're in a volatile state, don't self-reflect. Whenever you want to carry out a deep analysis like self-reflection, make sure you're conscious of the kind of state you're in. A state of depression is a good example of a volatile state and if you self-reflect in such a state, you're likely to arrive at false views and unreasonable decisions.
Chapter 2: Seven Core Principles for Reflection
Every transformational leader must develop the habit of reflection. Reflection does help us to forge ahead in life, it helps us take actions, and to gain focus as well in our spirit. As the year is rounding off, many would have already started thinking of what they've achieved so far to be aware of how they'll start planning their resolutions. But, before you start planning, it's very important that you look back with these seven core principles for they're quite vital for your reflections.
You gain energy for the future, learn, grow, and experience growth when you are positive while reflecting on your past and therefore it's often recommended that you choose to be positive while you're reflecting since you have the power to choose how you reflect on your past. Never let the mistakes of your past make you reflect negatively. Learn to see mistakes as part of life and the necessities to grow and do better. Even failures are mere opportunities to do better and they're experiments that propel us towards success. So, with a positive spirit, look at how your past has been. Even if you've had some negative experiences, think of the lessons you've learned from them that affected you positively.