Life is becoming fast paced, in fact, our lives have never been busier than we are today, and this is the number one reason why we need to master the power of self-reflection. What are the benefits of self-reflection? How can self-reflection enable me to achieve my goals and new years resolutions?
Good or Bad?
Over the years self-reflection has been given a bad reputation, we are taught that self-focus is destructive and leads to narcissism which is the pinnacle of a, me first attitude without any regard to an individual’s surrounding world. There is a distinct difference between self-focus, self-criticism and self-reflection. Self-focus is simply turning your focus off the outside world and to yourself, however, self-criticism takes the process one step further by viewing yourself and your actions through a critical lens, but there is no evaluation or application, a simple highlight of what is not working without regard to what is actually going on beneath the surface because we do not fail or mess up in a vacuum; it’s important to note that life doesn’t always transpire as originally planned, nevertheless it is beneficial to understand why or how events go wrong, because a moment of failure is an opportunity to learn to better yourself and to take a different and more effective course of action.
Much Needed Time-Out
Self-reflection gives you an opportunity to take a much-needed time out from your busy fast paced life to simply, slow down, pause and reflect in order to take stock of where you are, where you are going and what you are doing. We often fail to take the time to reflect upon where we are at in life and without self-reflection we may never achieve our dreams and as a result, we risk going down a path or in a direction that we never intended.
Reflection Builds Awareness
Self-reflection is a tool that enables you to live a life of intention, which builds awareness; in fact many of our life goals remain undiscovered because of a lack of reflection and self-awareness. In order to increase your chances of reaching your goals, you need to have a greater awareness of your current behavioural patterns and its impact upon the achievement or distraction from your goals. The process of self-reflection reveals an awareness of the discrepancy between your current state and your goals, which is critical to self-improvement.
A Great Motivator
Self-reflection creates a temporary pain or a fear of pain that can be associated with the realisation of a discrepancy between our current state and our goals. This fear of pain is a driving force, which is a great motivator and can spur us on toward achieving your goals. This pain or sting associated with an individual’s discrepancy plays a crucial role in changing behaviour. Self-reflection goes beyond admitting a weakness or a moment of failure, instead it is a contemplation of an event, focusing on what you did, how you felt and what you learned from the experience as well as how you will move forward and change your behaviour in the future.
My personal self-reflection time has contributed to moments of inspiration and revelation. I believe it is a powerful and essential element of my personal development toolkit. In everything I do, I daily stop to reflect and to ponder whether I am in alignment with my goals and dreams. I believe it is essential to stop and reflect upon where I am in regards to my goals and dreams because these moments of reflection have given me the answers to my next steps towards achieving my goals.
The Art of Self-Reflection
Make a decision today, to integrate the practice of self-reflection into your regular routine. Set aside 15 minutes in the morning or evening, at least three times a week, if not every day. Find a quite place to sit and reflect, start to focus on your breathing. It is important to breathe deeply after a few moments start to reflect on the events of your day and focus on three
Ask yourself, are your events, projects, tasks and daily activities, giving you a deep sense of personal satisfaction. If not, remember you are not alone. The majority of people fill their lives with activities, giving themselves a sense of busyness without really stopping to consider whether their choices are contributing to a greater purpose or the fulfilment of a life goal or dream. This busyness distracts you from reflecting upon your life and removing the areas that are either distracting or dissatisfying.
Ask yourself, what have I done today that will contribute to achieving my goals and dreams. It is small things done consistently that will enable your to achieve your goals and reach great heights of success. When the majority of people fail to achieve their goals because they do not break them down into bite-sized chunks. When you reflect upon the small actionable steps or perhaps a lack of actionable steps, it takes your focus of the large goals and shifts your focus to small daily tasks, which contribute to a larger goal. This reflective question enables you to highlight the small things you have achieved or where you are going wrong and gives you an opportunity to make the necessary corrections for tomorrow.
Ask yourself, what can I do differently tomorrow that will bring me closer to achieving my goals? It is important to realise that everyone falls off the wagon at some point, but the key to successfully achieving your goals is not to see these moments as a permanent failure but a temporary glitch or moment. When you ask yourself this question, you shift your mindset from failure to how can I do things differently.
As always, insight without action is futile. How do you plan on making self-reflection a part of your daily routine? Or, do you have insights on your experience with self-reflection? Please let me know by using the comments box below. Thank you for reading, sharing and commenting with such kindness and enthusiasm.