For many of us the the only time we reflect on events in our lives is New Year’s Eve. We get a bit drunk and talk about the things we wanted to do, but didn’t get around to. I used to be guilty of this, until I realised the importance of self reflection.
It’s easy to get caught up with the day to day stuff in life and forget to take time to self reflect. Disciplining yourself to simply stop and reflect on your day can be hard, given our busy lives, but it is important to recognise the journey you have taken every day, no matter how big or small.
Experts say that we take in 2 million pieces of information every second of our conscious and unconscious lives. We filter them down to approximately 174 pieces, then again to between 5-7. Wow, that is a lot of information! Self-reflection can help you pick out the smallest, relevant piece of information which can sometimes be the most influential to you, in your life.
Why is self reflection so important?
1. To make sense of things going on in your life – Self reflection is a really important tool to help look at where you are in your life, where you want to be and how you can get there.
2. To challenge your thoughts – we have a tendency to focus on the negatives or our perceived weaknesses. Take a moment to write these things down and actually see if they are as bad as you think they are. I think you might be surprised to find that they aren’t that bad in the grand scheme of things.
3. To recognise what needs to change in your life – Self reflection can help you shift your mindset and tackle each day more positively. If you find yourself thinking negatively about yourself, try to think about the things you like or what you need to do, to feel better about yourself.
4. To ensure you live your life, fully – reflection can help you realise what you have accomplished each day and can encourage you to think about how you can change your days to make sure you get the most out of them.
How to self reflect
Make sure that you are in the right environment for you, away from any distractions or interruptions. Ask yourself what is on your mind that needs resolving. Taking time to ask yourself important questions will enable you to have a better understanding of your strengths, weakness and what motivates you. Remember to be 100% truthful with yourself, otherwise it is a pointless exercise. Identify some questions that start with “How can I” or “What is”, as these are thought provoking questions that will help you come to a solution. Write your answers down. Make a decision and stick to it.
Self-reflection will help you gain a better understanding of yourself. It will naturally help you to become more resilient and able to deal with challenging situations.
Give it a go – you have nothing to lose!
Make the Change!