Often, we simply move from one thing to the next, without pausing to think, reflect, or gain a deeper understanding of our lives. Without self-reflection, we don’t take notice of things when they are going well or when they’re not. A lack of reflection causes us to not make the necessary changes when things aren’t going well. As a result, we repeat the same actions even if they don’t serve us, which creates a feeling of being stuck. For example, we may stay in a job we don’t like or continue a relationship that isn’t fulfilling.
When we choose to reflect, we identify the thoughts, emotions, and motivations surrounding why something took place, its impact and then evaluate whether it should happen again. It requires taking a moment out of life to analyse ourselves, which is not easy to do. However, assessing your personal values and understanding why you respond to situations the way you do means building self–awareness. By reflecting on how you behave and what thoughts enter your mind during different situations, you can monitor your thoughts and emotions as they arise to then respond appropriately. You can see where you are headed, determine whether you are happy with that direction, and make adjustments as necessary. Therefore, practising self-reflection takes discipline, intention and enables us to live more holistic, fulfilling, and healthy lives.
Self-reflection is a journey that will allow you to gain perspective, respond more effectively and promotes learning and understanding. Some things in the moment seem more significant and worse than they are. Self-reflection allows you to take a step back and gain perspective on what matters and what can be ignored. It enables you to process events and achieve clarity on them. Most of the time, we simply react to whatever circumstances come our way. Unfortunately, this can lead to us saying and doing things we regret. When we are reactive, we do not take the necessary time to consider our actions and words. Personal reflection, on the other hand, is proactive. It allows you to consider the consequences of your words and actions. It also enables you to find the most effective and helpful way to act in a given situation. Self-awareness, usually refer to the identification of traits, behaviours, and feelings. However, self-reflection refers to a psychological state in which you look at yourself, who you are, how you behave, and how different situations impact you. Learning how to become more self-aware and reflective is a step to creating the life you want. It is easier for you to understand other people and create a sense of perspective if you are self-aware through reflection.
Questions to practice self-reflection and mindfulness habits
One way to be mindful is by asking self-reflective questions. Set yourself an achievable goal and explore the factors of your life that increase or decrease your likelihood of achieving it. To find greater clarity for the direction of your plan, create a process to help you achieve it. For example:
- What is your goal?
- How are you facilitating this goal?
- What is hindering you from achieving this goal?
- How can you change these factors to achieve it?
This blog post was created with ❤️ by Sarah Louise Watson (CSMCOSCA, MBPsS)