The Power of Self-Reflection: Why Is It So Important?
So much of WHO we are is about WHERE we have been. We do not learn from our experiences…Rather, we learn from REFLECTING on our experiences.
As they say, sometimes you need to take a few steps back to move forward stronger.
Until you take the journey to self-reflection, it will be difficult to evolve into the person you truly want to become. This powerful practice of personal analysis can help you align your life into what you wish it to be.
So, let’s talk about:
Top Benefits & Importance of Self-Reflection
There is tremendous power in self-reflection. Self-reflection, simply put, is the practice of spending some time reflecting on a certain span of period gone by in your life – it could be a year, a week, and sometimes, even a day. It helps gain clarity on where you want to go…and how you plan to get there.
The top benefits of self-reflection include:
- Better decision-making
- Greater clarity of thought
- Improved relationships
- Reduced stress levels
- Living more consciously
A report in Harvard Business Review says that self-reflection is especially important for corporate leaders as it gives the brain an opportunity to pause amidst the chaos and untangle the experiences to create meaning. This “meaning-making” is essential for evolution and can help you make better choices.
How to Practice Self-Reflection?
Reflection is often done as writing or journaling, possibly because this allows us to probe our reflections and develop them more thoughtfully.
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, journaling can help reduce anxiety by helping you track day-to-day triggers so that you can manage your emotions better. Journaling is also a powerful tool to cope with depression.
Here are a few pointers to help you journal your thoughts and clear your headspace, so you can be in a better position to make the changes you need in your life. You can reflect on these particular events in your life in the year gone by or a specific period time such as the past six months.
- 3 Game Changers
- 3 Things You Focused On
- 3 Things You Forgot
- 3 Disappointments
- 3 Things You Want to Do
(Note: If listing three events is overwhelming, you can begin with one and work your way up when you are ready. Also, some people journal better after a short meditation. If you want to know more about meditation, you can read this article: Meditation for Beginners: All You Need to Know!)
Game Changers: Unexpected Events that Shifted Your Priorities
Game changers can be big or small events that were unforeseen and forced you to change the course of your life in some way. For instance, one of the biggest game-changers for all of us has been the pandemic caused due to the COVID-19 virus. It has forced all of us to change our priorities to health first, for ourselves and our loved ones.
Top Things You Focused On: Where You Put Most of Your Time & Efforts Into
While this pointer seems simple, it may help you see what you give your most amount of attention to. It’s a wonderful way to also understand if the activities are what you want to continue to put time and effort into. Because remember, whatever you focus on…grows.
List of Things You Forgot: What You Didn’t Get Around To
Self-reflection helps you remember all the things that you wanted to do but just fell off the wayside. Like the book you always wanted to read or the swimming lessons that you never got the time to sign up for. It could also be something that you wanted to commit to – like perhaps regular lunch dates with your best friend but you never made time for it.
Disappointments: Missed Opportunities
Someone wise once said, “Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity”. Were there opportunities that you missed because you wanted to play it safe? List it down. Sometimes, we miss the obvious signs of love, happiness, and success because we make the same choices out of habit.
Things You Want to Do Differently/New Things You Want to Try
This could be as simple as reflecting if you want to have a more positive attitude at your workplace or perhaps, start setting daily goals. You could also make a list of new skills you want to learn or perhaps, new experiences that you want to manifest in the coming months. Writing this out will help you put it on paper, and you may find that you will invite it into your life sooner than you think!