In this lesson we will be looking at the importance of self-reflection and how practicing this can help you understand your self better and be kinder to yourself
What is Self-reflection
Self-reflection is careful thought about your character, motivations and actions. Think of it like an inward mirror. How many times do we look in a mirror in a day to check our outward appearance? We assess how we look, straighten our clothes, brush our hair and check if we measure up to how we want to appear and then we feel ready go out. Self-reflection is the same principal but instead looks at character, motivations, attitudes and fears to see if there are things we need to straighten out.
Why is self-reflection important?
- Develops self-awareness
- Increased self-acceptance
- Creates freedom & peace
- Emotional intelligence
- See progress
- Develops genuine self-confidence
Reasons we might avoid self-reflection
- No time
- Too many distractions
- Seems like hard work
- Not knowing how to
How to practice self-reflection
By scheduling a specific time for self-reflection, you are holding yourself accountable for practicing this very important skill. Starting with a realistic goal is the best way to give this new habit an easy start to grow stronger as you make progress. You can start with a five to ten minutes practice a day and see if this fits well in your schedule and if it feels right in the moment.
Of course, any type of practice requires commitment and devotion but remember to not turn it into an obsession which would only lead to negative results. If possible, schedule a time of the day when you are as relaxed as possible, when you can free your mind from work obligations, stressful thoughts or family responsibilities. All in all, it has to be a moment that you take for yourself, to communicate with yourself and work toward self-improvement and knowledge through self-inquiry.
- Schedule some time
- Free your mind from stresses of the day
- Focus on yourself
- Avoid distractions
2. Keep a journal
Another tool to consider is journaling. Writing daily in a journal is a practice that helps to get in touch with yourself and regroup your thoughts. There is no imperative to solve the problem or to come to any conclusion: simply letting go and writing or drawing in a notebook can be extremely beneficial and therapeutic. It also helps to unfold the many layers of an experience or a feeling, by connecting with our heart and mind and connecting them on paper with ink.
3. Ask yourself some questions
The starting point of the self-reflection process begins with asking yourself the right questions to process who you are, what you do and how you think and feel.
- What do I want?
- What am I avoiding?
- What am I grateful for?
- What am I afraid of?
Split your journal/notebook page into 4 sections with each of the questions above these as headings. Then take some time to detail your answers.
4. Identify your strengths and weaknesses
Asking yourself the right questions will also help with identifying your strengths and weaknesses
- What do I like about myself
- What am I good at?
- What do others like about me?
- What don’t I like about myself?
- What do I struggle with?
- What could I be better at?
Divide a page in your journal/notebook into two columns with the headings strengths and weaknesses and answer these questions for yourself.