We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience (John Dewey)

            One question I often ask my clients is, “What did you learn from the experience?” I ask them to reflect and share their thoughts.  Life is about learning from experiences and growing into the person you want to become.  It is often a new skill to learn and develop, to find some quiet time, turning off the phone and the computer and just “be present” with your thoughts and reflect on them.  It is a skill, and like all skills it takes time to cultivate and to master. It is often difficult to unplug and to spend the necessary time on developing the ability for quiet reflection. Each time you practice quiet reflection, you become a little more skilled.  You understand yourself a little better, and with that growth comes strength in yourself and your abilities.  It is hard to take the time to listen to your own thoughts and remember that this time of quiet helps you to grow as a person.  Take a few deep breaths and relax. Let your mind shut off, or let it wander into your memories and experiences.  Look at all the benefits of quiet reflection.

You might be a bit apprehensive about giving yourself quiet time, but silence can be quite valuable because it allows you the time to plan the day, reflect on the journey, your goals, your vision, and personal mission statement. This quiet reflection creates clarity and hopeful energy for the future and the goals that you have set for your future. Having clarity and hopeful energy encourages you to re-examine your goals and the action plan, making sure that they are realistic and that you are moving towards achieving the goal.  It allows for thoughtful evaluation.  Are you moving toward the goals and future you see for yourself, or have you stumbled and need to re-focus on the goal?  Each day is the opportunity to grow forward to the person you want to be.  Quiet reflection allows you to create the space to evaluate your performance and what it is that you want to change. Consistent quiet reflection is a self-check in on our performance and making sure you are living the principles that are important to you.

Reflecting upon your actions, thoughts, and feelings makes you more introspective and observant of your own character.  Quiet reflection allows you to acknowledge your overall strengths and weaknesses as a person. Being self-aware of who you are, where you’re going, where you’ve been, and how you got there are all elements in developing a personal sense of meaning and fulfillment.  It is about looking at the situations you have encountered and what knowledge you learned about yourself and those around you.  As human beings we are constantly interacting, wanting to belong to be appreciated.  Having quiet time to self-reflect allows us to enjoy the positive moments and those warm emotions and also to examine the negative moments and the emotions associated with them and how to grow from the experience so that we do not repeat the same mistake again. 

In today’s world of mass social media it is important for this quiet reflection. Listening to your own  conscience and gaining perspective of your own self is increasingly important in maintaining a sense of identity and purpose. Live according to your own purpose and vision before considering the thoughts and opinions of others.  A life coach is a valuable resource in a teenager’s village to help them discover their values, purpose, and personal mission statement.

After these moments of quiet reflection, you’ll better understand who you are as a person and what your conscience is telling you. Always allow yourself some time to be present in your own mind, and your mind alone.