Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.
– Peter Ducker
I am asked, “Why do we need to reflect?” “What is the purpose of reflection?” As an adult, I am too busy with work, kids, and life to find the time to stop and reflect. But taking time for self-reflection is so important, and here are three reasons why.
Self-reflection builds self-awareness as it allows us to look with curiosity at our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions. It is a chance to step back and ask, the why and what is behind our actions and emotions. Self-reflection leads you to growth, positivity, and happiness.
Self-reflection is an essential skill for personal growth. Without it, we walk around unconscious and often reactive to others and even our own selves. We have all had that conversation with our teen, where we blurt out something mean, inappropriate, or sarcastic. The moment the words are out, we want to eat them, to take them back. We regretted the comment the moment the words were out. Those words are based on an emotional response, and self-reflection might assist you in choosing healthier responses and changing behaviors (even thoughts) that aren’t working well for you. After all, communication is the relationship, and evaluating how we communicate, what we say, and how we say it is so important.
The intent of self-reflection is to assist you in positive change, not to bring you down, or to make you feel like a bad person or a bad parent. Our children are changing and we are changing. We are constantly growing and learning and discovering a new and better version of ourselves. Let self-reflection instead lead you to better ways to support yourself, practice self-compassion, and listen to your inner knowing. Where are your strengths, how to build on them. How do you grow your weaknesses into strengths? Consistent positive self-reflection can help in your process of personal and spiritual growth and transformation.
Reflection is often performed through writing, possibly because this allows us to probe our reflections and develop them more thoughtfully. I like to write down at the end of the day what I have done well, and how to do it better. I also like to reflect on where or what was my biggest “screw up”, and how do I do better, and what do I need to do to make sure I do not repeat that mistake. Because let’s be realistic, I can find a new way to mess things up tomorrow, the possibilities are endless. The one thing that is also endless is the grace I give myself, to know that I am trying my best and tomorrow is an opportunity to apologize and to work toward a better version of myself. It is all in a positive frame of mind, that growth mindset that I can and will do better.
Now, if you want to experience the benefits of self-reflection, but need a little assistance, working with a life coach can be helpful.