Self-reflection is an act or exercise in which we contemplate and examine our thoughts and feelings. We evaluate the things that we did and decide what to do next.
The practice of self-examination improves self-awareness and helps us notice our emotions, traits and behaviors. Introspection also helps us understand ourselves better so that we can improve and reinvent ourselves and make behavior changes to help us reach our goals and make life improvements.
Daily-reflection is one of the best ways to acquire wisdom. When we start to observe and ponder about life, we will notice that we are all involved and connected to each other. Self-reflection enables us to see our responses to events and the causes and effects.
So if you don’t want to keep making the same mistakes and if you want to see progress, improvement and growth, start to put aside quiet time for reflective thinking. When you really ponder and observe your actions, habits, decisions and attitudes, you will gain insights. You acquire the ability not to get carried away by the negativity that is happening inside and around you. It brings out your awareness and prevents you from making wrong judgments.
Self-reflection increases mental functioning. From the privacy of your thoughts, you have the opportunity to work from the inside. In silence and deep thoughts, you can hear the low internal voices that you were unconscious of in the midst of outside noises. It is a channel of internal communication between your conscious and unconscious minds.
You can use introspection as a means to ask your unconscious to provide you with answers to the questions that you have been pondering. The answer will come in the form of impression or feeling. To hear it, you mustn’t resist. Just listen and trust. The more you take the time to reflect, the easier it will become for you to see the direction it is leading.
Now that you are aware of the benefits of self-reflection, let’s go through the process.
Each day, record your thoughts, observations and activities in a journal or diary. It is better if you have a specific goal to monitor or track. At the end of the day, go through your journal, evaluate and ask yourself questions such as…
- What did I do?
- What did I say?
- How did I feel?
- How should I have reacted?
- What did I achieve?
- What have I overlooked?
- How should I act and feel in future?
After getting the answers, do not stop there because you may feel bad about yourself if you have made mistakes or have done something silly or embarrassing. Remember that asking these questions is not meant to look for your faults. It is a method to gain self understanding.
Proceed with a soul searching exercise. Ask yourself questions like…
- What can I learn from this experience?
- What can I do to improve or to correct and make it or myself better?
- Can I improve it or improve myself further?
- What are my strengths and how can I capitalize them?
- What can I do next?
When you have finished answering these questions, you will notice things that you were not aware of. Use them to set new goals and to plan a new strategy or action steps. Take action on what you have written.
If you continue to practice self-reflection consistently, it also improves your resilience. You are able to bounce back from difficult situations and problems faster compared to those who do not take the time to do reflective thinking.