Self-reflection is not an idea, but a necessary art to give your mind perspective. The basic purpose for self-reflection is to analyze, assimilate, acknowledge and apply solutions. This is not as complex as it sounds. It may take a while but the eventual benefits are worth the effort.
The Benefits Of Self-Reflection
Self-reflection is primarily a process of self-assessment, helping you devise a strategy to pursue a certain outcome. Your mind needs to focus instead of wandering aimlessly. By reflecting on certain questions and thinking of appropriate solutions, your mind goes over problems in a more systematic manner. Self-reflection helps you prioritize and find the best way to deal with an issue.
Spot Opportunities & Threats
Self-reflection is effective if you are completely honest about your strengths and weaknesses. A SWOT analysis helps your professional and personal life. While making the most of your opportunities, knowing the threats helps you navigate pitfalls. It is imperative to understand your skill set, behaviour, belief, reactions, values, assumptions etc. to achieve a better outcome.
While self-reflecting, you use multiple lenses to look at yourself. Different perspectives help you tap into your emotions and understand them from various angles. Paying attention to your thoughts is the key to interpreting your emotions and reactions. Self-reflection gives you a better grasp on appropriate responses, in any situation.
Confidence & Understanding
Self-reflection helps you understand yourself, giving you the confidence to tackle matters with a level-headed approach. Understanding the perspective of others is an important part of self-reflection. Considering different options, helps you discover new solutions.
Growth & Productivity
Self-reflection focusses the mind and energy on a particular goal making you sharper and more productive, leading to eventual growth. Uncertainty about your goals will be detrimental.
Clarity & Decision Making
One of the major benefits of self-reflection is clarity, which makes you a better decision maker. By conducting an internal Q and A session, you are exposed to your goals, fears, shortcomings, and opportunities. If you are goal oriented, your mind will strive for the optimum way to achieve results.
How Can You Self-Reflect
Maintain A Journal
If writing gives you comfort, self-reflect using this practice. It will help direct your thoughts and get to the root of the matter.
Asking questions is crucial for self-reflection. Without questions, there are no answers. Some examples of good self-reflective questions include: Am I good enough for the position of the manager? Are my co-workers happy with me? Do I have to work on my communication skills?
Bridge The Gap
There is a difference between what you say, what you do, what you think and what you feel. It is crucial to reflect on each of these segments, to understand where the discrepancy lies.
The Big Why?
You cannot afford to work on this process without “Why?” The idea of self-reflection is to direct you and this direction is of no use unless there is an end goal. The ‘why’ helps you formulate the end goal. While one mostly tends to look at a ‘why’ from an external perspective, eg: Why is the boss so angry always? Effort must be made to have ‘why’s’ addressed internally too, eg: Why is my work not up to the mark and why am I disappointing my boss?
Self-reflection is impossible if you are distracted. Whether for ten minutes or an hour, it requires your full concentration. Set aside a specific time and if the concentration is difficult, try to meditate and focus your wavering mind, before continuing your self-reflection.
Ultimately self-reflection is about your relationship with yourself. An inability to self-reflect obstructs your progress. You can always do it in small doses and find the best path for you, but shirking this process prevents you from personal growth.