The Power of Self Reflection

Self reflection is something I have gotten better at over the past few years. I has contributed to my personal growth as it pertains to relationships, work and my own behavior.

What Is Self Reflection

Self Reflecting is thinking back on past experiences, behavior and thoughts. It’s pulling the lessons out of different situations which cause growth and maturity. Thinking back doesn’t have to be in the distant past. You can also reflect on things that happened during the day as well.

Why Is Reflection Important

Self reflection is important because in order to not repeat the mistakes of the past you must realize what those mistakes are. When you know what the mistakes are you can dig deep to figure out why the mistakes happened and how to prevent those same mistakes going forward. If you have ever had the thought “Why do I keep making the same mistakes?!”, then self reflection is needed. Reflecting is useful for many situations, but the most popular areas of self reflection deal with relationships and our jobs.

Self Reflection and Relationships

Romantic Relationships – Reflecting is very important when it comes to romantic relationships. Relationships end for a reason. Sometimes the reason is not so cut and dry. There are a lot of red flags that could have been missed or ignored during dating, there could have been some communication issues, or maybe compatibility issues. The reasons are endless. That is why when relationships end you need to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work during the relationship. This is how we learn and grow for the next relationship. In relationships we tend to ignore red flags. It could be raining red flags and we get out an umbrella to block it. But eventually the rain will become a hurricane and no umbrella can save you from that. Don’t ignore the red flags!

Family & Friend Relationships – At times we don’t always say or do the right things when it comes to friends and family and vice versa. Also there might have been a time or you might currently have a friend in your circle that is toxic. Just like in romantic relationships you have to notice red flags when it comes to friendships and family as well. There have been times when I thought a friend or family member had my back, but it turned out that was not the case. I noticed some toxic behavior, but I didn’t really pay it any attention because I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. I ended up learning the hard way.

On the flip side, you could be the friend or family member that is being toxic or not supportive. If that is the case then you need to first figure out what is driving this behavior and how can you correct it. Evaluating your own behavior can be hard to do for most people. Sometimes having someone else to talk it over with can help, like a life coach or a therapist. Also you could ask your friends or family what are some things you might need to work on, or what can you do to be more supportive. There have been times when I had to reflect on something I said out of anger and apologize right away because I knew deep down I was wrong. We all want to be treated well, so we should treat people the same. Reflecting and correcting helps you do that.

Relationship With Ourselves – This has a lot to do with self love. Reflecting helps us realize how we treat ourselves and the things we do to ourselves that jeopardize our emotional or physical wellbeing. Our internal dialogue, having a negative mindset and putting our bodies at risk can all jeopardize our wellbeing. Check out my blog post that goes more in detail about improving self love. When we reflect back on the unhealthy behavior, we can figure out ways to fix that behavior to increase our happiness.

Reflection At Work

There have been many times when I have had to reflect about work experiences. When I’m thinking of ways to become more efficient or thinking of way to handle a tough situation, I reflect. This will help you get done with work tasks quicker, process constructive criticism better and figure out better ways to deal with difficult co-workers. In the past I used to get upset when bosses would tell me something I needed to improve on. When I thought back after the fact, I began to understand the advice they were giving me. That allowed me to become a better employee. Nobody wants to be told that they are doing something wrong, but if you shift your mindset about what they are saying, then you will be able to get the lesson out of it.

Questions to Ask Yourself While Reflecting

•             What are some red flags that I ignored in my current or past relationships?

•             Why did I choose to ignore these red flags?

•             When I see these red flags in the future, how will I handle that situation better this time around?

•             When is a time that I didn’t listen to useful advice from family, friends or at work?

•             Why did I think this advice was not useful at the time?

•             How will I better process advice in the future?

•             How did my mindset affect a tough situation?

•             What was the real reason for this mindset?

•             What type of mindset shift would have made this situation better?

These questions help not only identify things that happened in the past, but they also force you to look deeper into why these things happened. After that you can figure out how to make better choices in the future. I have had to ask myself all of these questions multiple times in my life. As I’ve gotten older the answers to these questions have become clearer.  When you become more knowledgeable about relationships, self love and having a positive mindset you will easily realize where things went wrong and how to move forward in the right direction.

So take this time to reflect, ask yourself tough questions and grow.

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