Experts from around the world, including professional yoga instructors and brand owners alike, benefit from the wonders of self-reflection. Essentially, self-reflection boils down to one simple premise. You can improve your life by actively observing your thoughts, feelings, and reactions to situations.
Delving into your mind and figuring out why you have these thoughts and reactions can help improve your overall quality of life. Today we are going to take a look at 4 self-reflection tips and how you can use them to make you a better person.
Let’s dive in!
Understand Your Thoughts and Feelings
The first step of mastering self-reflection involves examining your feelings and thoughts and understanding why you feel that way. It’s nearly impossible to make smart decisions about your life if you don’t understand your goals, motivators and thought process.
Start reflecting from a broad perspective. Think about the things that push you forward every day and learn how to articulate your goals. If you can’t say what you hope to accomplish personally and professionally out loud, you’re going to have a hard time analyzing your thoughts and making improvements.
Spend some quiet time throughout the day, writing down thoughts in your journal or on your blog. It’s important to note that during some days you’ll feel less motivated than usual, as such, what you write down might change over time. The most important thing you need to take away from this writing experiment is the cornerstones of self-reflection, which will give you the basics for future exercises.
Look for Observable Patterns
Once you start to grasp your personal goals and values, your next step should be to examine everything you’ve wrote down for some additional self-reflection. When you look at your observations over the last couple of weeks or months, you’ll start to observe patterns in your behavior.
For example, if you always find yourself in a negative mood after being around one co-worker at the office, there’s a good chance that this person is having an overall adverse impact on your mood and ability to self-reflect.
Make sure you’re taking 5 minutes a day to jot down ideas, observations, and patterns that you notice once you’ve become in tune with your body and mind. Most people prefer to keep their personal thoughts to themselves, but if you feel like sharing, people love to read personal blogs that share stories, insights, and observable life patterns.
Respond Instead of React
Another self-reflection tip you can use occurs while you’re in the middle of a conversation. Has someone ever said something to you that elicited an over the top response? The topic could be political, business-related, or personal topics, like child care.
This response is our instinctive reaction to what was said or done, but in many cases, it doesn’t reflect how we would actually handle the statement if we had some time to cool off.
If you want to make the most of your self-reflection journey, you have to learn how to respond to people instead of reacting. In some cases, that might mean picking up the conversation again after you’ve had some time to consider the points of the other person in the conversation, along with your own pre-conceptions and ideas.
Finally, it’s crucial that you learn how to forgive yourself when things don’t go according to plan. How many times have you failed at something small, and beat yourself up over it for weeks? This kind of thinking is not healthy and is a far cry from awareness and self-reflection.
You have to learn to accept the fact that you’re human, and you will make mistakes. We all will. Instead of dwelling on how you messed up, start reflecting on how things could have played out differently. Considering the alternative options and realizing you made a mistake is vital for self-reflection, but so is learning how to forgive yourself.
Use mistakes as an opportunity to learn something new and to hone what you thought you knew. It’s hard to become your best self unless you learn to embrace forgiveness.
We all have our own way of thinking, reflecting, and interacting with the world around us. There’s no one-size-fits-all glove that will help make you an expert at self-reflection. However, you can use these tips to learn more about how and why you think things, which will help you make smarter decisions in the future. The result? You’ll learn to fine-tune the way you think and live your best life through self-reflection