By Julie Allen, a Dream Career and Life Coach in the Seattle area.
Imagine your spirit floating out of your body and looking down at yourself. All your emotions are left behind and only the rational thinking part of you is observing your life and scenes as they pass by.
This is not an easy thing to just sit and imagine. Our natural tendency is to navigate through life solving current problems with the chatter of our fictitious thoughts and the pull of our emotions with little time for reflection.
Classic Christmas Movies That Demonstrate Self-Improvement
It would be much easier if we had the same experience of Ebenezer Scrooge with the spirits or George Bailey with a guardian angel. Their supernatural interventions forced them to observe their past actions and feel accountable for what choices they made next.
If we could have the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future force us to see ourselves for who we are, even the vilest and most ugly parts of ourselves, such as in the story of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, would we too be able to alter our fate? Would we all of a sudden decide to be completely accountable for the choices we make?
Similarly with the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” by Frank Capra, what would happen if we had an angel come to us and show us our life, demonstrating all the good we have done and how life would be without our contribution? Would we be encouraged and want to continue? Would we be inspired by even deeper longings to serve others?
We rarely take time to observe ourselves, study our actions, discover our patterns, and ask ourselves probing questions. We are so consumed by our demanding jobs and fast-paced lives that we fail to see the bigger picture.
Here are seven suggestions to stimulate self-observations and make things in your life more transparent by removing the veil.
#1. Journaling: We can write out our thoughts, past disappointments, life scenarios as they unfold. By writing about our lives we can observe ourselves in words using the basic tools of pen and paper.
#2. Letters: Writing letters to yourself forces you to step outside of who you currently are and imagine options or see patterns. You can write a letter from your current self to your future or past self.
#3. Interviews: Have a family or friend interview you. Here are some good questions to start with. If I had my own TV show what would it be about? What have you learned from me?
#4. Self Portraits and Self Videos: Drawing and taking a picture of yourself or making a video will force you to look at how you present yourself so you can see what your strengths or weaknesses may be.
#5. Scrapbook, Portfolio & Vision Board: Completing a scrapbook or portfolio with pictures and important papers can help with self-reflecting on your past accomplishments and areas you have developed and grown. A vision board is a powerful tool to capture the vision of your next version, using pictures and words that describe the kind of person and life you want to have in the future.
#6. Questions: If you can ask yourself probing and open-ended questions you will be able to see your situations from different perspectives. Questions like why am I choosing to behave this way? What are my core values? What do I want to do with the rest of my life?
#7. Life Coach: Oftentimes doing these exercises on our own can feel overwhelming. Working with a trained life coach can be a great way to have someone else guide you through a self-observation experience. A life coach can help you to see your current state, then help you to develop a plan for how to change and become the next best version of yourself.
Commit to Becoming More Self-Aware
Most people won’t take the time to do even one of these ideas within their lifetime but as you are thinking of it and understand the value, commit to trying the one that resonates the most with you. There is no time better than the present to try something new especially if you feel stuck and are ready to make a change.