Self reflection is an interesting topic, which seems logical on the surface and deeper once pondered upon. In my experience with self and others, I have noticed that many people fail to employ self reflection in their daily life. Please note, I do not bring this up as a means to shame others or point out weakness. Rather, my goal is to present another tool in the arsenal of enjoying life. I tend to swing to the other extreme of too much self reflection, which has its own hazards – fixating and fatigue that comes with deep, continuous reflection.
For anyone struggling to ingest life and make life events fit, self reflection is an amazing tool. In fact, when performing mental health assessments, an individual’s measure of insight reflects the individual’s ability to change and grow. Self reflection allows one to filter out the opinions of others, world events, assigned gender roles, and so on. All of us were born with an inherent uniqueness so it is crazy to think that any of us would fit inside of a mold. By self reflecting, we can sort out our part in difficult situations and stand tall when others want to scapegoat us.
Here are some tips for applying self reflection to your life.
- Do not take any person or situation at its face value. In life, there are two factors that influence self and others: your wounds/beliefs and others’ wounds/beliefs. When another person is critical of you, that is about their “stuff”. When you allow the opinions of others to influence you, that is about your stuff. In this case, reflection helps you sort out whether what is happening is about you or another person.
- Keeping control in check. In many cases, it is hard to not give/receive advice when the situation calls for it. In this case self reflection allows one to hear what another person/self needs and encourage as opposed to control. For example, in an instance when you/others are having a negative moment. As opposed to performing a checklist of have tos, step into the moment and feel it. Allow that multiple options are available and you will figure out the best one. “I am feeling like I will never get unstuck” as opposed to “I need to get unstuck”. Or with regard to another person ” I hear you feel stuck” as opposed to, “The way I get unstuck is…”. Self reflection allows moments to be as they are and can become moments of great change in the life of self and others.
- Reflect on whether or not your choices work for you. If you constantly struggle to feel you are in a good place on most days, take that as a sign that your choices are not in line with your values. A great way to examine your values is to think about which situations bring you joy and which ones make you uncomfortable. Examining the feelings that go along with your choices will help you discern which parts of your life need work.
- Listen to your intuition. That small voice in our head helps us make good choices. Take stock of what you are feeling and automatically moving towards. In many cases, you can side step a multitude of challenges by listening to your inner voice.
All the best!