Every day we look at our own self-reflection in the mirror, but that is only our outer appearance. We know our outer self very well. What color our eyes are, the shape of our nose, how tall we are.
But how often do we take time to examine our inner-self?
I believe that the practice of self-reflection is a skill everyone should work on more.
In this blog post, we are going to take a look at what self reflection is, why it’s important, and how to make it a part of your daily routine.
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What is Self Reflection
Self-Reflection is a method used to get to know your inner-self better in a mindful and open-minded way. It is the key to better self-awareness as it allows you to look at your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions.
Through self reflection, you can learn more about yourself – who you are, why you do and think the way you do, your values, motivations, and attitudes toward your life and desires.
It is important to know these things about yourself so you can see where you are headed and adjust accordingly with the person you want to be.
Why is it Important: 5 Benefits to Self Reflection
As I mentioned, self reflection gives you the ability to focus on becoming the person you wish to be. That is why it’s important to include self reflection as a part of your personal growth journey. After all, how can you expect to become a better version of yourself if you don’t examine yourself regularly?
There are many benefits to practicing self reflection as a part of your personal growth journey.
Here are my top 5 benefits:
1. Improves Mindfulness
Self reflection can help you be more mindful throughout the day. It helps you to think deeper about situations and helps you understand why you react the way you do to different circumstances.
As you reflect more on yourself, you’ll start to better understand your values and what you want out of life. You’ll become more mindful of your choices because you know what you want the outcome to be.
2. Gives You a Better Perspective On Life
Self reflection is a way to analyze your thoughts and emotions. It can help you view situations with a more calming sense, and without the cloud of emotions.
This can be very effective when you are feeling overwhelmed about something. Try sitting with your emotions and reflect on why you feel the way you do. It can make that emotion feel much lighter and give you a sense of relief.
Reflection helps you determine what really matters, because we often think up things to be much bigger than they really are.
3. Helps With Decision-Making
As you use self reflection to get to know yourself better, you will begin to understand what really matters to you and what doesn’t. Then when you face a certain situation, you can make the decision on how to deal with it easier.
Did you know most of our daily decisions we make come from our unconscious mind? In fact, about 90% of our decisions are made unconsciously!! Isn’t that crazy?!
That’s why self reflecting often is so important. It helps you program your values and motivations into your subconscious mind so that you can make unconscious decisions that are still a line with your values.
4. Forces You To Slow Down
Most days, everyone, including me, are often moving at the speed of light.
We are busier and burnt out more than ever, and we often measure our worth by how much we get done in a day, or how quickly we can do a task.
Unfortunately, many people end up viewing being busy as a badge of honor.
Having a daily self reflection practice will instead help you to slow down and live in the present moment. This allows you to appreciate the little things you do get done each day, and will less likely lead you to burn out.
5. Gives You Time to Celebrate Yourself and Your Accomplishments
How often do you actually take the time to celebrate your accomplishments, big or small?
You always have something to celebrate.
Did you get out of bed before noon today? That’s an accomplishment!
Did you make a salad instead of grabbing a bag of chips? That’s also an accomplishment worth celebrating.
If you stop and reflect on the past day, week, or month, you’ll see you have a lot to celebrate.
Tip: during my morning routine time, I like to write down a minimum of 3 things that I accomplished the day before. This helps set me to celebrate myself first thing in the morning and gives me the motivation to keep working on me every day.
How to Practice Self Reflection
Before we dive into how to reflect, I want to share a quick tip:
Self Reflect Without Judgment
During your reflection time, make sure you aren’t judging yourself for decisions you made in the past. It already happened, it’s in the past, so don’t dwell on it.
Instead, focus on how you can improve going forward.
Self Reflection is about improving yourself, not bringing yourself down.
There are many ways to practice self reflection, but I’ve found that the best way is to use writing as a way to process my thoughts and feelings. If you’ve been here before, you’ll know that I’m big into journaling. Ever since I’ve made journaling a daily practice of mine I’ve discovered a lot about my inner-self.
Journaling can help you learn more about your attitude patterns, your habits and notice regular themes that come up in your life.
Try using journaling as a way to practice self reflection. You could start by just free writing with whatever comes to mind or try some of these journal prompts:
Related: How to Start a Journal
Make Self Reflection Part of Your Daily Routine
Another way you can practice self-reflection is by doing a quick check-in at the end of every day.
You can review what you accomplished that day, what made you most grateful, and what you wish you had done differently.
Tip: Do your quick self reflection check-in right before you make your plans for the next day. Partnering the two tasks will give you motivation to plan to accomplish even more tomorrow. Plus you can take note of the lessons you learned that day and apply them to your plan for tomorrow.
5 Quick Self Reflection Questions
Here are a few self reflection questions to get you started:
- What are my strengths? Make note of the things you do well, that make you proud of yourself.
- What are my weaknesses? Not your personality traits or personal habits that you think make you less effective.
- What are 5 things that make me happy? Write down things in your life, big or small, that fill you with joy every time.
- What are 5 things that bring me down? Write down things in your life that stress you out, make you anxious, or make you less happy.
- What did I do today/this week that I’m proud of? Celebrate your accomplishments, big or small.
Self Reflection on Your Personal Growth Journey
Self reflection is a very important practice you should do while you are focusing on your personal growth and development. A major part of your personal growth is being able to look at your own personal characteristics, behaviors, attitudes, and actions, and how they play a role in making up who you are.
Make a plan to include self reflection in your daily, weekly, and monthly routine. I recommend starting with a monthly reflection routine. It’s less overwhelming than finding time every day or every week.
Want to learn more about personal growth? Check out this ebook The Ultimate Personal Growth Guide. You’ll learn 10 different strategies for working on yourself and start taking steps towards becoming the best version of yourself!
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