The year has drawn to a close and when it does, it is a great time to take some time to reflect and evaluate everything that has transpired, both the ups and the downs. Especially, so that you can hit the road running this year!
Some reflect at the end of the year, and some continue to do so through the months of January, whilst slowly putting things into motion…
It is through reflection that learning and growth happen, whilst embracing new changes and new opportunities. Whilst reflecting it is important to be open and honest with oneself that will enable you to make your dreams come true and executable because nobody knows you better than you!
As Dwek Dyer says, ‘If you change the way you look at things, things will change.’ With that, I would like to add that it is, ‘Let go of the things you can’t change or control- focus on the things you can.’
Self-reflection is all about being able to observe and question openly and honestly with oneself to grow as a person. Being able to face the uncomfortable and embrace the difficult. That growth is the reason why it is so important to spend time on personal reflection
Reflecting regularly and understanding who you were and are now; who you’d like to become and by identifying your values and beliefs, can help in identifying the steps you need to take for your journey. Reflecting upon how you think, feel and act by knowing what thoughts enter your mind in response to events and situations in the world around you, enables you to see what you need to work and focus on; especially the ones you cannot control.
In essence, self-reflection is a way to make lots of small corrections away from less desirable thoughts, feelings and behaviours toward those that promote greater wellbeing.
Think about a time this year when your goal or the way you acted didn’t go as you had hoped. If you can’t identify where you might have acted in a regrettable manner, you will most likely act that way again and end up diverging again, away from your goals. It is therefore vital to know exactly what it was that stopped the successful outcome and reflect on how to avoid it happening again.
The time we spend self-reflecting is an opportunity to measure our progress in an open, clear and positive way. A time to think about and identify moments when you may have responded to particular situations with healthier thoughts and behaviours. To realise how this made you feel more empowered and in control. this can no doubt provide you with a real sense of fulfilment, and achievement and keep you motivated in your quest to be a better version of yourself.
Next time you look in the mirror… When you look at your reflection in the mirror:
What do you see?
How would you describe it?
Write it down!!! I love to write it on coloured post-it notes and stick them on my Mirror whilst I reflect. By taking it out of your mind and putting it on paper it becomes more real and it is more likely that you will reflect on it with more dedication.
Your turn…The Moment of Reflection
Get comfortable! Find a time just for you, a quiet place where you do your reflection, without interruption. You may want total silence or perhaps have your favourite music playing in the background.
I would like you to consider 5 things for each of these points below. Make sure to write down your answers and make a conscious effort to engage more of your senses. Some of you may like doodling, using coloured pens or even drawing pictures… Do what works for you.
- 5 Things you Focused on – What you’ve spent most of your time working on
- 5 Things you Forgot – What you didn’t get around to doing
- 5 Disappointments – Failures, setbacks, and wasted/ missed opportunities
- 5 Highlights – Best memories and accomplishments
- 5 Game Changers – Unexpected events that shifted your priorities
5 lessons – What have learnt about yourself and what impact has this had on you? (both positive/ negative)
Based on your answers above, I would like you to now consider and ask yourself the following questions. These are to engage you in deeper reflective thoughts:
- Overall, do you feel a sense of accomplishment, despair or failure?
- In what ways have the events/ situations/ people that you’ve experienced this year (the ups and the downs) helped you grow?
- What has been your biggest setback? And why?
- What thing(s) are you willing to let go of to reach your goal?
- Is there anything that you would do differently? Why and how do you intend to do this?
- Do you believe that you’ve been focusing on what matters most to you? If anything, what has distracted you from focusing on your goals? What advice would you give yourself to not repeat that distraction again this year?
- In what ways, has the year helped you acquire the knowledge, skills and experiences required to achieve your goals which are in line with your Purpose/ Mission?
- What has been your biggest achievement? And why? How do you feel about this? What has this given you?
- Looking back, what will be your SMART goals for next year (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound)? How do you intend on achieving them? What are you going to do differently?
The best way to truly know yourself is when you have spent time with yourself, feeling and thinking about what really matters to you, which might cause discomfort at times. However, it is about getting uncomfortable with the uncomfortable. Coming out of your ‘Comfort Zone.’ Be ready! When you reflect upon yourself, you might see things that you do or think about that go against who you really wish to be! Growth comes when you step out and then that is when the magic begins to happen.
You could consider the important issues that you face in life & form a solid position on them. Sometimes, until you really sit and think about something, you cannot decide where you stand on it.
Now on to the WHY? Remember Ask yourself Why?
As Simon Sinek explains, ‘Why’ is probably the most important message that an organisation or individual can communicate as this is what inspires others to action. ‘Start with the ‘Why’ This is how you explain your purpose and the reason you exist and behave as you do’.
Ask yourself these 5 WHY questions: WHY do I do the things that I do and in what way are they helping or hurting me in my pursuit of success/happiness?
- WHY do I care about the things that I’m focusing on and why do they matter to me?
- WHY do I allow the things that distract me from reaching my goals to take over me? Is it because I’m scared of something that I don’t want to admit or is it the fear of the unknown?
- WHY am I willing to endure the discomfort, struggles, and setbacks that I’m going through to reach my goals? In what ways are my goals worth it?
- WHY am I reading this article about self-reflection? And why is it so important to me to reach my full potential?
Self-reflection is the activity of thinking about and reflecting on your own cognition, emotions and behaviour, and the reasons that may lie behind them. It means by your moral compass can be formed and refined so that you are able to act true to it (authentically) in all that you do. It can help you feel less lost in life and more empowered to create a future that reflects your core beliefs. Let’s face it, YOU KNOW YOU ARE WORTH IT! (as per L’Oréal)