The Cambridge Dictionary defines self-reflection as, “the activity of thinking about your own feelings and behavior, and the reasons that may lie behind them.”
When you self-reflect, you are looking inwards at yourself. You could be trying to understand why you think something, do something, or believe something. You could be trying to understand why you reacted the way that you did or why you didn’t react another way. You could be trying to understand how you feel. When you self-reflect, you are going on a personal journey for exploration. A one-man trek into your own mind.
Why should you take time to self-reflect? There are many benefits to this important action. By reflecting, you are able to better understand yourself and know what needs to change in order for you to improve. This level of understanding can also help you better connect to others through having a greater amount of empathy.
When you know and understand yourself, you will be able to help yourself out by using that information such as setting up a good work environment or utilizing your strengths. There are no true downsides to self-reflection. The only reason to avoid it is if you truly don’t want to know and understand yourself better.
How to Self-Reflect
In order to self-reflect, you must have a clear mind. This is the most important part. If your mind is too full of things that happened to you today or what you need to do before bed, you won’t be able to properly reflect and find the answers that you seek. It is in this way that self-reflection is similar to meditation. You must be calm and your mind must be clear.
Once your mind is clear, you can move on and explore. You can begin to ask yourself the big questions that you have and look for answers. Most of the time, the answers might not immediately show themselves and you will have to look for some time. This is perfectly normal. If however, you are starting to get frustrated by not finding the answer, move on to something else within your self-reflection.
When you are in your mind, things can get crazy. Once you are self-reflecting, your mind will not be as calm as it was and that is fine. Just keep working to understand yourself. It might take a lot of time and discovery to uncover all the answers.
Once you have found the answers and are all done self-reflecting, you can apply that knowledge to your life. We often look for answers because we are uncertain or we are doing something that is negative or harmful.
We want to know why these things are occurring. Once you have the answer or the cause, you can move forward and start trying to create a solution in your life.
You can apply the things you learned from self-reflection in your life by being aware. If you start to notice actions or things related to your self-reflection, you can take action to properly respond to those things such as changing or avoiding them if they are negative.
Overall, self-reflection can be hard. Looking so deeply inside yourself can be scary and unnerving. Try to remember why you are self-reflecting. There are so many benefits to knowing and understanding yourself. It can be very good for you to regularly self-reflect as many things change on a day-to-day basis.
The more that you know yourself, the better your life can become as you make adjustments that benefit you. So take some time today to self-reflect and learn a little bit about yourself.