Self-reflection - What is it? What does it bring me?
What does self-reflection mean?
You think about yourself. Your thoughts, feelings and actions. You question and analyze yourself to find out more about yourself. It is the ability to question yourself and look at yourself realistically. With the self-awareness you gain, you find out why you do something and what reasons or emotions drive you. Good self-awareness has many benefits. We tell you helpful tips and and exercises.
How well do you know yourself?
We all act the way we have learned over the years. Through our own experiences that we have made in the past. But also through our environment. We have beliefs in our subconscious, which we have acquired in the course of our lives through experiences or which were given to us by fellow human beings. Personal growth can be gained through self-reflection. You learn from past mistakes and support yourself to reach your personal and professional goals.
How good is your self-perception? Through self-reflection you remain authentic and don't lose yourself in the constraints of the outside world. For example, how well do you know yourself on the following questions:
- Your previous limits, character traits, and peculiarities?
- How do you act in general? Serene and calm? Or rather hectic and stressed?
- What are you good at? What rather not?
- What is really important to you?
- What do you lack in life and what do you do to get it?
- How have you contributed to past successes and failures?
The better you know yourself, the better you can make decisions and choose paths that will lead you to your personal goals faster. You look at yourself. Learn that you are responsible for your life. The focus is on you. You learn not to blame others for failures and become aware that your actions and choices shape your life.
Tip: Get feedback from people you trust. It is important to compare your own perception with the outside perception. After all, it may happen that your own image differs from the outside perception. Ask for their opinion, keeping in mind that everyone has individual perceptions. It can be helpful to compare the opinion of those around you with yours.
How do you start?
You need time, calm, and perseverance. They are an essential part of your reflection. Direct your focus on yourself and not on others. Many people can't stop themselves from criticizing others. They are often more concerned with others than with themselves. In your reflection, bring situations and your own actions to mind. Be critical of yourself. But not too much. Because this would also be counterproductive. Be more open than closed.
The journey of self-reflection is an ongoing process that can take months or years. You reveal and put together more and more pieces of the puzzle. Every single step is important - because every single step leads you more and more to yourself. However small it may be.
Build a routine into your daily life. Reflection thus becomes a fixed habit. Especially in the beginning it is important to practice the routine daily. We humans are creatures of habit. It has been found that the inner resistance to new habits decreases after 21 days and then we accept them.
To be completely with yourself and your thoughts, you need rest. Remove yourself from the stress of everyday life, put your cell phone aside and ensure deep relaxation. Do breathing exercises before you start if it helps you. Only with full rest and relaxation you can think about yourself, the past, actions, experiences and "mistakes".
Remember: every "mistake" in your life is important. It is not bad to have made wrong decisions. Rather, you should draw new insights from these "mistakes" that will strengthen you in future decisions. They are part of life. You should learn to accept wrong decisions and not drag them with you with any emotions for years of your life. Thus, self-reflection includes other topics such as letting go and accepting. In our blog you will find posts on these and other topics.
Stay strong. Any change that you help into your life and pulls you out of your habits can eventually cause discomfort. For example, you get into some kind of stress. You may not be able to explain this feeling at first. You may wonder if what you are doing is right. Because you are now changing your attitude towards yourself, your environment and possibly your view on your life. This is where you find out if you are ready to go this way. Every change takes time. It also needs energy and perseverance. Remain steadfast. This process is as beautiful as it is difficult. With the first successes and with every day that passes, you will be more and more pleased to have gone this way.
Tips and exercises: There are several ways to incorporate self-reflection into your life. Here is an overview:
- Create routines. Whether in the morning at noon or in the evening before going to bed. As it suits you and fits into your daily routine.
- Meditations bring peace and relaxation. In this special atmosphere you can gain completely different insights about yourself and consciously take themes or questions into the meditations.
- Work with a notebook, diary, vision book or success journal. Write down daily insights and new experiences. You'll find it easier each time, and you yourself will notice how you can address things in your own life.
- Alternatively, there are numerous tracking apps that will remind you of your self-reflection so it doesn't get forgotten in the stress of everyday life.
Sample questions to ask yourself
Asking yourself good questions is important to get good and helpful results. Here are some examples that can get you thinking:
- What am I grateful for?
- What makes me feel dissatisfied?
- What makes me think or feel this way?
- Who am I really?
- Which values are really important to me?
- What values do I want to stand for?
- What drives me / motivates me?
- What are my strengths?/ What am I good at?
- What are my weaknesses? What am I not good at?
- What do I want to improve?
- What do I want to achieve in my life?
- What am I doing to achieve my goals?
- What have I already achieved?
- What keeps me from achieving my goals?
- Do I pursue doubts because it makes me feel more confident?
- When do I stand in my own way?
- What can I do today to achieve my goals?
- Where will I be in life if I continue like this for the next 5 years? Would I be happy if I continued in the same way?
- Why do I behave like this in situation X?
- If I could turn back time, what would I do differently and why? What have I learned for the future through this experience?
- Am I enriching the lives of others? If so, how?
You can sort and ask questions by life area. This way you can find out what you really want in life, improve personal relationships or dispel doubts.
If you are too hard on yourself, you will harm yourself and devalue your self-esteem. Stay constructive remember that the relationship we cultivate with ourselves is the most important in our lives. It is the cornerstone to healthy self-love, as well as how we treat and love those around us.
Your team from Rising Life Books