Self – Reflection
If you seek to improve on self, this article is for you. It is the easiest way to learn wisdom because it mirrors proven methodologies you can imitate.
I know you are recording ground – breaking wins in your endeavours. However, no matter how productive or successful you are, there is always room for improvement.
We may learn wisdom by three methods:
- reflection: the noblest;
- imitation: the easiest; and
- experience: the most bitter.
To self – reflect means to carefully think through your own action, behaviour, decision, emotion, inaction and/or thought.
There are two levels to self reflection:
- reflecting for regular improvements;
- knowing yourself better, experiencing peace, joy and connecting better with yourself
Either ways, you’d ask yourself thought-provoking questions so that you can develop a deeper level of understanding for yourself. It drives you to become self – aware.
The more you become aware of your action, behaviour, decision, emotion, inaction, thoughts and environment, and the more you are open to experiment new things, the better your potential for improvement.
Why self – reflect?
- You get to have a clear picture of your true desires and keep them in check
- Affords you the opportunity to identify trends and take proactive decisions instead of always reacting
- Helps you release stored open emotions and tension
- Improves your communication skills: Behind every excellent article or speech is a clear thinker. Self – reflection improves your thinking capacity.
Note – Taking and Self Reflection
It is my belief that you can write your way out of confusion. Regularly self – reflecting by taking notes comes with a lot of benefit.
If you want to have a better connection with your values, emotions and desires and be true to yourself, taking notes and tracking your progress will help you unpack your mind and bring clarity. Simply put, it comes with outstanding clarity and focus.
By tracking your journey, the challenges that comes with it, your growth and wins, you get to know yourself more and more, as you journey through life situations. You will become more aware and come to more insights as well as understand your environment better, especially the people who are the closest to you.
Great ideas pop in when you least expect. When you don’t write it down, you tend to forget quickly. Taking record of your thoughts will help you gain insight on what you are set to achieve and things you should expect.
Note taking is not limited to writing. You can record audio clips or memorize until you find the next available tool to record your thoughts. You get things out of your head and clear your mind, which can relax you and give you more creative and analytical potential.
Tools you’d need?
Notepad – All you have to do is buy a notepad, schedule some time and start writing. Writing by hand is hard work and fun – filled because it makes you feel in control of your life. There is this connection that makes it therapeutic, though, I am transitioning into using only note – taking apps. The problem with using notepads is that it is not flexible. You cannot change what is written when you realize that things have changed. You’d have to re – write. Even though scientific studies show that the pen is mightier than the keyboard, taking notes in journals/notepads is not easy to search. So, instead of wasting your time searching for notes, quotes, or references in a notepad, a note – taking app will come through easily.
Note Taking Apps– There are many applications you can use to take notes. If you decide for an app, you should test a few of them and select the one that works best for you. I will recommend Evernote, Notion, Google Keep, OneNote, Roam Research or you can create a WhatsApp Group, add close friends and remove them so you’d be the only participant. Such a cool way to use your phone to track your ideas!
You can also keep record of conversations by using Otter. Otter will transcribe them into notes.
Personal blog or Podcast – Having a blog or podcast is an option. As a matter of fact, this comes with additional benefits because you are building in public. You get to build an audience since people tend to connect with vulnerability and authenticity.
Call to Action
- Be kind to yourself.
Self-reflection and review aren’t about criticizing yourself. The motive is to observe things and take note without any iota of judgment. It affords you the opportunity to understand yourself.
When the resultant effect of your action, behaviour, decision, emotion, inaction and/or thought is not encouraging, remind yourself that you are more than your thoughts, desires and actions. You owe it to yourself to be kind.
- Less distraction.
The most powerful thought you can work with usually comes when you least expect. At shower time, when you are about to sleep etc., when there is little or no distraction. Nothing should distract your flow. Do self – reflections alone and without distractions; do away with your phone or disable notifications. 30 minutes to 1 hour alone will afford you the opportunity to connect with yourself.
- Consistency will always win.
From experience, we are swift to journal when we experience extreme emotions. When you are overly excited or anxious. Just like mastering every other task, to get the most out of self-reflection, be consistent.
Daily or Weekly, the choice is yours to make. However, Shelby Smith shared her process and I believe you’d find it helpful. As for me, I spend 30 minutes to self-reflect every day before I go to sleep.
Consistency will help you make a habit out of it, and your mind will get into the state for self-reflection faster.
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