What is reflection and why is it important? It’s difficult to achieve success, set goals and create a plan for life or business if you haven’t taken the time to get clear on where you are, defined where you want to be and decided what needs to happen so you can get there from here. Being totally open and honest with yourself about whether you’re living and working in alignment with your values, your dreams and capabilities is essential to living a life that is meaningful.
Harvard Business Review says reflection gives your brain an opportunity to pause, create some calm amongst the chaos of thought and allows you to untangle and sort through your observations and experiences. The benefit of this is you can consider a range of perspectives and create some meaning and context for your performance, your life, your happiness. Exploring a variety of perspectives helps you to consider current and future mindsets, beliefs and habits that could block or prevent you from whatever it is you want to achieve. You can’t get your mind into shape if you have little or no awareness of what’s needed. You wouldn’t wake up one morning, decide you’re a competitive athlete and head off to train like you’d been doing that for years; you’d create a plan to improve your fitness over time knowing your body would gradually get stronger and fitter before you saw any results. It’s the same with your head. If you want to change something in your life, you have to get your mind into shape first and if you don’t consciously do that, the chances are high you’ll self-sabotage pretty early on.
Choosing to consciously reflect on your life, your business, how you show up as a leader, worker, all the things is essential if you want to grow, evolve, and learn how to be your best self. People tend to think they’re happy just as they are; and it’s true, generally we can be – when things are going well, when we’re not faced with tricky and tough decisions, challenges, or impending change. But everyone I’ve coached, mentored, and taught, when they’re being completely honest and allowing their ‘hidden self’ to speak, have something about themselves they would like to achieve, do better, change or abandon completely. The problem for them is they tell themselves they don’t have the courage, willpower, time, opportunity, skills, money, it’s a lengthy list of reasons that in essence are excuses for inaction. Their limiting beliefs, and unwillingness to get down, get honest and take action follows them around like a shadow and nothing happens until a decision is made to make something happen and sometimes, the decision is not always made by them; sometimes, other forces come into play.
Reflective practice involves examining your beliefs, values, habits, and actions and discovering which ones are helping you, and what ones need to be discarded, changed, or adjusted. You gain an awareness about what needs to change for things to change. We don’t stay the same person forever; we change physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually through all our life phases. When you consciously reflect, you can create a bigger context and meaning for the things that are important to you, and as a result of this, it becomes less scary to navigate change because you’re more purpose driven. When you take the time to reflect each day on your performance in all areas of life, you’ll notice you start to show up and perform better. Daily reflection is not just about reviewing events from your perspective, but also making sure you consider the perspective and view of others and your impact on them. In short, you take the time to understand what it’s like to be around you, and people who do this become happier, kinder, and nicer to be around.
Thousands of years ago, Aristotle said, ‘knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom’ and that’s something that hasn’t changed through the ages. Honest reflection provides us with useful observations with the benefit of hindsight. To create a mind that is naturally reflective, you need to adopt a curious mindset and accept you’re not always going to like what you see and notice about yourself. Stepping through the discomfort and ego driven reluctance to be vulnerable and see yourself as you are, is a great skill to engender. Careful, honest thought is needed to form an opinion about the best way forward for you to truly know yourself. When you can learn, understand, appreciate, evaluate, and gain perspective about the way you’re showing up for yourself and others, you’re on the journey to grow and evolve to wherever and whatever you see yourself being. This is the start of your journey; this is how you find the pathway to get to where you want to be, from here.
If you’ve realized it’s time to start consciously reflecting, start a weekly or, even better, daily habit to help get your mind into shape and on the pathway to creating a life that means something to you. Get a journal so you can check your progress or create a document you can keep adding to. Find a space where you can be uninterrupted, play some peaceful and inspirational music, light a candle, do the things that create the right ambience for you to connect with yourself. Tap into the emotions you are feeling, connect with your spirit, and honestly ponder and allow yourself to expand. Reflect on one or all of the following life components and when you do this, rate where you rate these life elements out of 10:
🦁 Personal/Spiritual 🦁 Leisure/Fun 🦁 Romance / Significant Other 🦁 Friends and Family 🦁 Home environment 🦁 Finances 🦁 Business/Career 🦁 Health and Wellbeing.
Once you’ve done that, you can use any or all of the questions below to prompt your thoughts and reflection:
🦁 Be curious and ask yourself probing, deep and daring questions to provide you with clarity.
🦁 What happened? What role did I play? Was I my best self? What could I have done better? Did I judge others, over react, or was I kind and considered? Did I hold my boundaries or did I sacrifice my peace for someone else’s gain? What lessons have I just learned?
🦁 When you know there is nothing left to know, you’re feeling you’ve purged and emptied completely and you can feel a newfound awareness, tap into the emotions you would like to feel in the future and rate your life elements with the number you want them to be. For example, if you rated Finances a 5/10 and you want them to be a 9, you’ve got some work to do, and now you can start to choose what to do about it.
🦁 Ask yourself, what is it, specifically that I want? How much do I want it, what am I prepared to sacrifice to get this, how hard am I willing to work, how much discomfort am I willing to feel, is this for the greater good of me and those in my world?
🦁 Remember throughout this exercise to include all the things that make you wonderful! What are the good things about yourself you want to embrace, encourage, and expand? These are your strengths and by acknowledging them, being grateful for them and building on them, they’re going to help you get from where you are to where you want to be!
Within reason, wherever you are now, and wherever it is you want to be, you can get there from here; you just have to make a start and you do this by deciding to get your mind into shape so you can life a life of RICHES. A life filled with RICHES is one where we learn to love ourselves completely and create great life choices. You can download Module 1 which is all about Reflection for free, click on the button below. For your free first module of our RICHES program, click here. If you want to work with me and learn ways to become the love of your life, head over to my booking page on this website to book your free, 30 minute Clarity Call.