Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Hey beautiful soul,
The beginning of the year tends to put us in a reflective space as we think about the 365 days that just passed, and plan to conquer the days ahead. However, thinking about who we are and how we want to be better is a practice that we can engage in all year round! At its core, self-reflection is a personal tool that helps us build our self-awareness and grow to accept responsibility for the ways we react to life.
Before we go any further, I must confess that I am obsessed with self-reflection. My affinity for looking within is the reason I created my journal Unlearning Survival: 25 Lessons to Help You Transcend Survival and Thrive! As an avid over-thinker, reflecting on my thoughts helps me become aware of how I’m really feeling, and that newfound awareness enables me to make mindful choices about my thoughts and actions moving forward. I also think reflecting on ourselves can uncover hidden pain points and offer opportunities for healing from traumatic experiences that may ruminate in our heads.
What exactly is self-reflection, though?
Reflection Psychology defines self-reflection as “the capacity of humans to exercise introspection and the willingness to learn more about their fundamental nature, purpose and essence.” Essentially, it’s our ability to look within and be willing to learn more about ourselves. I like to think that we can practice self-reflection anywhere and at any time because all we need is our mind!
Personally, I love to practice self-reflection while journaling, meditating, taking a walk, coloring a mandala drawing, or even cleaning my home! My favorite method of self-reflection is writing because it helps me see my thoughts on paper instead of inside my head where they can be magnified and overpowering.
Why should we practice self-reflection?
Working on our self-awareness through self-reflection has tons of benefits! An article on Lifehack.com suggested that taking the time to learn about ourselves helps us:
- Improve our self-awareness
- Provide perspective
- Respond to situations rather than react from a place of unconscious emotion
- Learn at a deeper level
- Improve our confidence
- Challenge our assumptions about ourselves and others
I find that after I’m reflective, I feel a sense of peace because I understand myself better and I’ve given myself the chance to fully feel my emotions. As an introvert, spending quality time with my thoughts also helps me feel recharged and ready to engage with the world.
Now that we've discussed what self-reflection is and why it’s beneficial, I want to help you engage in your own self-reflection practice by sharing a list of questions. I’m hopeful these prompts will help get cozy with your inner self! Let’s dive in:
How am I feeling?
This question is often overlooked, but our feelings change every day and by the minute! When was the last time you named your feelings beyond using the words fine, good, and okay? Check out this list of feeling words by The Hoffman Institute during your next personal check-in.
What am I grateful for?
Reflecting on what we’re grateful for encourages us to look for silver linings. I love writing in my gratitude journal as a part of my morning routine! Starting the day with a grateful mindset helps me combat the day’s ups and downs with grace and optimism. Subscribe to Loved by Destiny and receive gratitude template in your inbox to bring on the good vibes!
What is draining my energy?
Imagine you had a cup of water and didn’t notice the holes at the bottom of your cup. It wouldn’t matter how much water you poured into your cup, because it would simply spill out of the holes you can't see. When you identify where you are losing energy, you can make self-care plans to "plug in those holes" and preserve your energy.
What do I want?
Getting specific about our desires empowers us to create a detailed plan and make them come true. Creating a space to reflect on those desires can also highlight the dreams we inherit, and the dreams we actually create for ourselves.
What habits do I engage in that no longer serve the life I want to live?
Self-reflection drives us to take responsibility for our past, present, and future actions. After checking in with yourself, finding the silver lining, identifying your energy-thieves, and your truest desires, consider the ways that you might be getting in the way of your own success.
We are all capable of personal growth and can benefit from engaging in self-reflection. I hope these questions will help you uncover new insights about yourself and take action towards your best self! I encourage you to find 20 minutes of reflecting time, get comfy, and write out your answers to the questions in this post. If you feel the urge to share your thoughts, I'd love to hear them! Connect with me on Instagram @destinythinks or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to hear what you learn about yourself.
You are loved,