Have you experienced the power of reflecting? Have you ever had a habit that you wanted to work on or a routine that you wanted to establish, and it just was one of those ‘it didn’t work for me’ endings. Let’s dive in and see the power of reflecting.
REFLECTION DEVELOPS AWARENESS
When we reflect on anything we become more familiar with it.
This is the first power of reflecting. Think about close relationships you have now, likely you have gotten to know the person more and more over time. Let’s say you have a friend of 5 years, the chances are high that if I asked you their favourite food, you would know. But again, the chances are high that you didn’t know it on day one of the friendship. The point is, when we start out on an endeavour, we don’t know much, we need to build knowledge. Just as you would ask questions of your friend, we all need to be asking those questions of ourselves, in other words – reflect!
REFLECTION CAN HELP US ASSESS
When we stop at a crossroads, we can be left in a state of indecision, maybe we see options but we don’t know the best choice. Well, think about that scenario of being at the crossroads, two paths ahead. Imagine we see one that is wild and rustic with a dirt trail, and one that is manicured and has a paved path. We might think – ‘I like both of those’, but, will our choice be hard if we remember we are wearing high heel stilettos? The point is, the more we reflect on our selves, our situation, our current position, the more we will feel like we are making the best informed decision we can. This is the second power of reflecting.
REFLECTION CAN LEAD TO GROWTH
The third power of reflecting has two sides to it. On the one hand, let’s talk about a situation where we discern something has gone well. ‘What is the point of reflecting on that?’ – you might think. Well, reflecting on our successes is a very important step. If we mentally reflect and notice – a successful narrative goes like this ____ – it cements it into our mind, we can repeat what we now have decided and noted is successful. Let’s say we want to stop scrolling on social media and go for a walk in the evening. It’s a new goal, so excitedly, the first day, we do it! Done! Well, what if we came back from that walk and took a minute to reflect – ‘how do I feel after walking? Was it a positive experience? Do I prefer it over scrolling on social media? Will I go to bed feeling better about my day, my self?’ If we take the time to reflect like this, we might just make the time and do it again tomorrow.
On the other side of this coin, reflection can help us to grow when we have fails, when things don’t go well for us. Imagine we decide to learn a language. We have put in quite a bit of effort, we have made it a habit in our life, we get books out from the library, etc. Then we meet someone who speaks that language, and we try out our first sentence. They don’t understand. Try saying it a different way. They don’t understand. And so we get out our phone translators. What is the power of reflecting here? Well, now we can ask ourselves some questions – ‘Am I better off changing my way of learning this language? Do I need to include some more experience of using what I’m learning? Can I try to include more pronunciation learning rather than just being able to understand written words?’ Looking at fails as a reason to stop is only one option, another option is looking at fails to find the way to success. This is why we need reflection, and it shows the power of reflecting.
HOW TO REFLECT
Well, we have definitely seen the power of reflecting but how can we do it? One thing we can do is to make it a daily practice. You can ask yourself each and every day what was good, bad, learned, appreciated, achieved, etc. By all means continue from there. I also do a weekly reflection, and a monthly one, because more reflection, means more awareness, which means more improvements, and achieved goals.
I would like to say that an important part of reflection is having the right mindset. This is another power of reflecting. The purpose of reflection is learning. It’s not to just rehash old arguments, or beat myself up over something I didn’t do right. That would be negative reflection and not good for us at all. But even that we could turn around and positively reflect on. ‘Why do I speak so badly to myself, or others?’ ‘Where have those words come from?’ ‘Is it helpful for me?’ ‘Can I choose different words?’ This is positive reflection, we are trying to learn. Hopefully the difference there is clear.
“Is it worth the time to reflect? Well, I think I will let you reflect on the answer to that.”
Summary of – Power of Reflecting
In summary, I want to give my personal experience. As I started on my journey, I took a lot of time to reflect, but also, I have seen the need to constantly adjust, check in, reflect and change. Especially in 2020 right! It’s been an amazing experience for me to see just where I can make improvements. I feel that I have really seen a great power of reflecting. I sincerely hope that you get to have a good experience with reflecting too.
Why not check out this other great article about reflection.
Or would you like to look ahead and see how to plan and achieve goals? Check here.
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