Self-reflection is an important part of personal growth.
Each day you are given a new opportunity to change your life.
“You are not the same today as you were yesterday, nor will you be the same tomorrow as you are today.”Cynthia Brandel
You learn. You grow. You adopt new habits and continually change with the passing of each day.
The question I have for you today is: “Are you changing into the person you want to be or are you letting your circumstances push you in the opposite direction?”
Your goals should drive your actions. They should be smart (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely). Your goals are an important part of your self-development plan.
Related Article: Journaling Through A New Year (My Self Development Plan)
Whether your goal is to lose weight, start an exercise program, obtain a work-life balance or change careers, your goals will take you one step closer to becoming the person you want to be.
To gain the most benefit from your goals, you should start with self-reflection.
Self-reflection is deliberate contemplation about your actions, beliefs, and values.
It guides you to develop self-awareness of your mental health and emotional stability.
From this awareness, you can obtain mental clarity and set meaningful goals that will advance you as a person.
Related Article: How To Set and Attain Achievable Goals
Be 100% Honest With Yourself
Before you begin, you need to commit to being completely honest with yourself.
You are not perfect. No one on this earth is. If you are not going to be 100% honest with yourself, then there is no point in doing this at all.
Everyone does things they are not proud of. It is in those moments that you will grow as an individual.
Humans are creatures of habit, both good and bad. There are some behavior patterns that can strengthen you, such as bible study and intentional living. And there are some behavior patterns that can weaken you, such as drinking or maintaining poisonous relationships.
Self-reflection is intended to help you pinpoint the habits you need to keep or enhance as well as the habits you need to break.
Define Your Values & Beliefs
What are your values? Your beliefs?
Your goals should align with your values and lead you toward your desired destination.
While you are reflecting upon yourself, you should take a moment to define what your values are and how they will help you grow as a person.
For example, one of my core beliefs is that God should come first.
As a manager, I have a responsibility to the people working under me. I have to lead by example and demonstrate a good work ethic.
Life happens. I know that. In order to be a good manager with strong ethics, I put God first, family second, and work third.
I know that’s not how large corporations think, but if I didn’t manage according to my values and beliefs I wouldn’t be able to manage at all.
Forgive Yourself Time and Time Again
Mistakes are going to happen. They are inevitable.
Humans are fallible by nature. You are going to make a bad decision from time to time.
We all make mistakes. Mistakes help you grow as long as you learn from them and try not to make the same mistake again.
Tools For Self Reflection
Setting goals and self-reflection should be apart of your self-development plan, but what’s the point in doing anything without tracking your progress.
Just like with school, you complete tasks/assignments and are graded depending on how well you have done or how much you have learned.
There are a few tools that I use as a part of my own self-development plan.
My bullet journal plays a key part in my development. I use it daily to track my progress and to maintain focus on what’s most important in my life.
The bullet journal method was written by Ryder Carroll (see a FREE Preview of his book below). It is a systematic planning tool meant to make living intentional.
“Intentional living leads to intentional results.”
You can learn how to create your own bullet journal, how to use a bullet journal, and how the bullet journal method will add focus to your life by clicking on any of the links below.
The Morning Pages
The morning pages are an essential part of my daily routine. They help me to start off the day with mental clarity and a positive disposition.
The morning pages are a tool you can use to “brain dump” everything that is causing increased stress in your life and/or everything that is going well in your life.
The morning pages was an idea from Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way. Preview her book for FREE below.
Julia’s main intention was to help artists find a way to clear their mind and inspire their inner muse.
Like your bullet journal, the morning pages are designed for you and you alone. They are personal and not to be shared with others.
Taking the time to reflect upon yourself daily and keeping a written account of those reflections will help you to see how much you have grown as a person.
The act of long handwriting is freeing. As the ink flows, so will your mind, your stress, and your worries.
You can’t reflect upon yourself if your mind is cluttered and full of junk. It is only after you obtain a sense of mental clarity and focus that you will be able to honestly and accurately reflect upon yourself and implement intentional self-improvement.
Related Article: Self Improvement: The Path To Intentional Living
Prompts For Self-Reflection
Define your values and beliefs.
How do your words reflect your values & beliefs? How do they contradict your values & beliefs?
In which areas of your life are you doing well? Which areas could you improve?
Where are you at currently in regards to your:
How do you see yourself one year from now? five years? ten years?
Have you set goals? Are they smart? Are you tracking your progress toward reaching them? Have you gotten any closer to obtaining your goals?
What are some qualities you like about yourself? What are some things you don’t like about yourself? How can you improve as a person?
Quotes for Self Reflection
“Unless you learn to face your own shadows, you will continue to see them in others, because the world outside you is only a reflection of the world inside you.” – Unknown
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” – Carl Jung
“A man must find time for himself. Time is what we spend our lives with. If we are not careful we find others spending it for us. . . . It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and to ask of himself, ‘Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?’ . . . If one is not careful, one allows diversions to take up one’s time—the stuff of life.”
― Carl Sandburg
“People are sent into our lives to teach us things that we need to learn about ourselves.” – Mandy Hale
“The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination… until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life.” – Iyanla Vanzant
“Stop trying to be less of who you are. Let this time in your life cut you open and drain all of the things that are holding you back.”
― Jennifer Elisabeth, Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl
“It is always our own self that we find at the end of the journey. The sooner we face that self, the better.” – Ella Maillart
“People who have had little self-reflection live life in a huge reality blind-spot.” – Bryant McGill
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
“It is when you lose sight of yourself, that you lose your way. To keep your truth in sight, you must keep yourself in sight and the world to you should be a mirror to reflect you your image; the world should be a mirror that you reflect upon.”
― C. JoyBell C.
“The purpose of our spiritual journey is not to replace the darkness with light, rather it’s to integrate and honor all the parts of ourselves… all of life’s energies.” – Deb Blum
“The soul usually knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” – Caroline Myss
“This above all; to thine own self be true.” – William Shakespeare
“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” – Margaret J. Wheatley
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates
“Even if you think you’re doing well and have it all figured out, there is a voice you will always inevitably hear at some point which nags at you and says “but wait…” Don’t ever dismiss it, listen to what it has to say. Life will never be close enough to perfect, and listening to that voice means stepping outside of yourself and considering your own wrongdoings and flaws.”
― Ashly Lorenzana
“The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself but creating yourself anew. Seek, therefore, not to find out who you are, seek to determine what you want to be.” – Neal Donald Walsch
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” – Ram Dass
“Before I ask you to sit with me, I must be able to sit with myself. Before I ask you to accept my pain, I have to accept the pain myself. Before I ask you to love me, I have to be madly in love with myself.” – C. Thoth
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