An important skill for everyone to learn is self-reflection. Every once in a while it’s necessary to take a step back and take a look at who you’ve become. What does your character look like? What are your personal achievements? Where do you stand in your life? And most importantly, are you happy with what you see? Where would you like to be in life? How do you WANT your character to appear? Where we fall short on our own self-reflection is learning to do this in a positive and effective manner.
The following are a few guidelines I use for my own self-reflection…
This is sometimes the trickiest part for a lot of individuals. It’s hard to look at yourself and decide if you’re truly making the best moves in becoming the person YOU want to be. As humans, naturally, we all seem to stress over whether or not the person we are is the person everyone around us wants us to be. Just remember that self-reflection is all about progressing into a character YOU are happy with. We can’t please everyone, and that’s okay, because everyone else’s opinion isn’t important. What matters is how you think of yourself.
2. Set some short-term goals
If your top priority at the moment is to lose 30 pounds this year, or end this semester with a 4.0, take into consideration that all things take time. In the meanwhile, focus on the little things you can do right now that will boost your probability of achieving these goals in the long run. Maybe aim to cut a few of your fast food runs this month, or take a couple more trips to the free tutor this week. Accomplishing small tasks regularly will increase your motivation for the long-term goals and will overall result in a more positive attitude.
3. Keep track of emotional patterns
This may be difficult to do at first, but keeping track of your emotions can help you recognize when something is not quite right. Do you start everyday off feeling ambitious and ready to go; but the moment you arrive at work or class you’re simply ready to go…home? What killed your mood? Maybe there’s a way to improve this plummet. Knowing these changes in your emotions can help you to change your daily routine or prepare yourself in a way that gives you a better grip on your attitude.
4. Recognize what you value about yourself
Do you have a niche for making people feel better? Are you a considerably hard worker? Are you always kind or helpful to others? Find a trait that you really like about yourself. Being proud of your own actions and behaviors can help you to look positively on your own character. Show confidence and pride in yourself! You have no reason not to.
5. Find something that inspires you
Finding something unique to inspire yourself will always be a distraction from boredom. Being bored can cause a loss in self value. When you feel like you have nothing to do, it can sometimes causes a sense of worthlessness. To avoid this, find a certain thing you love doing, or even just love the idea of doing! If you love watching at home yoga tutorials on TV at 6 in the morning, maybe go join a class near you. If you find yourself reading multiple travel blogs and searching Pinterest for most beautiful vacation spots, maybe waste time fantasizing about your own trip. Who knows, you may even become inspired enough to actually take this trip in the future!
6. There’s always room for improvement
An important thing to do in this process is compare where you want to be, to where you stand right now. If these two don’t match up, it can be a bit frustrating. Once again, be patient, everything takes time. Recognize skills and/or traits you haven’t yet acquired and accept that it’s something you may have to work at. If you have patience with yourself, these things will come with time. It’s important to know what is needed and set short-term goals to achieve these needs. Always work on yourself and never give up; But also never forget to appreciate the skills you have at this very moment.
7. What you want to get out of this
The main point of self-reflection is to improve growth, know yourself better, define your idea of success, and be open-minded to change. It’s all about continually developing yourself as you adapt to current situations. It’s healthy to have a clear perception of your own personality and decide whether it pleases you or not. Self-reflection is beneficial not only to make sure you’re happy with the direction you’re headed, but also to recognize all the reasons you can be happy with who you are right now.