When was the last time you took a moment to reflect on your life? Maybe it was at the end of December when you were getting ready to welcome the new year (we all love a little end-of-the-year reflecting, right?). Other than that, there aren’t many times when we might feel compelled to spend time in self-reflection.
The truth is that many of us are so busy trying to move forward with our lives that we rarely take a moment to slow down and be at one with our thoughts. Plus, we often don’t recognize the importance of self-reflection and the impact it can have on our lives.
What if we made self-reflection part of our everyday routine instead of a yearly thing?
In my opinion, self-reflection is one of the best ways that you can shift your mindset, increase positivity in your life, and discover a greater connection to yourself.
Self-reflection has helped me to understand more about the way that I respond to situations, to not be completely oblivious to my faults, and to find ways that I can deal with situations positively instead of letting them consume me.
Today, I want to share the importance of self-reflection and why being a reflective person is so important for a positive mindset.
What Is Self-Reflection?
Self-reflection is the process of bringing your attention to what’s happening in your life in a mindful and open-minded way.
Self-reflection is all about creating self-awareness. So many of us focus on getting ahead that we don’t necessarily take time to reflect on what’s going on within us.
There are many ways to practice self-reflection, but I’ve always used writing as a way to process my thoughts and feelings. Journaling has helped me to learn more about myself by identifying patterns, habits, and regular themes that come up in my life. If I never took the time to get my thoughts out of my head, I probably would not be the positive person that I am today.
Why Is Self-Reflection Important?
Self-reflection is one of the best things you can do to create a positive mindset and discover a greater connection to yourself. Here are seven reasons why you should make self-reflection a priority in your life:
- To make sense of things
“There is no greater journey than the one that you must take to discover all of the mysteries that lie within you.” – Michelle Sandlin
Self-reflection can help you process your thoughts and feelings. When we keep our thoughts floating around in our heads, we only confuse or frustrate ourselves more. Getting your thoughts on paper can help you understand why you’re feeling a certain way and make those feelings a little easier to navigate.
- To uncover breakthroughs
“The soul usually knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” – Caroline Myss
Whenever I write, I end up with some sort of solution to my problems. I recognize what I need to do next because everything is laid out in front of me. When we keep thinking the same thoughts over and over without taking action, we see our problems as bigger than they really are. By taking a moment to pause, reflect, and look within, you’ll find that you actually have many of the answers you’ve been seeking for so long.
- To challenge your thoughts
“Don’t believe everything you think.” – Byron Katie
Self-reflection offers us the opportunity to challenge our ways of thinking. Most of us have a tendency to ruminate on the bad things; for example, our perceived weaknesses, mistakes we’ve made, or embarrassing moments. When you actually take the time to reflect and write these things down, it’s important to ask yourself if you really believe them. Eventually, you’ll start to realize that the things you tell yourself about yourself are not always true.
- To recognize change & track progress
“Self-reflection is so healthy. When I record the details of what I’m going through, whether it’s a relationship issue or negative thoughts, I can look back and see how far I’ve come. It makes me proud to see my progress and how I got through a bad situation.” – Kelly Rowland
Self-reflection allows us to look back and see where we’ve come from. If you take the time to write down a few thoughts about your day, you can look back on it in weeks, months, or years later and see how much has changed. This can help you recognize that the things you were so worried about before were perhaps not so significant.
- To increase self-awareness
“Change requires two things: a goal, and an awareness of where one currently is in order to assess the discrepancy between the two.” – Psychology Today
If you’re on your own self-improvement journey, you need to know both where you’re going and where you are right now. Without self-awareness, we can’t fully understand our emotions, values, goals, or strengths. I’ve learned so much about myself simply by reflecting on the place I’m at right now and considering how it will help me get to where I want to be.
- To inspire self-acceptance
“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
I’m all about POSITIVE self-reflection and making sure that if I ever say or write something negative about myself, I follow it up with something good. This has helped me to increase my self-acceptance and keep going even when I doubt myself.
For example, I was having one of those days when I kept comparing myself to everyone. In my mind, I was telling myself that I wasn’t beautiful or pretty enough. I started to write because I knew this was something I needed to let go of. As I started to write down my feelings, I began to wonder WHY I needed to believe I was *pretty*. What importance did that have in my life? It seemed so inconsequential to who I am as a person. I started to write, “I just have to be confident in myself and know that I AM beautiful, inside and out.”
- To live with more intention
“When you’re living deliberately, you’re living from a position of responsibility; you’re making choices with greater awareness.” – Lauren Mackler
Reflecting on what’s going on in your life can simply serve as a reminder of what you do on a daily basis. Most of our days end up blending into one another, so regular reflection can be an opportunity to show you that the days are different. On the other hand, it can encourage you to think about how you can add more joy and fun into your daily life.
How Do You Practice Self-Reflection?
I hope this post has encouraged you to make self-reflection a bigger part of your life. Remember that reflection is not about overthinking or focusing on the past – this is a time to connect with yourself and uncover your hidden depths!