In our fast paced lives we are doing so many things at once and jumping from one activity to another. Slowing down and being able to breathe in our crazy lives is not the easiest thing to do. It is difficult to find the time to sit down and reflect, however setting aside some time in your day for self examination can be a lot more helpful than you realise.
So what is self-reflection? It is a process where you stop and think about your life, your purpose and your place in this world. Consciously analyse the choices you have made and see recurring patterns that may need changing or ensuring that you are living to your own values. It is helpful to do this when on a detox such as Equitox because this is a time when you are also looking at other patterns - in how and what you eat.
How is self-reflection going to help?
1. SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE
Self-reflection helps us to have an overall view of our lives. Having a clear vision of where you would like to be in the future is important, so that your everyday errands have meaning and significance. Buy a notebook to create a special journal. You can write your vision for the future down. Be as specific as possible including as much detail as you can bring to your mind. Another alternative is to cut out pictures and place them on a board. Put the board in a position where you will see it frequently, so that it will constantly remind you of what you would like to accomplish. This gives you direction and will shed a positive light on current commitments.
2. FACE YOUR FEARS
Self-reflection helps us to face our fears. We are all afraid of something, whether it is fear of failure, not being good enough or financial fears – we all have them! Contemplation allows you to acknowledge the fear and this may be the biggest element: simply recognising your limiting self-beliefs is a great starting point. Write them down and then think, if my worst fears really did come true what would I do? Write down a few solutions and outcomes. Tackled in this way, fears often lose their power. Remember that "Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” – Leo F. Buscaglia.
3. OUT OF CONTROL
We have been told so many times not to worry about situations we have no control over, but we do it anyway! We don’t have control over everything and sometimes we have to accept that the only way is to adapt to situations and conditions that are unfavourable. Self-reflection enables us to dissociate from these aspects of life that we cannot influence nor control. Rather this allows us to direct and focus our energy on the things that we can change as well as improving ourselves.
4. ACHIEVING DIFFERENT RESULTS
If we keep doing things in the same way throughout our lives, we block the chance of changing life for the better. Introspection and self awareness give us a better understanding of what we truly want in our lives. It is easy to slip into patterns of behaviour without really being aware that we are doing so. Sometimes a change in our bodies, for example through the Equitox we're undertaking, allows us to think about and identify the unhealthy patterns that we have fallen into. What is right or wrong for you? Are the small or large changes you need to make worth the increased chance of happiness? For us the answer is yes as it will bring new and positive experiences into our lives.
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN SELF-REFLECTING
- What are my strengths - Am I well organised? Do I remember things?
- What are my weaknesses – Am I easily distracted? Do I get angry easily?
- What skills do I have – What are my expertise?
- What problems do I have – At home, at work? Any problems internally?
- What have I achieved – What are my accomplishments? What would I like to
- Am I happy? – Are there things that I am unhappy with or disappointed about?
- What solutions can I come up with – What could I do to improve in these areas?
So Patricia and Angela suggest pulling out those dusty journals from the bookcase and start writing. Try to write in a free-flowing way without correcting yourself or editing yourself while you are writing. Read back over what you have written and think about it. Self-reflecting in this way each day just takes 5 minutes of your time.