It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day aspects of life and forget to pause, reflect, and look at the bigger picture. Slowing down and taking time to think about your life is extremely helpful in creating a better sense of who you are, who you want to be, and how you will get there.
Be present. Be in the moment of the here-and-now. Let's take a mental break, a moment of silence, or have a moment of pause. Honor yourself and these briefs moments.
Briefly, here are some reasons it is beneficial to self-reflect:
• Self-reflection helps to build emotional self-awareness. By taking the time to ask yourself the important questions, you gain a better understanding of your emotions, strengths, motivations, and growth areas. Once you understand the important aspects of the self, you become better able to adapt to changing situations and tough circumstances.
• Integrity increases when you take time to reflect on core values. Having a clear understanding of what values you deem most important puts them at the forefront of your mind and strengthens your decisions. Staying focused, being true to you, "doing you" or "keeping your eyes on the prize" requires quiet peaceful moments of self-reflection.
• Pause. Our lives often become a cycle of doing/producing where we try to maximize productivity and minimize time spent. When we are always acting and moving from one thing to the next we sometimes forget to stop and think. Taking time to think allows for new ideas to emerge and counters the risk of becoming stagnant or "getting stuck". New ideas, evolution, and continuous change, no matter what your situation, is necessary. Life under construction!
During times of self-reflection. You should give yourself permission to stop, breathe, and just "be". When you are able to be brutally honest with yourself, here are some questions you might want to think about:
1. Who are you? How do you define yourself...or do you let "others" define you?
2. What are you most grateful for? What is most important in your life? Is your allocation of time congruent with what you find most important?
3. What are you most proud of?
4. Who are the people you spend the most time with? Are these people enabling you or holding you back? Be honest!
5. What are your short and long-term goals? What is stopping you from pursuing them? Are you getting in your own way?
6. Who supports you in your life? Who can you share your goals with, or ask for support? Is it hard for you to ask for help? If if not,what prevents you from asking for help or support from others. Remember, we are social animals!
7. When you reflect back on the year of 2018, what are the biggest things you have learned in the last year? How can you use your past experiences to help you in the future?
8. Where do you put your attention and energy when you are overwhelmed or stressed? Is this how you want to spend your resources?
Sometimes it is a good thing to take a quiet moment and be with yourself. Take a self-assessment of what is meaningful in your life, your values, and most importantly, the growth areas needed for positive change. Invest in yourself, take the time and effort to focus your mind in a positive direction, and give yourself the opportunity to grow.