Self-reflection as Our Greatest Mentor
Self-reflection is the greatest mentor that we all have.
In today’s hectic and consumerism-oriented world, it’s easy to get fooled that in order to grow you need an enormous self-help library or expensive retreats across the globe. While those certainly bring their own value, many of us tend to underestimate the value of something else we always have access to. Something quite simple… Self-reflection!
You’ve probably heard of reflection as a practice. It’s essentially the act of thinking about our experiences in order to learn from them for the future. This powerful technique has become more and more popular among different communities around the world as they passionately share the common goal of improving their lives.
What’s the purpose of this?
Practicing reflection is one of the most direct ways to progress in any aspect of our lives as it has a compounding effect – the more often we do it, the more value we get out of it.
Taking this time for ourselves we are given the chance to pause for a moment and think proactively instead of reactively. We thus get to connect with ourselves, our life’s purpose, values, aspirations, and struggles on a much deeper and more meaningful level. This then cultivates our self-awareness which we adamantly insist is the single most important skill for living in today’s world.
In case you’re still not convinced about adopting reflection into your daily routine (we highly doubt that but still), then consider the following: when we reflect, we compare ourselves to ourselves from yesterday. It’s much more useful and healthy than comparing ourselves to others! It positively stimulates our forever most important relationship – the one with ourselves.
How do we practice self-reflection?
There isn’t just one way to include reflection into your set of personal rituals. But there are several guidelines you can take into account when starting out!
It’s highly suggested you take a moment to reflect every single day before planning your next one. This keeps things fresh and easy! Even as little as 5 or 10 minutes per day can have a significant effect on improving our plans and actions. However, here is a bit of a framework when trying to figure out how much time we should put aside for the occasion.
The overall idea is that the longer the period we reflect on, the longer the reflection time should be. It can look something like this:
- Day – 10 minutes
- Week – 30 minutes
- Month – 1 hour
- Quarter – 1 day
- Year – 1 week
And regarding the format, the most effective and straightforward approach is to reflect on a series of questions (see below) in written form. In an ideal scenario, you would take the time to be on your own, to center yourself (maybe with a meditation or a bit of stretching), and to sit in peace and quiet. You can play a bit of instrumental music and grab a refreshing drink if it feels right! Then open your laptop or notebook and attack the Qs one by one.
Here’s a framework to get you started. You have 4 different categories of questions:
- Highs – what went well
- Lows – what didn’t go well
- Evaluation & lessons – what did I learn
- Improvement – what can I start, stop, or continue doing
And now all the questions in detail. Save this list for when you’ll need it later!
- What moment was the most memorable? Why?
- What’s something different that happened …?
- What are the best things that happened …?
- What am I grateful for …?
- What am I proud of …? Why?
- What was my biggest accomplishment …? Why?
- What do I feel most satisfied with …?
- What energized me …? Why?
- What 20% of people produced 80% of my positive emotions or outcomes? Why?
- What 20% of activities produced 80% of my positive emotions or outcomes? Why?
- What could I have done better …? Why?
- How could I have made … better? Why?
- What things didn’t happen …?
- What did I avoid accomplishing …? Why?
- What do I feel most unsatisfied with …?
- What drained me …? Why?
- What 20% of people produced 80% of my negative emotions or outcomes? Why?
- What 20% of activities produced 80% of my negative emotions or outcomes? Why?
Evaluation & lessons:
- Where did I invest most of my energy?
- Where did I invest most of my time …? Why?
- Was I better … than …?
- How satisfied do I feel with …?
- What did I learn …?
- What do I want to stop doing …?
- What do I want to start doing …?
- What do I want to keep doing …?
At Awera we see reflection as the best teacher we can have as its lessons are based entirely on our own decisions and actions. It’s kind of like personalized recommendations just for us! We believe it’s such a crucial process for anyone’s personal journey that we’ve actually built the Awera app with reflection as a key component.
According to our Awera methodology, we’ve developed a continuous growth loop featuring 3 consecutive steps: Plan, Do, and Grow. In the third and final “Grow” stage users are guided through a quick daily reflection where they get to reflect on their results based on the tasks they have and haven’t completed that day.
What’s so fantastic about reflection is that it depends 100% on us! We don’t need anything external in order to perform this practice. In a sense, it’s like a mentor we can access at all times. Let’s take advantage of it!
Make sure you save this article for later on!
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