Firstly, how are we all? I hope everyone is smiling and staying strong through these lockdowns and restrictions to our daily lives. We’re certainly having to adjust and adapt in significant ways, which isn’t easy, so I just wanted to remind you all that you’re doing GREAT and we will get through this!
During these past several months I’ve started a new job, gotten back into the world of dating, shifted my priorities to what truly matters to me, grown personally and spiritually, then grown some more. So it’s been a good long minute since I’ve opened up my laptop to write something that wasn’t either work related or my novel in progress.
Until today. After spending an hour last night re reading some of my old blog posts, I woke up this morning feeling inspired.
It’s kind of empowering to read some of the stuff I had previously written. I love how far I’ve come in life just with personal growth alone, and I love the fact that the values and beliefs I had say three years ago, still remain true today. It makes me proud knowing that I’ve remained true to myself over the years and it makes me excited at how much I can still achieve in the future both personally and professionally.
How about you all? Do any of you blog or journal? Have you ever taken a moment to go back through some of your old entries? To reflect and see how much you’ve changed and grown? How much you went through in the past and are still standing strong today?
Reflection is powerful, and it wasn’t until last night that I truely understood exactly how powerful it can be.
If you stop for a moment right now, when was the last time you took some time to reflect on your life? For a lot of us, it’s usually at the end of December when we’re getting ready to welcome in the new year – we all love a little end of year reflection right? But besides 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 recognise the importance of self-reflection and the impact it can have on our lives.
So what if we made self-reflection part of our monthly or even weekly routine.
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 not only understand more about the way that I respond to situations, but to show me that I am capable of being courageous, of being my authentic self and having that authentic self be enough. It has taught me that dreaming big IS achievable and when it comes to the hard times, I’m stronger and more resilient than I give myself credit for.
So what is self reflection?
At its simplest, reflection is about careful thought. Personal reflection enables us to process and make meaning of all of the great (and not so great) learning and working experiences we’ve had.
It gives the brain an opportunity to pause amidst the chaos, untangle and sort through observations and experiences, consider multiple possible interpretations, and create meaning. This meaning becomes learning, which can then inform future mindsets and actions.
So, if reflection is so helpful, why don’t we do it more often?
For several reasons. Lack of time, lack of knowing how and where to start. There are many ways to practice self-reflection, but I’ve always used writing and meditation as a way to process my thoughts and feelings. If I never took the time to get my thoughts out of my head and reflect on them, I wouldn’t be as grounded of a person as I am today.
So how can I incorporate reflection into my routine?
Many people reflect through writing in a journal or doing gratitude lists. But if that sounds terrible to you, try talking with a friend, your partner, or even a family member. As long as you’re reflecting and not just chatting about the latest Netflix release or complaining about a work colleague, your approach is entirely up to you. You can sit, walk, bike or stand, write, talk, or think alone or with someone else.
But why is self-reflection so important?
To make sense of things. When we keep our thoughts floating around in our heads, we only confuse or frustrate ourselves more. Getting your thoughts on paper or speaking them out loud, can help you understand why you’re feeling a certain way and make those feelings a little easier to navigate.
To uncover breakthroughs. Whenever I meditate, I end up with some sort of solution to my problems. I recognise 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 recognise change and track progress. Self-reflection allows us to look back and see where we’ve come from. If you take the time to jot down a few thoughts about your day, you can then look back on it in a weeks time, a months, or even years later and see how much has changed.
Last night when I was re reading my old posts, I honestly couldn’t stop smiling. It reminded me of the rollercoaster of a journey I’ve been on so far in my life, and how much of a badass I truly am. It gave me motivation I didn’t even realise I needed to keep going. Because seeing how far I’ve truly come, how I’ve survived those tough times and found joy in the simplest of things, gave me the perspective I needed to know that no matter what life throws at me next, I can handle it.
To shift your mindset. Most of us have a tendency to focus on the bad things. For example, our perceived weaknesses, mistakes we’ve made, or embarrassing moments. But when you actually take the time to reflect, you’ll start to realise that the things you tell yourself about yourself, are not always true. And the negative thoughts that tend to constantly pop up, become less and less.
To inspire self-acceptance. The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must first begin with self-examination. Do you ever have those days where you zero in on one specific thing and analyse it in your mind over and over without really getting anywhere? Your analysis having just seemingly made the “problem” worse as your mind spirals into a deep dark hole? Well you’re not alone.
I had a friend recently that was having one of those days. When she kept comparing herself to everyone. In her mind, she was telling herself that she wasn’t beautiful or pretty enough. So I gave her some advise. I told her to write everything she was feeling down in a notebook because it was something she needed to let go of.
Debriefing with me a week later, over a zoom call, she told me that as she started to write down her feelings, she began to wonder WHY she needed to believe she was *pretty*. What importance did that have in her life? It seemed so inconsequential to who she was as a person. So she started to write, “I just have to be confident in myself and know that I AM beautiful, inside and out,” until her reflections became her truths.
We then began to discuss the importance of decluttering ones mind, and moving forward, she’s going to make journalling a regular part of her weekly routine.
To live with more intention. 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.
It’s amazing to me how the universe works. For the past few days I’ve had the same thought circling around in my mind. I hadn’t given any time to reflecting or delving deeper into unpacking the root of it. But after coming across my old blog posts, I have been reminded of the value reflection can truly bring. And you know what? Now I feel so much lighter.
So I hope this post has encouraged you to make self-reflection a bigger part of your life. And remember, reflection is not about overthinking or focusing on the past – this is a time to connect with yourself and uncover your hidden depths!
Love and kindness, Nerissa x