How to Get in the Process of Self-Reflection

The moments we go inward and reflect prove to be beneficial because we learn about ourselves.  We learn about our habits and patterns. We uncover our way of functioning. This is important because it also helps us question if it’s worth it? We question whether a change is needed and why. There are three things that I do to help me self-reflect.

Think about Your Past & Present

One way to self-reflect is through contemplation. Think about your past and present state. It’s significant to contemplate on your past because our experiences shape us. Our experiences help us define who we are and what we believe we can become. Contemplating on my past helps me in self-reflection because I can go back and see experiences that help me define myself. I can understand where my self-limiting thoughts and attitudes arise because I remember experiences where I felt less than or different. I can also understand where my joy, comfort, and confidence comes because I can reflect on experiences that brought that to me.

Also, by not only dwelling on my past but considering my present state, I understand what I want from my life. Contemplating becomes revealing for me because I realize what I need to let go off: negative thoughts and habits. I realize what I need to embrace: self-love and awareness to see the beauty of my life and the wonderful people that surround me.

Write Down Your Thoughts

I have several journals. I often go back to look at what I’ve written, especially as a new year arrives. I reflect on what I’ve been feeling and going through the past years. Through flipping through the pages I wrote, I understood negative patterns I had. I noticed through my past journals that I wrote a lot about the same things I disliked about my life. I spent a lot of time writing about wanting to feel less alone and bored by my surroundings. Through reading what I wrote, I understood I hadn’t taken enough action to creating the reality I wanted for myself. I sunk myself in self-pity. My writing helped me understand I needed to make changes in my life. Instead of complaining about not feeling connected to a community, I resolved to do something. I joined organizations, attended events at meet-up groups, went on dates. Writing down my thoughts and emotions enabled me to become aware that I needed to take charge in creating the things I want in my life.

You could also try jotting down your thoughts and reactions to events occurring in your life. This could help you get a better sense of your patterns and what you want or need from life.

Read a Motivational Book

When I read motivational books, it encourages me to understand myself better. It helps me to understand what I need in my life. Last year, I read “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. The book had a powerful effect on me. I read about Shonda’s experiences challenging herself to take a different approach to her life. I found myself relating to her difficulties. She discusses how she had to learn to be willing to have difficult conversations to confront issues. She discusses learning how to validate herself by not deflecting compliments for her accomplishments. She discusses changing to see others for who they are and not what she wanted them to be.

As I read about her experiences, it made me reflect on similar emotions in moments in my life. It made me understand how I needed to change the way I interact with others. It made me ponder if I see people for who they are. It made me understand I haven’t been kind to myself by not validating myself enough.

Reading motivational books can help you reflect on your life because you could find yourself relating to your author. This can help you understand yourself more.

Some books I recommend that have helped me to reflect on myself and my life are below.

  • “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer
  • “The Art of Happiness” by Dalai Lama
  • “The One Life We’re Given” by Mark Nepo
  • “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown
  • “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom

How do you self-reflect?

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