People can mistakenly feel that it is up to others to fix our shortcomings. Without some form of intervention, many people are happy to pretend problems do not exist, and when no one comes running to the rescue they welcome hitting rock bottom.
Once presented with the hard truth, people decline the help because they lack the motivation to go through with it or are turned off because they had no hand in formulating the solutions.
Many times they are insulted by the accusation because it challenges their version of reality. People like easy fixes, but in nature there is no free lunch. People want a quick reward for their work and have a hard time seeing the big picture and the ultimate result of their effort. Other times, the guilt of what they have done stunts the desire to move forward and emotionally drains a person.
Before it ever gets to this point, we can sit down and give ourselves the time to reflect on our life and our actions. Challenge your reality with a set of questions that gets you to the facts, unclouded by your vanity.
Here are some tips to get you on your way to rewarding self-reflection:
- Be prepared to write down stuff.
- Most importantly make time for yourself. People readily give their time to others, with little regard for their own interests.
- Maintain your mental fitness.
- The same way you need physical exercise to maintain the strength and durability of your body, your brain needs exercises to maintain mental health, happiness, and mindfulness.
- Get your friends and family to help you.
- Explain to people how important it is for you to work out your thoughts and reflect on your life.
- Explain to them how this will benefit everyone involved.
- Dedicate yourself to a schedule.
- Consistency is the best way to create a new habit, so a daily writing session is the best scenario.
- Schedule your writing session so that it fits your lifestyle. Some suggestions include early in the morning, lunch at work, or before you go to sleep.
- Keys to developing a good writing habit, is finding the immediate reward in the act.
- Early or late writing sessions can clear your mind.
- You can start in the morning by removing any doubts you may have about the day ahead of you and organize your thoughts on the tasks you have to complete.
- Remove yourself from the confusion, stress, and negativity of everyday life.
- Calm your mind by listening to music or meditate.
- Find a personal space away from distraction
- Use questions to guide your thoughts and reasoning.
- Create a worksheet to ask yourself relevant questions that allow you to reflect on your situation, actions and emotions.
- Short on time or emotionally charged? Write anyways.
- Writing without a plan of what you want to achieve is still beneficial.
- It records your feelings, recollections, and interactions and creates a reference for future reflections.
- Be aware that these sessions can be clouded by unmitigated positive and negative emotions.
- Take the time to review what you have written.
- Lessons are forgotten, good intentions lose their inspiration and time creates complacency.
- Make note of reoccurring themes and issues. These are the core problems that you will tackle with deeper introspection and the help of a friend or better yet a professional
- Try to dedicate one single notebook for your writing.
- If your writing is sporadic and spur of the moment, create a folder to keep all your writing together.
- It is hard to review your writing if you cannot find it.
- Always date your work.
- Know when it is ok to throwaway old entries.
- Self-reflection is counter intuitive if you review traumatic events or if the entries represent behaviour you have changed.
- Without proper reference, your writing can distort recollections of the past.
- Ongoing sessions will inevitably have you writing about more positive reflections, and you will gain strength from your accomplishments.
Adaptability is our greatest skill and all people are capable of change. Yet, it is irresponsible and dangerous to rely on others to force positive change on us.
The simple act of honest and sincere writing can be the key to an emotional awakening and personal contentment.
The next article will look at different technologies and techniques to help you in your journey of self reflection.
By: Philip Viana & Kenneth Lane