The Surprising Benefits of Self Reflection

productivity Sep 10, 2020

I had stayed out late the night before. Too much tequila made me next-level tired.  Somehow, I still held my promise because my daughter means the world to me.

Thinking back on it a few days later, it was priceless bonding time with my girl.  We toured the murals of downtown Roseville (my childhood hometown), and I indulged her love of snapping IG pics with interesting backgrounds.

I spend lots of time in my head questioning myself in the moment.  I took a second to celebrate my good decision. 

Do you ever take time to reflect?

You probably wonder... WHY?  When time is a precious commodity, sitting with our thoughts seems to be a waste. Or maybe a luxury you can’t afford.

Let me explain to you why it’s worth it.

Research of call center employees who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting about lessons learned performed 23% better after 10 days than those who did not reflect. Another study of UK commuters found a similar result.  When commuters used their travel time to reflect, they were happier, more productive, and less burned out than people who didn’t.

Self Reflection Questions (Start Here)

Self Reflection is one of those woo-woo things that’s never really defined.  

Think of it as a post-game wrap up of your life.  It’s an intensely personal process.

For example, at the end of last month, I ran an Instagram Challenge you (my precious reader) prepare for the transition back to school.  I also wanted to grow my email list and Instagram followers.  I had goals and fell short of those goals.

Instead of just choking it up as a loss, self-reflection allowed me to learn the lessons and celebrate the successes within that experience. (I really need to up my photography game.)

Now it’s your turn. Here are a few questions to ponder to get you started:

  • How could you have approached the situation differently?
  • What events/decisions led you to where you are?
  • What influenced your decisions?  Do you have some automatic thoughts or beliefs that came into play?
  • Were there any fears holding you back?
  • Did you take anything for granted?

You can write out these questions in a journal.  Ponder them on a long walk.  Discuss them with a business bestie.  Whatever feels right and holds you accountable.

Self Reflection Benefits

When you build a practice of self-reflection, this is where you will go from woo-woo to shocking results.  Here are a few things you will find:

Helps you strategize: When you are out living life, you don’t have time to pause.  Self-reflection allows you to hit that pause button.  You can look at the game of life and see what’s working.  Develop a plan for where you want to go.  Cut out all the extra.

Emotional intelligence: Reflecting back on an event or project, take note of how emotions drove your actions.  Going back to my art mural example.  I can see how my exhaustion almost won.  Spending time with my daughter is at the top of my priority list.  I’m grateful I had the wisdom to push through at that moment.

Identify Strengths and Weaknesses: Grab a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle, and on one side write strengths the other weaknesses.  You know the drill.  This right here is self-reflection in action.

I know. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses or upping your emotional intelligence isn’t the same level of surprise as say walking home to a bedroom makeover courtesy of Joanna and Chip.  

The good news is the results can be just as powerful.   I’ll take memories made with my girl any day over a new light fixture.  

Need some journal prompts to reflect?  Get on my email list and you’ll be the first to get them when they’re ready to go.  

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You don't have to chose between your personal and professional life.  Here's my secret weapon for getting the family chaos to calm.

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