My top tips for self-reflection

Self-reflection supercharges your growth and is a key personal practice to develop, as a leader, a professional and just a good human being, really.

Some of the practices are going to sound deceptively simple. Don’t let that put you off. Like brushing your teeth, the key is in applying it consistently.

1)      Make some time and space.

I’m not kidding. You don’t need much but you do need to zoom out and have a clear head. And do this regularly. This is the beginning of everything else that is good and helpful in that space.  

2)      Think:

Most of us are pretty astute at this already. After a key interaction, take a minute and reflect how that went, what you observed, what you learned and what to do differently next time. Capture this.

3)      Feel/check in with your body:

How do you actually feel about a specific situation? Don’t let your brain go into overdrive immediately. Take a few breaths, see how your chest feels, your stomach, where are you tense? Do specific symptoms arise at specific situations?  

4)      Journaling:

I am not talking cringey teenage stuff. Write down what moves you, what excites and annoys you, and keep track of the things you discover in the other points. This fast-tracks everything else you do, so if you are doing only one thing, make it this.

This can take many forms so use your tech environment fruitfully if that is what you do, you can also get as creative and visual as you like.  Then over time, re-read and look for patterns.

Appreciate how far you have come. Over the course of a year, I find sometimes my goal posts shift along with me. And when that happens I might not fully appreciate the amazing journey. Does that sound familiar?

Definitely to include: Be grateful:

What worked well today? Who helped you? What did you learn from them? What did you achieve? What did you follow through with? Write this down. Often, we just focus on our shortcomings, but not on what we already do.

If this feels a bit much, start with a bit of journaling every day (even if you just write down 3 bullet points, one thing to start, one thing to stop, and one thing to continue). Then add some of the other things in one by one. And yes, reflect on how your reflection is working for you, then fine tune.

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