The power of self-reflection

I've been feeling quite introspective with winter now upon us and the long dark nights. So I've been spending some time reflecting on the past year, identifying what went well and what I want to change moving forward. 


This is something I do most years; although I have to admit I didn't bother last year because like many others, with so much change and uncertainty going on, I didn't have the inclination or the energy!

However, in my experience, life is definitely more fruitful when I take some time to check in with myself so I can move forward with more clarity and intention.

To be clear, I'm not talking about some arbitrary new year's resolution that is based on a random choice or personal whim. These never last much more than the first few weeks in January! 

I'm talking about making space to reflect and reset, get really clear about why you want to take action and create a system that sets you up for success. 

So I thought I'd share with you my thoughts about self-reflection and a special festive gift I've put together for you...

What is self-reflection?

Self-reflection brings perspective into our lives. It helps us learn, grow, appreciate and understand. Yet we rarely make time for it. 

We live in a fast-paced, distraction fueled world, where productivity and busyness are celebrated and slowing down, making space or even stopping, is often seen as a sign of weakness or laziness.

So we bounce around putting out fires with very little consideration as to whether these things are actually moving us closer to where we really want to be. In fact, most of us aren't even clear about what we want or where we want to be! Hence there are so many people that appear outwardly 'successful' and are miserable and unfulfilled.

Self-reflection requires us to intentionally press pause on the chaos of life and make time to think. It's incredibly hard to do, especially for those of us that have a tendency to put others' needs above our own.  

It's not always comfortable either - often we use busyness and distraction to avoid dealing with the things in our life that deep down we know aren't working. However, when we don't make time to explore our inner world we often end up feeling lost, stuck and confused.

We just keep running around the hamster wheel, trying to do 'all the things' and to meet all the different expectations and responsibilities, wondering why we feel so rubbish all the time!

The benefits of self-reflection

Self-reflection helps you to stop the world momentarily, take a step back and get curious about what really matters to you. It helps you to get clarity on your situation.

I always describe clarity as a jigsaw puzzle. When you throw all the pieces out on the table it can feel a bit challenging and overwhelming. There are so many pieces with tiny bits of the bigger picture. As we start to sort through the pieces we find bits that fit together and before we know it the picture is starting to take shape. 

Once we are clearer about the bigger picture this enables us to start taking action, having better conversations with others and setting and upholding healthy boundaries.

Getting clear about what is and isn't working and what we want instead, and taking action to make that happen, also increases our self-esteem and confidence.

Making time to reflect on our progress gives us a greater sense of achievement. I do this each fortnight before I see my own coach. Whilst it's not always a comfortable process, it is always super valuable. 

Usually, I start off thinking I've not achieved much at all, and after a little bit of reflection I end up with a list of things and realise I've done more than I thought! 

We can get so focused on the end goal that we forget to celebrate all the little wins we have along the way. So having a regular practice of self-reflection can help us to feel more positive and motivated too.

There really are a plethora of benefits to self-reflection and this is why a large part of my work with clients is about facilitating their self-reflection journey.

End of year reflection

There are many ways to explore your inner world, all of which will require you to quieten the noise and make some time and space for yourself. If this is something you struggle with you can check out my recent newsletter 'How to put yourself first'.

My favourite way of reflecting is through guided journaling exercises - answering a series of questions to help get clear about what's going on. I've previously shared an emotional check-in exercise with you and some questions to help you to move through guilt in previous articles.

Today I want to share with you how I use self-reflection at the end of each year to help set myself up for success in the year ahead.

I have put together an editable PDF for you called Reflect & Reset: The responsibly selfish way to wave goodbye to 2021 and get set for 2022.

You can download the guide here.

This guide will help you to look back, so the view looking forward is even clearer. It includes a 'responsibly selfish review', a letting-go exercise and it will help you to set the sat nav for 2022 so you don't get lost!

This is my festive gift to you to say thank you for spending your precious time reading my articles and being part of my community. I hope you find it thought-provoking and a useful tool for transitioning into the new year.

I'd really love to know how you get on with it. If you feel you'd like to share, I'd love you to hit the 'email me' button below. I read and reply to all emails personally and love hearing from and connecting with new people.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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