Self-Reflection Produces Growth

“People who have had little self-reflection live life in a huge reality blind spot.” – Bryant McGill

Self-reflection seems to be a dying art. Some think they don’t have time for reflection or that reflecting is a waste of time.  Others are afraid to take a long, hard look at themselves.  That is a mistake because there is so much to gain by examining yourself and your past. Although thinking about the past means looking back, it is beneficial for your path forward.

Reflection produces growth that makes each forward step more informed.

3 Ways Self-Reflection Produces Growth

1️. You learn about yourself. Many people are shockingly low in self-awareness. Taking a few minutes each day to examine what happened, how you made choices, what went well, and what could have gone better can teach you a lot. 

  • When you know yourself, you can make better plans that utilize your strengths and avoid your weaknesses.

2️. You learn from your past.  Consider the biggest mistakes you’ve made in your life. I bet they are surprisingly similar. It’s funny how history works – if we don’t learn from it, we’ll repeat it until we do.  

Which of us hasn’t spent money we couldn’t afford, gotten involved with someone we shouldn’t, or made poor decisions under pressure? If we take the time to review mistakes, we learn how to prevent repeating them. The opposite is also true. 

  • Reviewing the past can help us identify what works, and then we can advantageously repeat those actions.

“The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination—until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life.” – Iyanla Vanzant

3️. Take intelligent, thoughtful action. It is common for people to be very action-oriented and to avoid spending too much time pondering. But, rather than just jumping in with both feet, it can be incredibly helpful to spend some time thinking and strategizing. First, reflect on what you want to accomplish for yourself. Next, ask yourself a few questions, and then use the answers wisely.

Self-Reflection Questions

Self-reflection is free to learn and easy to apply.  Imagine having the power to leverage your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, and avoid repeating your mistakes. How would your life change if you could do so?

You can by asking yourself powerful questions like: 

  • What lesson did my past successes come to teach me?
  • How do I grow when I reflect on past disappointments?
  • How do I differentiate between reflection and dwelling on the past?

I previously shared Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle, which also includes questions that support learning from experiences. Click here if you missed it. 

Conclusion

You can make good use of every event from your past. 

Self-reflection helps us consider the impact of our actions and take away lessons on how to act in the future, which produces growth. Spend a few minutes each day and apply a little self-reflection. You will be happy with the growth that results.

Lisa L. Baker - Certified Personal, Career, Success and Life Coach

Lisa L. Baker is a professional life coach, career strategist, and keynote speaker. Lisa is the founder of Ascentim – a Maryland-based coaching practice that utilizes a unique G.R.O.W. process to help clients gain clarity, realize new possibilities, overcome obstacles, and win at life. Lisa shows high-performing professionals how to Level Up and Live the Life of Their Dreams.

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