It’s like flossing your teeth instead of eating chocolate.
Have you wondered why self-reflection is important? I want to tell you – there are so many reasons.
Self-reflection is the starting point for self-understanding and learning. There are many benefits – including the ability to:
- Help us examine our different perspective
- Identify choices that are personally aligned to our values and goals
- Understand ourselves at a deeper level
- Provide a foundation for personal change and growth.
There are also various ways we can perform self-reflection – depending on our preferences.
So, with these apparent advantages and flexibility – why can it be hard to do?
As someone that continuously coaches people on the importance of self-reflection – so they can achieve their personal goals. It is shameful how much I do not walk the (self-reflection) walk.
Even though I am constantly reminding my clients of the importance of self-reflection for:
- Discovering what brings meaning to their lives
- Discovering how they can live aligned to their meaning
- Defining perfect life goals that will increase general well-being
- Working out the hurdles that need to be overcome
- Working out the best way to live their best life day-to-day
When I think about self-reflecting myself – I feel like I am making the choice to floss my teeth instead of eating some delicious dark chocolate.
So, in case you feel the same way. Today, I want to give you some personal examples of why self-reflection is important. (And provide me with a reminder).
Why self-reflection is important to me
You won’t find me keeping a regular self-reflection or gratitude journal. You won’t find me responding to “journal prompts”. To be honest, I’d rather get a tooth pulled out.
Actually, for me, self-reflection is like my approach to dental care. Flossing in particular.
I know I should be flossing regularly. I love how it feels after I do. I know it is the best way to look after my teeth. But as much as I try to get in a good routine – after I while – the routine slowly fades into nothingness.
I know – self-reflection has many benefits for well-being – but…
Self-reflection can involve delving into uncomfortable thoughts and feelings and digging around in areas I would prefer to ignore.
I find this annoyance similar to my flossing routine, which involves me struggling to find the right angles to navigate my tightly packed teeth.
So – instead of self-reflection or flossing – I’d prefer to do something more enjoyable… like eating chocolate…
But – in spite of this – I have to admit – that self-reflection has allowed me to change my life for the better.
Why self-reflection is important: To make sure your personal goals stay on track
I’m not one of those people that consume never-ending self-help books and never puts things into motion. Or, someone that constantly talks about their goals but never puts a plan in place to achieve them. (I am sure you know these people).
I am the kind of person that builds a perfect plan for my goals – but – then lets things end up in the too-hard basket.
In these times – when things seem too tough – I have realised self-reflection is really important.
I have always advocated self-reflection as the starting point for great goals. This is because to discover your perfect personal goals – you need an in-depth knowledge of your values, strengths and what gives you meaning.
But I have only realised recently – how important self-reflection is for me – when I am trying to stick to my goals. Primarily, because of its assists me to get to the bottom of why things have ended up in the too-hard basket.
Why self-reflection is important: So you can truly know yourself
Self-reflection taught me that I am a perfectionist – with a dash of fear of failure & a super negative mindset – that wants to encourage others to improve their lives.
Until I started regular self-reflection – I didn’t know any of this about myself.
But now this information is now fundamental to how I approach my life and plan my goals – so I can facilitate meaning and well-being in my day-to-day.
Why self-reflection is important: So you can grow
Once the uncomfortable work to understand yourself is done – you can do the uncomfortable work to grow.
For example, once I discovered what a true Negative Nellie I was – swimming in a world of limiting beliefs – I could work to address this.
Although, I won’t be winning any awards for my rate of progress. Self-reflection allows me to get better and better at catching myself buy into negative thoughts and beliefs.
This allows me to call them out for what they are – and focus on a more positive and productive mindset.
So, why is self-reflection important? (The recap)
As great as chocolate is – ultimately, eating it is not going to help you improve your life (even if it is divine).
Self-reflection on the other hand – can open up your world for positive change.
In my experience – self-reflection has helped me improve my life – regardless of how much I didn’t want to do it.
(Note to self – put down the chocolate and self-reflect more!)
(FYI – Check out this site if you need some tips for getting started on your self-reflection.)
I feel it would be remiss of me to not mention something that pops up in research.
Yes, there are many great things about self-reflection (eg. points above). But for those of you that like to double down on personal growth activities (not people like me that only double down on chocolate intake) – beware.
Self-reflection is great to a point – but it shouldn’t detract from spontaneous living. All good things in moderation (says the person that has never been able to eat chocolate in moderation).
[Article First Published: February 4, 2021.]