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Why Self-Reflection Is Key To Personal Growth

Written by: Rachael Burgess, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Socrates wrote a famous quote: "An unexamined life cannot be enjoyed." Though the statement may be true, the self-reflection process can be challenging.


woman meditating at morning in her bed

However, it can be a powerful tool that will allow you to gain insight into your thoughts, actions, and emotions. It involves taking the time to step back and examine ourselves, our experiences, and our behaviours with an open mind and an honest heart. The more we look inward and examine our patterns and behaviours, the better our understanding of ourselves and others will be. So in this blog post, we explore the importance of self-reflection, why it's so critical for our mental health, and how you can incorporate it into your daily routine.


A Deeper Understanding

Self-reflection (or "personal reflection") essentially means focusing on your behaviours, thoughts, and desires for a long time. This is a method that takes a deep look at your mind, emotions, motivation, and identifies what really drives the cause. Personal reflection enables us to examine our life on macro as well as micro levels. A macro perspective allows you to evaluate life’s overall progressions. The way to get there is easy – you can decide whether your direction is satisfactory or if you are adjusting it as needed. A micro-perspective, on the other hand, helps to look at the details of our decisions, habits, and behaviours. We can use it to figure out what needs to change in our lives to reach our goals. Reflecting on these details can help us make more mindful decisions that drive us closer to our goals.


Why Is Self-reflection Important?

Here's why you should start practising self-reflection:

  • Identify strengths and weaknesses: Knowing what we excel at and what we need to improve can help us make better decisions, set more achievable goals, and ultimately perform better in everyday life.

  • Develop self-awareness: Our relationships with others will improve, and we will make better decisions if we become more self-aware.

  • Foster personal growth: In order to grow as individuals and achieve our goals, we should reflect on our experiences and learn from our mistakes.

  • Increase emotional intelligence: Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage our own emotions and others' emotions. We can effectively communicate, build stronger relationships, and handle difficult situations by improving this.

How Do You Practise Self-reflection?


First off, you can start a journal. Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal is a powerful way to self-reflect back on your experiences. Take a few minutes each day to reflect on your emotions. You might want to grab this micro-assessment guide to help you with this, too. Mindfulness meditation is another way. This involves paying attention to the present moment without judgement. Observing your breath and your thoughts can help you develop a more positive mindset and a greater sense of self-awareness.


Also, asking questions to yourself about your experiences and behaviours can help you with your reflection practice. Dig deeper into your thought patterns and emotions. What did I learn from this experience? How could I have handled that person or situation differently? What emotions am I experiencing right now?

Asking for feedback from others can also be a valuable way to gain perspective on your behaviours and identify areas for improvement. Be open to constructive criticism and use it as an opportunity to grow and develop.


Lastly, reflecting on your core values and beliefs can help you gain clarity about your goals and priorities. Take some time to identify your values and think about how you can live in alignment with them.


How Do You Reflect Over Your Life?


Reflecting on your life is a personal and introspective process that can help you gain a better understanding of yourself, your experiences, and your values. It's a professional development, too.

You can start by setting aside some dedicated time and finding a quiet and comfortable space where you can be alone with your thoughts. Take some deep breaths and try to clear your mind of distractions.


Next, think about your life experiences, both positive and negative. Consider the challenges you have faced, the successes you have achieved, and the people who have influenced you along the way.

Be honest with yourself and allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up. Reflecting on your life can be a challenging and emotional process, but it can also be incredibly rewarding and insightful. Learning more about your life experiences and values will help you make better decisions, set more achievable goals, and live a more fulfilling life.


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Rachael Burgess, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Rachael Burgess has been an inspiring entrepreneur for more than 20 years. At the age of 24, she has been serving more than 10,000 customers with her successful cake business, Rachael's DesignaCake. In Australia, she was a consistent small business champion state winner in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Rachael Burgess is not an ordinary entrepreneur. She struggled with dyslexia and became independent at the age of 18. She has faced grief, a 6-year divorce settlement, toxic family members, being a single mom of 4, and even more. But that doesn't stop her from pursuing her passion of helping others who may have gone through the same experiences or even worse. Now, she is a passionate Business and Spiritual coach.

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