Self-reflection practice can help you better understand others and increase self-awareness, which is a significant component of emotional intelligence. Reflective practice can also aid in the development of creative thinking abilities and promote active participation in work processes.
In the workplace, keeping a learning notebook and practicing self-reflection on a daily basis will help you have more meaningful conversations about your career progress and personal development, including during personal appraisal time. It will also assist you in providing examples for competency-based interview settings.
But, what is self-reflection?
Simply put, self-reflection is taking time to focus inward to answer important questions about yourself:
Who are you?
What are your core values?
Who do you want to be?
To answer these three questions fully, though, it helps to break each of them down into more minor questions and focus on one at a time.
The importance of self-reflection is closely tied to the benefits listed below:
1. Knowing Your Core Values
The more you go into yourself, the easier it is to pinpoint your basic personal principles.
It's easy to discover the "why" behind the decisions you make, the company you keep, and the things you want to do with your life when you know what means most to you.
It's also simpler to figure out why something annoys you and whether you should act on it.
2. Understanding Your Purpose and Potential
Self-reflection is the first step toward understanding your unique potential and purpose.
The more aware you are of your talents and flaws, the more apparent it will be for you to recognize what you can contribute – and what you need to improve on.
And you're more likely to direct your efforts where they'll be most effective.
Questioning the views you've held about your potential, identity, and purpose should be a part of your self-reflection process.
Some convictions aren't worth holding on to. And you'll figure out how to recognize it and let it go.
3. Big-picture Thinking
Self-reflection daily can help you make sense of the world and your place in it.
When you know what matters most to you, you're less prone to get distracted by minor details — and you're better equipped to put things in context.
You'll learn to think in terms of the big picture.
It will be easier for you to step outside of yourself and your emotions if you are self-aware (as well as those of other people).
And once you can do that, being present without feeling overwhelmed becomes much easier.
Allow your instincts to lead you to the best view position. And it's from there that you can see things you've never seen before.
4. Facing Your Fears
The more self-aware you are, the more you'll see what's holding you back and keeping you from progressing.
Recognizing your anxieties for what they are and the blessings on the other side can give you the courage to tackle them.
You'll want to confront them as your self-awareness grows. And when you conquer one after the other, your courage will grow.
5. Better Decision-Making
You become more conscious of your inner voice and what it is attempting to tell you through self-reflection.
You'll find it easier to make judgments if you have a stronger relationship.
That inner voice has a lot of knowledge. It also doesn't waste time on minor details.
You'll be less distracted by other people's opinions and other mental clutter if you're more self-aware. As a result, you'll be able to think more clearly.
Breakthroughs are the result of clear thought. Who wouldn't want to see more of those?
6. Better Relationships
The more you know about yourself, the more you'll be able to see connections between yourself and those around you. Your emotional intelligence improves as you become more self-aware.
The higher your EQ, the easier it is to connect on a deeper level with people.
And the less you care about what they think of you, the better.
Because you'll be more conscious and mindful of your own actual needs, you'll have a better feel of what the people near you need.
7. Less Stress and Anxiety
The more self-aware you become, the less likely you are to worry about what could happen, what hasn't happened yet, or what could happen.
I'm not saying you'll suddenly stop feeling anxiety. Still, if you're more aware of the reasoning behind the anxiety, you can offer a counterargument based on things you know to be true.
Thoughts are powerful. And your thoughts — when you're living more consciously — can help you weather the storms, even if you can't prevent them from ever happening.
8. Self-Acceptance and Compassion
Without self-knowledge, which comes after self-examination, self-acceptance is impossible.
Only by beginning to self-reflect daily will you be able to identify areas that require improvement and learn to appreciate your unique skills.
Only then will you be able to love, forgive, and accept yourself as you are, without the need for anyone's approval.