It is one thing to know that you are doing things for your personal development or growth. Another is to check up on yourself, and make things even more efficient. If we are talking about improving yourself in as short time as possible, we should really care about reflection. So in this article, I will discuss on how do you reflect on personal growth?
You reflect on your personal growth by giving yourself time to analyze the aspects of your life. Doing this will make you have an approximation on which areas do you need improvement. It can be about family, health, career, and so on. Then do something on the things that need improvement for another reflection in the near future.
That is how you can do a reflection on your personal development. To make it easier to follow and understand, here are the 16 steps and tips you can easily follow in order for you to do your own personal development or growth reflection.
1. Starting Small is a Big Step
Some people will find it extremely hard to reflect on themselves. This is because it is a new activity for them and it takes a lot of courage to finally take the step and reflect on yourself.
Self reflection is a very big step in order for you to adjust your personal growth and goal. It is very mentally intensive so just trying to read this article to know how deserved my round of applause.
If you are here for improvement, then congratulations! You are taking a step towards making the best version of yourself.
Tiny or small steps are still a good in your self improvement journey. Tiny steps towards doing reflection is actually key to starting.
In fact, in my other article, I have wrote about the importance of knowing yourself. In there, I said that doing self improvement without knowing ourselves is like shooting a ball without any rim. And to be honest, the way for you to find that rim is reflection. If you are interested about that article, here is the link: What can we learn from Personal Development?
Doing a whole day of self reflection is good and it will be very complete that you will understand yourself a lot better.
But, choosing to do it for just 5-10 minutes everyday is also good. As long as you are doing it consistently to know what you want in life, then it will be worth it.
That is what I mean by small steps. You do not need to follow each of these steps just to complete one reflection. All it takes is a few minutes to quietly jot down some notes and see for yourself which you want to improve upon.
With that being said, it is time to go deeper. If you only plan to do short reflections, the tips below will help. If you also want to go to a deeper form of reflection, then this will also help. Save this article in case you need to have some review.
I also made an article that works really well with these tips. It is an article that talks about how to develop the practice of self-reflection. In that article, I talked about how to make self-reflection more effective especially in the application of the results. It will surely double the results you make with less effort. Here is the link: How to Develop your Self-Reflection Practice
2. Think about What you Did, Your Experiences, and Learnings from each Experience
This step is necessary in your personal reflection. It is important to be completely be honest with yourself. The reason why you are doing a reflection is for you to know yourself better and what to do to improve or grow.
Give yourself some time to think about your experiences, the things that you did, and the learning you had from your experience.
It is also very powerful to think of your mistakes. Mistakes are one of the best teachers you can have in life. Some disregard their mistakes in reflection but I think it shouldn’t be the case.
The first reason is that we all make mistakes. It is inevitable in life. The second reason is that it teaches us a lot of things and most mistakes stick to our identity.
This means that if we make a terrible mistake, we tend to remember it throughout life and change us for the good.
For example, one of my mistakes in life is to completely focus on self-development without regard to my real dreams in life such as my career. Granted that I’ve read lots of books but I’ve still gone nowhere.
As I realized this after a lot of reflections and asking why I’m not moving in life, I got the answer. There should be a balance between self-improvement and reaching your goals.
That one lesson lead me to this website where you’re reading this article.
This might be the hardest exercise in reflection. It took me years to just realize one of my biggest realizations in life which is why am I not moving in my career.
It is no wonder there are lots of people staying away from this. Thus, if are still having a problem with this and how do you think during reflection, keep reading as I will share some tips that helped me so it can also help you.
3. Identify the Important Questions
To do the thinking process, here is a good tip for you. Find or Identify the right or correct questions.
Let me explain.
For example, in the most important self-reflection in my life, I’ve wondered why I’m not moving. I’ve read lots of books, I’ve listened to lots of self-help podcasts and videos but I’m not moving in my career at all.
My question of why I’m not moving in life led me to think deeper to get more important questions. The most important question that came out while reflection is this: “How much time have you allocated in actually doing things?”
Now, I am still in denial so my answer will be that I am allocating a lot by reading more books like what the experts are recommending.
Then the question repeats: “How much time in actually doing things?”
That got me to realize that it is the right question. How much time am I giving myself to go ahead in my career? Then my life turned upside down.
To do this I will give you these steps for you grasp it
- Ask what you’ve achieved
- Ask what do you feel today
- Ask what could be better
- Then from your answers, go deeper
- Go deeper until you can find the question that got your attention
Feeling the sense of urgency to answer a question that you found means that you found a jackpot. Answer that and your reflection might be one of the best things you’ve done in your life.
Now, let’s go to the next question. How do we answer these questions?
4. Think and Meditate Based on the Questions
The easiest way to think and meditate on the questions you’ve made is to just sit and relax in a comfortable positions while answering your thoughts.
I find that it also helps a lot by closing your eyes, this increases your concentration.
Here are some tips on making this step more meaningful.
Tips on Thinking and Meditating on your Reflection:
- Check patterns in your behavior – This means that if you are always evading a certain question type, then it means that most of the time, there is something important buried there.
- Answer the question based on your own values – Your values are very important in this. In my case, one of my core values is courage. So when I found out that I need to work on goals, I took the courage to do this consistently every day.
- Be honest even if it is hard – Sometimes, it will be hard to accept the mistakes you did. It is like my example above when I tried rationalizing that I’m reading books that’s why I’m working on my goals.
The most important there is being honest. Try as much as possible even if it hurts. Think of this as a way to free yourself and make you better.
5. Write it Down
Whatever you thoughts are of during the reflection, it is useless if you did not write things down. This is because our brains are not good in remembering things. We are good at processing information.
That means, we need somewhere to put these thoughts down or all our effort will be for nothing.
And the best way is to write things down are maybe on a piece of paper, on your journal, or on your phone.
It is best to put it into a paper or journal because notifications from your phone can distract your reflection session.
After writing things down, you are actually done with it. The last things to do is schedule another reflection session and keep track.
But if you are in for some more cool tips in making your personal development reflection better, then continue reading.
6. Take a Walk and Enjoy the Environment
Going for a walk will clear your head for you to go deeper in your thoughts. This makes it a good practice if you are the type that hates the feeling of alone while meditating.
It will also work your creativity that’s why a lot of artists and writers go outside for inspiration.
Having more creativity can dig deeper into your thoughts and you can have a more thorough self reflection.
This is a good tip to follow if you want something new on your reflections.
7. Talk to Yourself out Loud
Talking to yourself is not crazy. Most people talk to themselves either quietly or loudly.
But sometimes, you are on a denial when you’ve realized something wrong.
One thing is to force yourself into understanding that in your reflection, you’ve found out that something needs improvement it is time to talk it to yourself loud.
This is useful on extreme denial since our ego never want to admit that it is wrong ever.
8. Try Breathing Exercises
In one of my articles where I did the Wim Hof method for a week, one of my experience is that I was able to think more clearly.
It seems like a meditation session but so much deeper and clearer.
I once used this quiet time to get my thoughts together and it works wonders.
It you want an instant way of going deeper into your head, and experience peace of mind, then I recommend it.
If you have no idea about the breathing technique, here is my article discussing everything you need to know including the science behind it: Wim Hof Breathing Experience
9. Read Books
Reflection is not all about sitting down in a room then quietly think. Sometimes you will get awesome insights while reading the book.
I had received a lot of “Aha” moments while reading especially self help books.
Reading books clears up your mind and focuses on what the author is trying to explain. There will be times where you will be able to reflect on what the author is saying and you just had a reflection.
Now write those things down so you won’t forget. Those are usually good insights for personal development.
10. Analyze Past Events
Past events are a good source of information regarding yourself. It is what shaped you into who you are today. It is filled with experiences such as happiness, rejections and more.
If you are lost into thinking and is wondering what to meditate about or what questions to ask, then look for past events.
Chances are you’ve missed some details in those events than can be used for self reflections.
11. Assess what you are Grateful For
Reflections is not all about finding your wrongdoings and making them better.
Sometimes, it will also work well to be grateful.
Grateful that you’ve woken up feeling refreshed or grateful that you are doing well every day.
There are lots of things in our life that needs appreciation.
These appreciations makes our mood better and overall increases our productivity.
It is also a good source of motivation.
12. Checkup with your feeling
There are times that we might forget to check up our feelings.
Reflections are a perfect way to finally find out what you are feeling inside.
Are you feeling bored with your career? Do you want a new hobby? Are you happy with something?
Remember that you while your brain might lie about things, your feelings can’t.
There is a reason why you feel happy, a reason why you feel sad, a reason why you feel motivated.
Check these out because it is a part of your reflection. It helps you realize at what point of your life are you at now.
13. Self Check-up
This is also a good tip for your reflections. If you are having trouble finding things to think of while doing reflections, then this is for you.
You can start by dividing your life into different categories. The categories are all up to you depending on what are the things that are important in your life.
For example: Career, Family, Education, Business
Since you’ve broken them down into smaller pieces, now you can easily make things to think of in these categories for example.
On career, Am I happy with my current career path? Do I need to go faster or do I need to slow down?
Now you have a question to ask for reflection.
This will be tremendously useful in your personal development.
14. Goal Settings
This section is after doing your reflections.
Goal setting is happens after writing down your thoughts. Now is the time to start writing things you need to do for your personal growth.
For the example above, it can be: “I think I am going too slow on my career, maybe I can add a few more hours each week to improve my writing skills so I can be better.”
Now it’s your turn, what are your thoughts on the things you’ve written what can you do in order to improve those aspects in your life.
15. Application of the Reflection
Now that your goal has been in place, it is time for the application.
You have to answer this:
- How many hours per week will I give to self improvement?
- When will I do these practices? (e.g. After Waking up, Before Sleeping)
- How will I know if I’m getting better
- When will I re-evaluate myself
Re-evaluating is important because you need to keep track of yourself. We don’t want you to suddenly lose the rim that you’re targeting aren’t you.
16. Re-evaluation and keeping track
Most people forget this and the problem is this is very important.
Re-evaluation is checking again. Have another session of reflection because I promise you that we change all the time.
It can be that our career has changed, or our priorities have changed. There are many reasons for this and it is normal.
That’s why you see people having reflections every day. For me, it is weekly. It will depend on you.
The important thing is to do it consistently and make sure to schedule it ahead of time.