Self-Reflection: What is it and Why is it Important
Earlier this day, I was writing in my journal and reflecting on my actions, thoughts, and emotions. While writing, I got curious as to why I am really doing this. I got questions like why do people do reflection? Is self-reflection really important? Since I am giving 5 minutes of my daily time to self-reflection, I have to know if it is really important. Thus, I did some research and got a deeper understanding of self-reflection and why we should do it.
Self-reflection is an activity that is done to gather our thoughts, emotions, actions, and feelings in order to understand ourselves deeply. It is important because it helps us develop our personality, action, and skills to review their effectiveness. Also, it gives us a chance to truly consider our relationship with others.
In my daily life, I make sure to do at least 5 minutes of journaling for self-reflection which helps me assess my life and keep my life on track. But how important self-reflection really is? What are the benefits self-reflection gives? More importantly, what exactly is self-reflection? If you have those questions in mind, then I believe that you’re on the right blog post.
What is Self-Reflection
Self-reflection is a practice that allows us to think, evaluate, meditate, and assess our thoughts, behaviors, desires, and actions. It’s a way of evaluating ourselves, our ways of thinking, and how we act in relation to ourselves and our environment. Thus, it’s the key to self-awareness which takes a closer look at our feelings, thoughts, and actions.
To make it easier to understand, self-reflection is our ability to assess our own selves. This includes our feelings, thoughts, and actions.
By doing this, it allows us to have a deeper understanding of ourselves. It helps us remain neutral.
What I mean by neutral is that it is giving us a chance to evaluate ourselves and see it in a neutral light. This basically means that you are seeing yourself without any judgment.
The problem with judgment is that it instantly closes your thoughts. It leaves no room for excuses or creativity.
For example, if you are already negative about your feelings, then most likely, you can’t change your thoughts about it anymore.
If you think of something as extremely good or beneficial, no matter how many red flags you get, you will still believe it to be good.
That’s why the word “neutral” is important. This allows us to stay think deeply about our thoughts and actions.
Without that, there will be no self-reflection.
That’s is also why it is very important to stop judging yourself when doing self-reflection. The main goal is to observe and have a neutral assessment of your life.
That way, you will have a thorough and deeper understanding of yourself.
The easiest way to do self-reflection is to incorporate it into your journaling habits. It can be done with a simple 3 step journaling technique.
Basically, you write these 3 things in your journal to self-reflect
- Things you’re grateful for
- Your Highlight
- A brief story of your day
By having these three important pieces of information, you can have everything you need to start journaling.
If you want more information on how to do effective journaling, feel free to check my video guide.
Of course, the deeper the information, the deeper your self-reflection will be.
Now that we have talked a bit about self-reflection, what makes it so important? Why should we set some time to reflect?
How can we be sure that the time used in self-reflection is worth it?
In the next section, I will explain why self-reflection is important plus, some benefits you can expect when you start incorporating it into your life.
Why is Self-Reflection Important
Self-reflection is important because it allows us to understand our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions which allows us to develop our skills and review its effectiveness. It provides us with a personal headspace that helps in improving our emotional wellbeing, work performance, and empathy.
Let’s start with the basics of why self-reflection is important.
The most basic is that it allows us to review or assess ourselves.
This includes our actions, goals, relationships, career, and many more. This leads us to work with a clear sense of purpose.
It prevents us from feeling lost since we always know what our current situation is. It helps us understand if we are slowly moving towards our goals or we are just wasting our time.
It is a personal headspace that helps us improve how we interact both with ourselves and with our environment.
For example, it helps us answer if we are being too harsh on ourselves or we are being too lax? If we are being too harsh, then it is time to have some self-love.
If we are being too lax, then it is time to force ourselves into doing things.
This gets us on the ground.
Furthermore, since we become more sensitive to our own feelings, we can also expect our empathy for others to improve.
Since we constantly assess our emotions, we can also become better at assessing the emotion of others.
Now, to make a solid point on why self-reflection is important, I have compiled 12 benefits of self-reflection.
Here are the reasons why Self-Reflection is important.
- Self-Reflection Helps Us Get Things Clear
- Self-Reflection Helps Increase Our Work Performance
- Self-Reflection Gives Higher Self-Acceptance and Self-Esteem
- Self-Reflection Builds Creativity
- Self-Reflection Allows Time for Us To Listen to Ourselves
- Self-Reflection Helps Track Your Progress
- Self-Reflection Helps Us Be Aware of Our Strengths and Weaknesses
- Self-Reflection Makes Us Better in Stress Handling
- Self-Reflection Helps Us Feel Free
- Self-Reflection Promotes Our Learning From Life’s Experience
- Self-Reflection Develops Empathy
- Self-Reflection Makes Us Happier
Now, I will explain each one of them so you can see why all of these are reasons why self-reflection is important.
1. Self-Reflection Helps Us Get Things Clear
Since we can understand ourselves and our actions better, we can now be clear on the things we want in life.
Self-reflection allows us to understand and be clear on our goals. This is really important since a lot of people don’t really know their goals.
The reason I am saying this is that some of our goals are set by our environment.
For example, since both my parents were accountants, I thought I also wanted to be an accountant. But the truth is, that’s not the case.
And my reason to start being serious with blogging and making videos is because of self-reflection and my love for sharing things.
That’s why as you can see, I am always sharing things I find interesting on this website.
Being clear on your goals is very crucial and not knowing it makes me waste 5 years of my life. I say waste since I just spent those days mindlessly.
If you need more insight on the importance of a clear set of goals, then you can watch this video.
2. Self-Reflection Helps Increase Our Work Performance
So, self-reflection helps us find our true goals. But it doesn’t end there as self-reflection is also related to better work or school performance.
In a research study from Nurse Education Today, they reported that student nurses who have self-reflective practice are more competent and were able to cope up better.
That means they were able to be more competent and were able to cope up with stress better.
But why did that happen?
Self-reflection allows us to know both our strengths and our weaknesses.
This is because we can understand ourselves better thanks to self-reflection.
By knowing our strengths, we will be able to use them when necessary.
By knowing our weaknesses, we know where we have to improve.
Nobody is a master of everything. In fact, experts are called experts because they mastered a field of study. For example, a lawyer is a lawyer because he or she knows the law and not the human body.
The best ones used their strengths to their advantage. We all have our hidden strengths and it is our duty to find them.
Of course, it is also our duty to find our weaknesses.
3. Self-Reflection Gives Higher Self-Acceptance and Self-Esteem
How can we really accept ourselves if we don’t have any idea who we really are.
While it is simple to tell about yourself upon introduction, there is a high chance that there is just something deep within you that you might have no idea about.
For example, I thought I am going to go to med school and be a doctor But upon knowing myself more, I found out that I don’t really want to be a doctor because of the work environment.
By knowing ourselves, we can finally learn how to really accept our own being. We can finally accept everything about us such as our likes, our dislikes, our goals, our current standing, and many more.
And the more we accept ourselves, the more we can trust our own leading to more self-esteem.
When we finally learn to accept everything including our weaknesses, that’s when we would finally build our self-esteem.
4. Self-Reflection Builds Creativity
Practicing self-reflection is always in line with practicing our imagination.
What I mean by that is by doing self-reflection, we imagine and think deeply which builds our creativity.
By doing that, you would be able to start being more imaginative and creative in thinking.
The good news here is that creativity is a skill that can be applied to many areas of life.
A lot of inventions are made from creativity. New ideas come from creativity.
That’s why entrepreneurs, artists, inventors, and songwriters and trying their best to build their creativity. The good news is that self-reflection can be done as a daily practice to boost creativity.
5. Self-Reflection Allows Time for Us To Listen to Ourselves
In a fast-paced world, it can sometimes be hard to find some quiet time.
Most cities don’t even sleep so it’s like everything is always moving. This makes us have less and less time to relax and enjoy the moment.
Self-reflection allows us to have some time to enjoy some quiet time alone.
Furthermore, listening to ourselves is really important.
There are times where we become insensitive to what we really feel because we are so busy.
The problem is that when the problems get too big, it can be hard to deal with them.
Self-reflection allows us to deal with these problems while they are small. For example, if you are really tired from work, you can just have some time to assess your energy levels if it is still high.
If not, then maybe it is time to have some rest.
6. Self-Reflection Helps Track Your Progress
Self-reflection allows us to track our progress and how we are moving in life.
For example, when I reflect, there are just times where I am comparing myself to who I was before and the changes that happened to me.
For one, I was able to be more social than ever thanks to improving some of my weaknesses.
Furthermore, I am now working on the things that I love to do.
Without self-reflection, I won’t be able to do that and just be grateful for where I am today.
Reflection just makes us understand that we are moving and our efforts are bearing fruit no matter how small it is.
7. Self-Reflection Helps Us Be Aware of Our Strengths and Weaknesses
I have already explained these but it needs to be emphasized.
Self-reflection helps us be aware of our own strengths and weaknesses.
Thus, we can use our strengths and improve upon our weaknesses.
This might seem small but it is one of the best benefits of self-reflection you will have and why it is really important to reflect.
8. Self-Reflection Makes Us Better in Stress Handling
In the research I’ve said earlier, self-reflection helps in dealing with stress.
One of the reasons for that is self-reflection allows us to deal with the problem while it is small.
By doing that we would be able to handle stress properly.
Another is that it allows us to make a concrete plan in order to deal with the problems.
The best thing about having a plan is that the problem doesn’t need to be in our brains all the time. As long as we stick with our well-calculated plan, we can be 80% sure that the problem will be solved.
This can put our minds at ease.
Lastly, self-reflection helps in stress handling simply because we become more in the present.
Every person has a set of problems or worries in the future.
We do not know what the future holds and if you always think of the unknown, it can cause a lot of stress.
Self-reflection allows us to live in the moment. The be happy with what we have and to see plan our future.
This reduces the feeling that the future is unknown which helps us better cope up with life.
9. Self-Reflection Helps Us Feel Free
There are times that we are in the shackles of something from the past.
It might be from rejection, failure, or whatever that is that caused someone to feel stuck.
For example, if you made a big mistake before, then you would not try doing it again since you’ve started to build a shackle.
What self-reflection does is that it questions these shackles and if they are really true.
For example, I already have 2 websites that failed before which made me question my abilities as a blogger.
But thanks to self-reflection, I was able to challenge myself again.
As I said, self-reflection helps us stay in the present. It pulls us away from the future and pushes us away from the past.
10. Self-Reflection Promotes Our Learning From Life’s Experience
They say that experience is the best teacher.
That is really true considering that we just learn more from experience than anything else.
That’s why you’ll see courses having on-the-job training or something like that since they know that real-world experience is sometimes the best training.
But what if we can get the most out of these experiences?
That’s where self-reflection can help.
By writing or reflecting upon our days, we can learn more and relive those experiences.
This increases our learning and helps us remember what we’ve done.
Of course, it will also help us remember our mistakes and make sure that we do better next time.
11. Self-Reflection Develops Empathy
By doing self-reflection, we are able to understand our own feelings and emotions better.
That means that self-reflection is a practice to understand our feelings.
The more we practice, the better we get.
The good news is feelings are basically almost universal.
Love, Hate, Anger, Happiness, and many more.
That’s why the more you understand your emotions, the more you can also understand others.
This makes us better socially and builds empathy.
So self-reflection benefits not only you but how you also communicate with others.
12. Self-Reflection Makes Us Happier
At the end of all of these, all of these benefits will just make us happier.
By living in the present, working on our real goals, being more social, and better with stress handling, we will just have a more meaningful and happier life.
So the 5-15 minutes we spend every day on self-reflection is not that useless. It is really important to try doing some self-reflection since it just makes us happier in general.
Now, are you excited to start learning how to reflect, then I have a blog post you can read. I also made that to help others reflect better. Here is the link: How to develop self-reflection practice
“Only the things I love.“
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If you’re following me, you’ll know that I believe it is essential to have some tools, whether it’s for personal development or lifestyle in general.
So, here are the things I love.
If you want to learn things for free, I recommend watching my YouTube Channel. Click the Button Below to go straight into my Channel. 🙂
Okay, let me first explain my Channel.
I believe that I really can’t explain everything too well on my blog. That’s why I created a YouTube Channel so I can easily explain a lot of things. Plus, I believe that Video Sharing is the future.
The next thing is books. Books are, for me, one of the cheapest ways to get invaluable information. We can learn personal development, finance, career, relationships, and many more from books.
Here, I will be listing my favorite books in different categories.
- For Beginners – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – Personal development has a lot of concepts and ideas to learn. Thus it can be really hard for beginners to know where to start. Thus, I recommend this book since all the basic concepts of personal development are here(except finance, check what I recommended for that)
- Productivity – The One Thing by Gary Keller – This book teaches us the power of focusing on one thing which is the ultimate source of productivity. The concepts taught are what I am using to constantly publish YouTube videos while maintaining this website.
- Busy? – Make Time by Jack Knapp – This book teaches us how to make time for the things we love. The concept is really simple but I think that makes it a book worth reading.
- Health – Lifespan by Dr.Sinclair – This Book teaches about the latest scientific research on lifespan. In his book, he has shared numerous things he is doing to slow down his aging process. This can be as easy as eating less which he recommends.
- Finance – The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason – Perhaps one of the first books I’ve read about Finance, this book for me is the best if we are talking about learning basic finance such as basic saving and investing. The concepts are very simple but effective.
Take this advice as a grain of salt.
I don’t recommend buying Audiobooks one by one. I mean, audiobooks can be quickly finished by listening while working out or doing some mindless tasks.
So here is to save you some money. Just go for a monthly subscription to Audible. I believe that you will save a lot of money with that plus, they usually give freebies to anyone starting.
My Audiobook Recommendation will always be the same as my book recommendations, but I personally like The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. I like how she is so casual while reading her book.