A NEW YEAR BRINGS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REFLECT & START ANEW
As with the start of any new year, people are making New Year’s resolutions and goals they hope to achieve throughout the year. It’s a time for a fresh start and for change.
One of the most over looked and best things people can do in planning for a New Year is to spend some time reflecting on the past year – what you did or didn’t achieve, mistakes and lessons, and your successes. It’s through our experiences we learn what worked well and what we need to change.
When we review our actions, ourselves – this is an exercise in self-reflection which helps us to become more self-aware in the present as well. Being self-aware can be critical to our success and in living a productive life. Successful and wealthy people are very self-aware. They are aware of their thoughts, habits and their actions.
What is Self-awareness?
Self-Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self Awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment. Human self-reflection is the capacity of humans to exercise introspection and the willingness to learn more about their fundamental nature, purpose and essence. It gives you better understanding of yourself and a heightened awareness of your emotions and actions.
How do you become more self-aware – through self-reflection.
What is Self-reflection?
Self-reflection is like looking into a mirror and describing what you see. It is a way of assessing yourself, your ways of working and how you study. To put it simply ‘reflection’ means to think about something. Reflecting and composing a piece of self reflective writing is becoming an increasingly important element to any form of study or learning.
Why is self-reflection important?
Reflecting helps you to develop your skills and review their effectiveness, rather than just carry on doing things as you have always done them. It is about questioning, in a positive way, what you do and why you do it and then deciding whether there is a better, or more efficient, way of doing it in the future.
In any role, whether at home or at work, reflection is an important part of learning. You wouldn’t use a recipe a second time around if the dish didn’t work the first time would you? You would either adjust the recipe or find a new and, hopefully, better one. When we learn we can become stuck in a routine that may not be working effectively. Thinking about your own skills can help you identify changes you might need to make.
Reflective questions to ask yourself:
- Strengths – What are my strengths? For example, am I well organised? Do I remember things?
- Weaknesses – What are my weaknesses? For example, am I easily distracted? Do I need more practise with a particular skill?
- Skills – What skills do I have and what am I good at?
- Problems – What problems are there at work/home that may affect me? For example, responsibilities or distractions that may impact on study or work.
- Achievements – What have I achieved?
- Happiness – Are there things that I am unhappy with or disappointed about? What makes me happy?
- Solutions – What could I do to improve in these areas?
Being self-aware helps you to monitor your own behavior and actions and to improve those actions, thus making better decision. By “Noticing Yourself”, you begin to see ways you impact your future – for the better or worse.
In Mindy Hall’s book , “Leading With Intention: Every Moment Is a Choice,” she directly and perceptively addresses this in a chapter titled- Noticing Yourself.
“In every interaction, you are the pivotal element. You have the ability to tailor your approach, your message, your actions – and even your appearance – to shape the outcome. You must, therefore, begin to see yourself as the primary tool for achieving high-level results, as opposed to elements outside of you – such as business models, organizational structure, other people, or circumstances.
“Over the course of my twenty-five-plus years coaching leaders and shaping organizations, I would say nearly 80 percent of those I have worked with did not lead intentionally. They were bright capable leaders that operated out of intuition, pattern and reaction. Mind you, some did so with very strong results, but those who made the decision to be more self-aware and intentional achieved higher-level results in terms of both the positions they’ve held and the impact they’ve had than those who continued to operate primarily from intuition.
“Developing this aptitude is possible and begins the moment you look in the mirror and reflect on the process of understanding how you show up, how you affect a room, and what environment you create. Operating with this level of awareness is counterintuitive to how we live our lives, which is why it is so easy to lose sight of its importance. However, with this awareness in place, success becomes a matter of intention: recognizing who you are being and choosing consciously and deliberately who you want to be.
Put more plainly: notice yourself. Be in the moment and watch yourself in the moment. How would you experience your actions if you were on the receiving end?”
Every action produces a result. This is an opportunity to stop, reflect and create new results.
Have a Great 2017