“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” – Margaret J. Wheatley
In each Fuzzy Red Socks retreat we make time for rest, reflection and rejuvenation. One just seems to roll right into the other. But it’s reflection that for me allows the other two to stand as bookends for my self care journey. Without my time for reflection, I seem to have less and less time for rest – and when that happens, I can’t feel rejuvenated. I don’t feel happy.
It’s in my time by myself, journaling, reading old notes from retreats, workshops and coaching calls, meditating and just being free to dream, that I can take stock of what I know to be true for me and what is important for my day-to-day happiness.
This is your invitation to do the same.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sara Uzer from Elite Daily says, “Throughout our daily lives, we are constantly observing and analyzing. Whether it’s an important document for work or a confusing text from someone we love, we have successfully trained our brains to obtain data and examine it for deeper meaning or explanation. While it has become second nature to think critically, the ironic part is we often forget to apply this concept to ourselves. Introspection or self-reflection involves examining one’s own thoughts, feelings and sensations in order to gain insight.”
Sara lists 7 ways self-reflection and introspection can give us a happier life.
1.It allows you to notice negative patterns in our life – Maybe you keep crawling back to that toxic relationship,convincing yourself that through all of the frustration and inconsistency, the person will eventually change. Maybe you’re continuously picking up a coworker’s slack, delaying your own tasks and hurting your progress in the long run. Whatever the case may be, introspection allows you to recognize these patterns, and how and why they have a detrimental effect on your emotions and outlook. From there, you can consider alternate approaches to these situations and eventually, migrate away from the stressors altogether.
2.It keeps you focused on the bigger picture – When we don’t have an overall goal in mind, our daily tasks become meaningless and increasingly frustrating. Therefore, it’s important to have a clear vision of where you want to see yourself in the future. Write it down if you have to, and don’t forget to continuously remind yourself of what you hope to ultimately accomplish. As a result, you will have a more positive attitude toward your current obligations.
3.It prevents you from worrying about things out of your control – An infuriating traffic jam, a boss who never considers your opinions, a torrential downpour when you planned a weekend at the beach — you get the idea. No matter how many times we’ve been told not to stress about what we can’t change, we do it anyway. Introspection allows us to eventually detach from these aspects over which we have no influence, and instead, direct our energy toward things we can absolutely improve on ourselves.
4.It helps you face your fears – We all want to be that person who can dive into any challenge headfirst and come out successful. But, let’s face it: We’re all afraid of something. Whether it’s rejection, failure or something else entirely, introspection allows you to admit your fears to yourself and eventually learn the best way to handle them. This can be a trial-and-error process, but simply recognizing what scares you is a great starting point.
5.It allows you to clearly define happiness on your own terms – When are you most happy? Who do you most enjoy spending time with? What accomplishments are you most proud of and why? These questions may seem cliché, but they hold a lot of value. By recognizing the positive events in your life, you can apply your knowledge to future goals and endeavors.
6.It allows you to make decisions based on your conscience – When it comes to making significant life decisions, the important people in your life will naturally have opinions. However, self-reflection helps you make decisions based on fully understanding what is right or wrong for you. Make choices based on what you truly believe, without letting other people’s input sway you. While it’s okay to ask for others’ advice and feedback, ultimately, trust your gut — it won’t fail you.
7.You will finally get different results – When we continuously go through our lives the same way, we inevitably block the chance of changing things for the better. By becoming more self-aware, we are able to have a better understanding of what we truly want in life.Naturally, this involves making changes, whether they’re significant or menial.
Ms. Uzer asks, “Is it worth it to take as little as five minutes out of our day for self-reflection or introspection in exchange for an increased chance of happiness? Most of the time, it’s safe to say you already know the answer.”
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
Here at Fuzzy Red Socks we say, “Make self-reflection a part of your regular self care routine. Take time to reflect on the past year, the past month, even that conversation you had last night with your partner/parent/child/friend that just isn’t sitting right with you.
Then get to know yourself better and create the happiness you deserve.”