The Power of Daily Reflection: 21 Days of Higher Self Awareness
I recently attended the Vision 2020 conference hosted by the Toronto Chapter of the International Coaching Federation. David B. Peterson, PhD was one of the speakers and described our current environment as VUCA – Volatile; Uncertain; Complex; Ambiguous.
Peterson believes the key to learning in our VUCA world = is triangulation, which can be described as seeing and experiencing things from at least three perspectives. That may sound easy however each perspective needs a different mindset and taking the time to reflect, on a daily basis, is a step in that direction. Your mindset is your collection of thoughts and beliefs that shape your thought habits. And your thought habits affect how you think, what you feel, and what you do. Your mindset impacts how you make sense of the world, and how you make sense of you. Your mindset is a big deal.
For example, if you regularly reflect on why you do certain things, analyze how efficiently you are doing them and, most importantly, you constantly evaluate where your actions are leading you then you can adjust and follow through with your goals, thus bringing you in a direction of achieving happiness and success.
The main goal of regular reflection is to ask yourself thought-provoking questions so that you can develop a deeper level of understanding of:
- Yourself and your actions
- Your environment and its patterns
- and the main blueprints of your key relationships
With regular reflection, you will gain many important insights that can help you shape your life, progress towards your goals faster and, in the end, live a life that YOU want.
And what else? One of the biggest values of personal reflection is being able to change how you look at things. How you see yourself, how you feel about certain situations and, how you act and react to all that life throws at you. New thoughts lead to new emotions and consequently to new actions. Regular reflection will lead to higher self-awareness and a keen sense and understanding of how your energy management affects your ability to focus, manage your thoughts and the direct outcomes they have. People often talk about being more present. Purposeful reflection will allow you to be fully present and enjoy the gift that brings in understanding and allows positivity to unfold in our daily lives.
How to Get Started
Reflection is a discipline. And like all disciplines the daily act of reflection will take time to become a habit or a routine. First you will need to decide what the ‘right’ daily reflection question is for you. Think about the question you want answered most, this will be your reflection question. Next think about your lifestyle and determine the best time of day for you to add reflection time into your daily routine. Are you a morning person or a night person? It is important to remember that the more disciplined you are, the quicker the new task of reflection will become a part of your daily routine, rather than something else you have to try and remember to do. Finally, schedule it. As with any new habit, it is best to start with baby steps. So be sure to pick one daily question, pick your reflection time, schedule it and let the words flow. Don’t judge, remember there is no right or wrong answers when you take time to reflect.
Some possible questions are:
How am I feeling about this day ahead?
What was the most important thing I did today?
What gave me the most joy today?
Today, what caused me the most inner conflict and stress?
If I could change one thing about my life it would be…
As a Coach, I know first-hand that this will probably feel uncomfortable at the beginning however, as many of my coaching clients have shared with me, it is definitely worth the effort.
Regular reflection will help you become more self-aware of how your energy or your “being” affects your ability to focus and be fully present. What new perceptions will come up for you in the next 21 days and what changes will you make as a result? Remember that this is your life, live it to its fullest and be your BEST YOU!