Are you finding time for self reflection?

You’re not.

Then you should definitely continue reading.

I will explain the 5 reasons why I think self reflection is a must and invite you to take part in your own self reflection challenge.

What is self reflection?

I googled this and found all sorts of complicated explanations. As someone who likes to keep it simple, my favourite explanation was from the open university web site –

[pullquote align=”normal”]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. [/pullquote]

Why did I start?

I have spent the last 6 months on two training programmes, personal performance coaching and executive coaching.

There is a lot to do. Reading modules, reading books, training weekends, webinars, tele classes, DVDs and of course lots of practical coaching.

As part of the training accreditation, you have to reflect on everything you have learned and add this to a personal development journal.

There are 3 thought provoking questions –

  1. What are your key learning points?
  2. What areas are there for further development?
  3. What are you action points?

They seem simple to answer at first, but sometimes it takes me ages. I also have to find a quiet area to think about them.

But, but doing this, I have gained 5 great insights to self reflection –

  1. It raises my self awareness about the amount I have learnt and how I can learn more.
  2. It raises my self confidence as I realise I am actually quite good at this.
  3. It motivates me to learn more and do better.
  4. I start to think positively and feel good.
  5. I tend to come up with some very creative ideas.

How else can you use self reflection?

As I found this extremely valuable, I decided to look where else I could use this.

I now keep a personal self reflection journal on my iPhone.

At the end of every day, I ask myself 4 questions –

1. What one thing went well today?
It is great to reflect on what went well and which of my strengths I used that day.

2. What one thing did not go so well ?
I like to use a little technique a friend taught me for this. It is called the 5 Whys.It is a technique developed by the Toyota Motor Corporation to analyse problems on their production lines. It is an iterative questioning technique used to explore the cause-and-effect of a problem i.e.

Problem – This piece of work took double the normal time?

Why 1? – Because I kept getting interrupted
Why 2? – Because people kept walking into my office?
Why 3? – Because they wanted to know about this piece of software I wrote?
Why 4? – Because they have not used it before?
Why 5? – Because I have not trained them or written a user guide?

3. What one thing did I give back?
I like to feel I have used my strengths to help others and give back something my mentors gave me.

4. Did I have fun?
What is the point of life if you cannot have any fun?

As I have been doing this for a while it generally only takes me 5 minutes a day, but it is well worth doing, especially when you look back over a period of time at your notes.

Time to reflect

What have you learnt from this article?

What are you going to do with this information?

Are you up for a challenge?

You are, then I challenge you to try this for a week and tell me what you learnt below.

Have a great week
Nick

Categories: Personal Development