Giving ourselves time to think is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. Most of us rarely spend much time in self-reflection. While we know it might be beneficial, we don’t believe we have time. In fact, what we tend to do is we often blame others for not giving us time to think.
Playing victim does not win you time to self-reflect. It just makes you crazy.
Do Self-reflection intentionally
The random reflection is important. To take reflection to the next notch though, you may want to intentionally set aside time for focused self-reflection. This might be time to think about a specific event, a conversation or a challenging situation you are currently trying to sort out. In being more intentional during self-reflection, you can give your mind time to work its way around whatever you need to sort out.
How to do Self-reflection
Here’s an example of how I used self-reflection to sort out my dilemma
I was at a meeting the other day and someone said something offensive to another member of the team. The comment was meant as a joke, however, it was grossly inappropriate. As one of the leaders in this group, I felt it was my responsibility to address it.
I want to have something to say that will not only stop the negative behavior but also inspire the individual making the inappropriate comment to consider their impact and become more conscious in how they say things. It is through my self-reflection that I can get my desired outcome.
Let self-reflection grow your leadership
Self-reflection allows us to be aligned with our purpose and values. It can have us become more intentional in getting the impact we desire and going in the direction we want to go. We have to, however, make the time to do it. Add self-reflection to the top of your To Do list today!
Let me help you out with some regular reminders about slowing down.
Join me for Coffee Break with Kathy
Don’t you just hate getting stuck? Can’t go forward. Can’t go back. Can’t see any way out! Doesn’t it even drive you nuts more, when someone else comes along and sees an easy way out?
I remember being stuck with my vehicle many years ago before I learned that a 4x4 is the best way to go. Four kids were packed in the back of the mini-van ready to go to the babysitters, while I fumed, trying to get unstuck. The more jammed I got, the more stressed I became, knowing I was going to be late for work.
I saw a way out
A phone call to my loving husband and he came home to get my freed from the mounds of snow in the driveway. I’d been going back and forth, back and forth, only digging myself deeper. Ernie comes home, hopes in the van and had it out in no time. He knew what to do. He knew how much gas to give it at just the right time to turning the wheel. I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t get out.
Get out of your rut
It’s that way with life often. We can’t see a way out. We go back and forth in our little rut, getting nowhere. What if it could be different?
Here is the trick
One of the biggest gifts that I received from being trained as a coach was the addition of the word “perspectives” to my every day vocabulary. Sure, I knew the word before. I even used it occasionally. Now however there is rarely a day goes by that I don’t use it to look at my own view of the world, to describe someone else’s or to help someone get out of his or her rut. I ask:
"What is your perspective and how can you shift it slight?"
Your perspective is the way you see things
A perspective is simply the way we see things. It is our view of the world, the person or the challenge in from of us. At the time, I had seen my situation in the mini-van as hopeless. Ernie had seen it as a challenge easily overcome. I now see the world as inherently good. Others see the world as full of people out to get them. I choose to see the changing seasons as opportunities to enjoy different things like puzzles and crisp starry nights. Others dread the coming winter.
Your perspective is based on your experience of life up until this point. It comes from where you grew up and the way you were raised. Your perspective is formed from your culture, the jobs you have had, the people you hang out with, the movies you watch and the book you’ve read. All of these things layer one over the other to create your view.
Some other words to describe perspective might be viewpoint, opinion, lens, belief or story. If you’ve read books like “The Four Agreements”, you may call it your agreement or your story.
You (not the world) choose your perspective
But here is the thing about perspectives. You choose them. It is like a pair of glasses you put on … or take off. It is up to you how you see the world. So if you are stuck, you might want to reach up and see if the glasses you are wearing are the ones that will help you get unstuck.
Here is how my perspective shifted
How will you shift your perspective today?
See what you can shift today. Choose to look at things slightly differently and feel the difference.
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
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