According to Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
While this quote holds true, self-reflection is not a common practice for most people. Most of us live in a fast paced world, in which our activities and daily routine consumes most of our time. Our phones are constantly buzzing from emails, messages, and work is infinitely calling. The pressure and the intensity of our working schedules gravitates us away from putting our thoughts and emotions into perspective.
This means that the art of self-reflection has been lost with time, consequently leading to unexamined and unexplored lives. But, what does self-reflection represent?
Self-reflection is the art of analyzing, exploring and evaluating your feelings, motivations, behaviours, and the overall trajectory of your life. Based on it, people can see their current position, the direction that they are headed, and hence make the necessary changes. Most importantly, it provides the answer to WHY things happen in a certain way.
For instance, when we are not devoting any time to think or “press pause” to analyze the events that happen during our day, we are just passing through life; moving from one place to another without any further notice. Subsequently, we do not know if what we do, or what strategy we follow, is influencing us to be better emotionally. This lack of self-reflection drives the thinking brain to be dominant against the feeling brain, thus we lose sight of what truly matters.
So we should ask, “What techniques should people follow to utilize self-reflection at their own advantage and be pioneers of their emotional intelligence?”
- The primary way to reflect is to obtain a journal, either online or print. It is recommended to use a printed journal because the brain is more stimulated, enabling us to process what valuable lessons we have learned. In the journal, write down some questions and then take the time to answer them. Don’t rush, simply dive deep into what matters to you.
- Take a long break. After working intensively, you need to take some time off. Go to some place that you have never been before, and let that daily stress fade away for a few days.This will enable you to gain clarity, improve your memory, and shift your attention to your personal growth. This is the moment when you “press pause” and all the factors that trigger negativity and problems come to the surface. You start developing a little map in your head of what should be eliminated, ignored and polished for enhancing the quality of your life.
- Make mistakes. When we are kids, we get told to study hard, to enrich our knowledge and vocabulary with the aim of being a successful person in the future. Also, we get told to avoid making mistakes, as they will lead to failure, frustration, and loss of control. However, mistakes translate the opposite, as you obtain wisdom, experience and also you eliminate getting stuck in your comfort zone. This holds true because when you’re doing great at work or succeeding at most of your challenges, a piece of your professional and emotional growth is hindered. For instance, perfectionists strive hard to produce successful outcomes and sometimes end up being discouraged or disappointed. This happens because they ignore their flaws, overburden themselves with work and cross their boundaries in pursuit of success. Along the way, these types of people- lose sight of their vision, their desires, and motivation, subsequently making them hopeless. However, if you embrace your flaws, and you learn how to analyze your consciousness you will live a positive, holistic and integrated life.
Don’t live an unexplored life. Tackle every opportunity, live day by day to the fullest, create memories, and develop your mindset.
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