Self Reflection: A Path to Knowledge and Happiness

Self Reflection: A Path to Knowledge and Happiness

Self reflection can make you a better person, improve your relationships and help you succeed in life. We’re taking a deeper look at what is self reflection, why it matters and how you can get started today!

What is Self Reflection?

Self reflection is the act of thinking about your own thoughts, actions, motivations and beliefs, and your impact on others.

Sometimes known as personal reflection or introspection, self reflection is an opportunity to look in the mirror and ask questions. It’s a process to improve your understanding of who you are, what you’ve done and why that’s the case.

Self reflection is really important for personal learning and growth. It’s a fantastic opportunity to bring alignment to who you are at present and who you want to be in the future.

Selected Quotes on Self Reflection

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

Aristotle

”The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination… until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life.” 

Iyanla Vanzant

”I visualize where I wanted to be, what kind of player I wanted to become.  I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I focused on getting there.”

Michael Jordan

”Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

Carl Jung

“Self-reflection is the gateway to freedom.”

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

Why is Self Reflection Important?

Self reflection takes time and isn’t always easy. However, there are some huge benefits to self reflection!

Know Yourself

Self reflection provides a window to examine our own personality, experiences and relationships with others. This process of examination allows us to become more self aware.

Understand the Bigger Picture

Once we’ve stepped back from the emotion and confusion of a situation, there is space to see other pieces of the puzzle and identify important connections. This might include information that has been forgotten or couldn’t have been known at the time.

This broader understanding can reveal valuable life lessons.

Turn a Negative Experience into a Positive

Self reflection encourages us to evaluate why events have happened to us and why they are significant for our future. The human brain is incredibly powerful and, when given the opportunity to reflect, can turn a negative experience into inspiration or motivation.

Reach a Higher Level of Understanding

Self reflection can challenge your assumptions. The barriers that you think exist might not be true: self reflection you test these and move on.

Build Confidence and Self Esteem

Over time, self reflection encourages you to improve and find what works. Better decisions and a stronger sense of self lifts your confidence and self-esteem: this become a ‘virtuous circle’ where small positive changes are magnified!

Respond with Intention

Often when we’re stressed, angry or under pressure, we can behave in a certain way. Self reflection can help you avoid your first reaction. By understanding your tendencies, you can better manage your behaviour.

Self reflection should also extend to thinking about our impact on others. If we know that our actions are hurtful, or perhaps not as helpful as they could be, we are well positioned to act with intention in the future.

Connect Better With Others

Connection is incredibly powerful for your health and wellbeing, and connecting with yourself can help you better connect with others.

Self reflection can help you articulate your own journey, including the successes and failures you’ve had along the way, and help you to examine the lives of others in a constructive way. These skills really help you to connect authentically.

Learn Faster and Perform Better

Research has established that even a small amount of self reflection at the end of a day can result in higher performance in the future! Taking time to understand what you’ve learned and integrating that knowledge into your thoughts and actions improves performance for a variety of cognitive and emotional reasons.

Reasons People Avoid Self Reflection

The top reasons for people avoiding self reflection include:

  • “I’m too busy”
  • “I don’t like to do self reflection”
  • “I don’t know how to do self reflection”
  • “It’s not worth my time”
  • “It’s just easier to watch others reflect on social media”

Self reflection isn’t always easy and can be uncomfortable, especially if it’s a practice that you pick up later in life. If you haven’t started or you’ve fallen out of the routine, there is never a better time to start self reflection than now!

How to Get Started

Self reflection varies from person to person and the questions are limitless, but it’s generally concerned with a few key questions:

  1. What do I want in life?
  2. How satisfied am I in the important areas of my life?
  3. What is working? And what is not working?
  4. How could I improve my life? What should I do differently?

Self reflection can go as deep as you like. You might examine one specific area of your life, or even one specific event, relationship or interaction. Re-examining the same thing can also help to add insight and understanding over time.

You can do this on your own or with someone you trust. You don’t need a professional to get started! It can be as simple as taking a walk around the block and spending a moment to check in with yourself.

When Should I Self Reflect?

Self reflection is most common at a few points in time:

  1. Milestones: New Years, birthdays or anniversaries are a great example of a milestone used for self reflection.
  2. After a noteworthy event: have you just finished university? Or had a terrible meeting or suffered rejection? These are examples of noteworthy events that might trigger self reflection.
  3. On a regular cycle: some people prefer to structure their self reflection on a regular cycle, perhaps monthly, weekly or even daily.
  4. When you know something is off: reflection might be worthwhile if you feel down, stressed or out of sync for any reason.

As your process for self reflection evolves, you’re likely to see more value from the exercise. Ideally, self reflection should be a habit in your life and a part of your regular routine.

Self Reflection: The Easy Way

iyarn is a health and wellbeing app that has been built to spark self reflection and personal growth. This app makes self reflection easy, fast and regular.

With iyarn, you can:

  • Identify what matters to you – choose from a range of suggestions or define your own
  • Check in with your current status – Easily understand your overall position in life, according to the criteria that matter to you
  • See progress over time – Visualise a holistic approach and understand your progress
  • Share your highs and lows with others – Move past the routine conversation and focus on what matters
  • Reframe your relationships – Get help to move past the routine conversation and focus on what matters

iyarn lets you take these to work with you, in your pocket, accessible anywhere, anytime.

Try iyarn for free, right now.