Self-Reflect to Start
What makes us avoid self–reflection?
The simple and very general answer to the question is that when we take the time to self-reflect, we realise that we have to introspectively look at ourselves and ask the difficult questions we have been avoiding; we have to dig deep and be honest with ourselves. Self-reflection means that you stop procrastinating and start focusing. When you do that you find that procrastinating might be hiding the bigger fear of ‘if I start then what happens if I don’t get to where I want to be?’ How about this instead, ‘if I don’t start to think about how I start then how do I get there at all?’
Many of us have been programmed to believe that one unsuccessful attempt means that we have failed all future attempts. But when you really think about that, how much is based on fiction? If you change some of your strategy then how can you truly know your next attempt won’t be successful? So what about if it doesn’t mean that every attempt after is a failure and instead it just means that the attempt you made was not the successful one? Self-reflection then becomes a helper, an aid, a guide and a place dedicated to finding ways to improve so that your next attempt gets you even closer if not all the way to success.
Let’s be realistic, history is littered with unsuccessful stories that we just don’t hear about and they only reach our ears when the individual has achieved whatever it is they set out to do. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe they made it on their second or thirtieth attempt? News flash – they might not have achieved what they wanted or intended on their first go. They may well have completed this formula; new strategy, practice and repeat. It’s later that we hear the back story whereby they have had to try and try again, over and over until they have achieved whatever it was they set out to do. This is how people become experts. If it is really important to them, if it is worth it then they don’t give up. They get back up each time they suffer a setback but they don’t give up. Is that easy? Some days, absolutely not. But is the commitment important, does it create meaning and value? Yes. So you have to reinstate that motivation by remembering the value of the outcome you have set out to achieve. How does it tie in with your life values?
We’re so good with connections that we connect one failed attempt with all other imaginary outcomes. So, I say break the chain. See that attempt as an exploratory exercise – it was your dress rehearsal, your practice run which you can build upon and do again but differently. You have more information by which to inform your next attempt. Seek for improvement rather than perfection and the latter will follow.
It’s your life, do you want to say ‘hey I gave it one shot and then gave up’ or ‘I kept on going one day and one shot at a time because I understood and believed in the value it would create in my life’? Make a commitment to yourself and make a change. What do you want to say about your life? What principles do you want to live by?
(C) Katrina Ramsden