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Self reflection

Self reflection can be hard. Often people make their bar so high that they are not setting themselves up for success but most of all, people don’t know what success means to them. 

You may be the type who’s never happy, so even if you reach your goals you’re still not content. Or you may be someone who hasn’t put targets in front of themselves and now wants a change of mindset and momentum. Whilst exploring your path, you may find that you haven’t put the right goals in front of you.

Where’s the middle ground? There isn’t a concrete answer as we are all different as people and different re our goals. Though I think there are some common grounds to support how we can reflect on ourselves, regardless of what type of person we are. Here’s some key areas to consider :

1. Understand you and what is your why? Why do you want to achieve x. Is it for self satisfaction, ego, to support others, to prove a point or something else. Knowing your why can lay the foundations for your thought processes. 

2. Don’t compare yourself to others! For me this is the hardest one. Personally, its resulted in a toxic mindset so I advise everyone to avoid it! I grew up with private education, a great support network with family and friends and financial stability, but seeing so many around me who I decided were more fortunate, turned my head for the worst. We’re all on a journey and our own journey. It doesn’t matter if it takes you 5 years to ‘make it’ or 15 years. We all experience different challenges along the way, some harder than others – it’s just life.

3. What does success mean to you? For some it could be freedom, being the best parent and partner or friend, the clothes you can afford and hotels you stay at, the house you live in or the people you’re surrounded by. 

Once you’ve explored the above, you’ll be able to self reflect with a more rational mindset. Following your conclusion, consider exploring what you can do to support your conclusion. There are so many outcomes to a self reflection but here’s 3 key topics you can consider actioning : 

1. Set achievable goals: once you know what success means to you, build a slow and steady path to reach your goals. Don’t rush, or you’ll either come off track, get distracted or make more errors than you wish. Errors, aren’t bad though – as long as you learn from them. I need to improve here as I am impatient. I need to take a step back more often and make baby steps. 

2. Increase / continue to engage with those who can support you : the more you talk with colleagues, friends and family about topics you’d like to discuss and learn about, the more knowledge you will have to add to your path. Personally, I’m always networking and talking to people, trying to pick up any nugget which may trigger a thought or positive action. Everyone is different with different views, so you never know what you could learn.

3. Do things that you love : this could be anything, from attending sports games, going to concerts, reading, listening to music or exercising. Maintaining a high moral for yourself is the magic sauce to enabling you to do more. We can’t operate as people if we’re not happy, so do things that keep you smiling. I love the Peloton and try do around 45 mins, x5 a week. The discipline and challenge motivates my mind and gets me raring to go for the day.

A further exercise is how to self reflect. You can speak with a coach and or build yourself a scoring matrix, where you can consider : 

  • What factors do you want to reflect on that are relevant to the short, medium and or long term
  • What contribution do your topics provide to your happiness levels 
  • List your key areas and score them out of 10 
  • List a few successes and areas to address on each topic that you can action
  • Use an impact effort matrix and see which goals may require too much of your time

Hopefully my initial thoughts have helped you think about a few areas for you to address. Self reflection is a big topic and there’s more to discuss, so feel free to reach out if you fancy speaking more.

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