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The Power of Self-Reflection

The Power of Self-Reflection

I work in a hyper-competitive environment.

Everybody seems like they are friends with anyone else. But deep under the skin, we all want to thrive and search for success and recognition.

We often focus on the goal so much we forget about what surrounds us. And we give up everything for that goal – our friendships, relationships, and mental state. We give up so much that we often mistake it for our identity. And it should never happen.

In this issue, I will try to invert that tendency. I want to help you think more about yourself and less about everything else.

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The Bottom of The Ocean (1)

The Bottom of The Ocean (1)

When I was younger, I thought self-reflection was boring.

Why would I ever lose my time analyzing my thoughts and values? Is it worth my time?

But that mentality brought me to my all-time lowest lows. And once the downfall started, I didn’t have any values or systems that could keep me on the surface. I was drowning, and I realized I never learned to swim.

You might have lived it yourself. But on the bottom of the ocean, everything is peaceful. There’s nothing there besides you and your thoughts. And a vortex of regrets pushes you on the salty ground.

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The Bottom of The Ocean (2)

The Bottom of The Ocean (2)

The sunlight disappeared. You won’t find it anywhere besides a few elusive reflections. So you only have two choices:

  • You can build a castle of fake values and hope nobody will ever discover it once you emerge on the surface.
  • Or you can collect those drafts of light, learn how to build more of them, and arise anew.

Five years ago, I chose the latter. I analyzed my dreams, goals, and values. And I haven’t regretted anything since.

It all started with self-reflection. And now, I want to pass this hidden power to you. But let’s take it one step at a time.

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The Challenge

The Challenge

You are reading an excerpt from The Challenge, a newsletter where I discuss self-improvement, goal-setting, habits, time management, and health tips and tricks.

Every week, you will get the following:

  • a challenge to pursue to improve your life
  • an infographic to track it.

Subscribe now to help me continue publishing this type of content.

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The Self-Reflection Magic

The Self-Reflection Magic

Since our ancestors, there have always been people who tried to understand more about behavior and triggers. So, today, we have a vast literature of evolving characters that fail many times until they succeed. But we also have many disciplines that try to uncover the mysteries of self-reflection.

You can do it under the shower. You can do it on a walk, while meditating, or even in your car, driving home. You can always think about your situation and analyze what’s happening. And that’s why self-reflection is so powerful – it is the simplest way to understand your reality.

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How to Become a Self-Reflection Master

How to Become a Self-Reflection Master

Self-reflection is the thin line that divides mediocrity from excellence. But nobody gave us a blueprint on how to use it. And, if you are here, I assume you have tried to use it before. Or perhaps you failed miserably.

So, where can you start from?

In 2022, the Ascend conducted a small research on how professionals could use self-reflection in their everyday lives. They found three situations most people recollected. And I think these are a great starting point for becoming a self-reflection master.

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A - Surprise

A - Surprise

We often try to control our lives and predict the outcomes of our actions. It’s a natural tendency. So, when things go sideways, we are surprised and don’t know what to do. But that would be the perfect moment to reflect on your expectations and the outcomes.

What happened? Could you prevent it next time? Did you mess anything up? Or was it out of your control?

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B - Failure

B - Failure

Surprises could be either good or bad. But failure is always damaging. And, worst of all, it happens in front of everyone.

The social pressure becomes unbearable if not managed correctly. And you may use these moments to reflect on your mistakes.

What is the cause of the failure? Can you find one thing you could improve to make it easier to succeed next time?

When I fail, I often brood over my mistakes. But I found a way to stop:

  • I set a 30-minute timer.
  • I search for a single point of failure under my control.
  • And then, I think about a way to fix it and only focus on that.

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C - Frustration

C - Frustration

Frustrations are often delays in time you can’t control. But they still bother us.

Yet, you can use self-reflection to enjoy your day. You can analyze the situation and understand things will eventually go your way. And there’s no reason for you to be anxious about it.

I use a simple pattern to escape from this mental trap.

  • Think about what’s blocking the thing you are waiting for.
  • Can you do anything to make it happen faster?
  • If you can, do it. Otherwise, focus on other projects or find ways to avoid future delays.

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5 Habits to Enhance Self-Reflection

5 Habits to Enhance Self-Reflection

Surprise, failure, and frustration are three emotions you can use to reflect on your personality. But they are only the starting point. And you won’t achieve much without good habits.

I lost many years trying to build a self-reflection habit.

In the beginning, it was an excuse to brood over my disadventures. But eventually, I learned how to use it to my advantage. So, here are five habits that will enhance your self-reflection skills and make them more effective.

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1 – Never trade your honesty.

1 – Never trade your honesty.

I hate shame and frustration because dealing with them is challenging. And I used to trade my honesty to feel better.

I thought a small lie could help me feel better whenever I was in shambles. But every time I lied, I only felt worse. So, don’t trade your honesty for short-term relief.

Be honest about the reasons behind your failures. Recognize them. You will improve a lot faster and protect your integrity.

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2 – Spotlight behavior patterns.

2 – Spotlight behavior patterns.

Habit building is a big part of our lives. And sometimes, we delegate hours of our day to our habits. It’s an evolutionary shortcut, and we use it as much as possible. There’s nothing wrong about it.

Yet, we build bad habits more easily than good ones. So, we often follow behavioral patterns that make it harder to succeed.

Self-reflection can help you find those patterns. And, once you recognize them, they are easier to fix.

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3 –  Explain your core values.

3 – Explain your core values.

Family, discipline, and leadership are my three core values – one for my foundations, one for my reality, and one for my future.

  • Family because it has always been there and supported me.
  • Discipline because it fuels my everyday successes.
  • And leadership because I want to be an example for those surrounding me.

Do you know your core values? Can you explain in a few rows why you live as you do?

If you can’t, self-reflection can help you understand what matters to you. Just analyze your behaviors and find the reasons behind each action.

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4 – Forgive, but never forget.

4 – Forgive, but never forget.

I have always forgiven the people who hurt me. And I can’t understand some of my friends who keep grudges. Is it worth it? I think it’s just childish.

It’s the refusal to accept reality. So, it’s always better to forgive people once you healed yourself.

But even if you forgive, it doesn’t mean you have to forget . When you do, you renounce any protection or lesson you learned from past failures.

You can use self-reflection to get over past relationships and forgive people. After a while, it doesn’t matter who made the mistake any more. And it will improve your mental health.

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5 – Track your progress.

5 – Track your progress.

You don’t have to practice self-reflection daily to improve your mental health. But keep track of it, or you will run in circles.

So keep a journal for your self-reflection sessions. For example, I use Mindjournal to track my emotions. It helps me with new prompts every day. And it keeps everything fun. But I found many alternatives on Amazon (referral links below), depending on what you want to focus on:

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The Simplest Self-Reflection Exercise

The Simplest Self-Reflection Exercise

You can use self-reflection daily. Or you can do it once a week or a month. Whatever the frequency, the result is what matters.

If you journal daily, you can read my article on journaling mastery to make it easier. But if you only do it occasionally, here’s a simple exercise you can use.

  • First, pick your wheel of life and focus on a topic.
  • Then, write the highs and lows of that topic in two lists.
  • Near each entry, check what was under your control. Remove everything that didn’t depend on you.
  • And last, find three things you could do better next time to avoid those failures and surprises again.

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The Benefits of Self-Reflection

The Benefits of Self-Reflection

I have already listed all the benefits of self-reflection throughout the article. But here’s a recap, in case you like more structure.

  1. Self-reflection makes you explore many perspectives. You will observe each event from many points of view.
  2. When you analyze your responses to external stimuli, you will also learn how to answer better and improve your chances of success. So, you will become a great communicator, which is great for confidence .
  3. You will learn and understand your failures better.
  4. And my favorite, you will improve your self-control.

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THE CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK

Pick a weekly or monthly recurrence and plan a self-reflection session. Or, if you want, you can do it by journaling daily.

Analyze your weak spots from your wheel of life. Write the highs and lows. Remove everything that is not under your control. And find new goals for your personal growth challenges.

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THE CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK

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Before you go

Before you go

If you loved the newsletter and want to support my work, subscribe and share The Challenge with your friends and families!

Or, if you want to read more of my content, visit the Cosmopolitan Mindset.

Subscribe now to help me continue publishing this type of content.

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CURATED BY

cosminangheluta

Passionate about self-improvement, personal growth, finance, and creativity. I love to inspire people to become the better version of themselves. Author @ www.cosmopolitanmindset.com

CURATOR'S NOTE

Begin your transformational journey within! Explore the power of self-reflection to unlock personal growth and fulfillment. Embark on a path of self-discovery today!

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