Self-Reflection - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

Get an account to save ideas & make your own & organize them how you wish.

deepstash

Beta

Know Thyself: 3 Essential Skills for Better Self-Reflection

Self-Reflection

It's the ability to pay attention to your own thoughts, emotions, decisions, and behaviors.

There are three skills that can be practiced and will lead to better self-reflection: openness, observation, and objectivity.

555 SAVES


This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Know Thyself: 3 Essential Skills for Better Self-Reflection

Know Thyself: 3 Essential Skills for Better Self-Reflection

https://nickwignall.com/self-reflection/

nickwignall.com

4

Key Ideas

Self-Reflection

It's the ability to pay attention to your own thoughts, emotions, decisions, and behaviors.

There are three skills that can be practiced and will lead to better self-reflection: openness, observation, and objectivity.

Openness

It means seeing things for what they are, not what we think they should be.

To cultivate openness, we have to become aware of our misconceptions, default beliefs, biases, expectations and stereotypes about the world and actively try to overcome them. Keeping a Decision Journal is a good way to start.

Observation

It means being able to look at yourself with perspective and distance.

Real-time self-reflection requires us to shift our attention away from what’s happening outside and instead observe what’s happening inside. Mindfulness meditation practice is the best way to cultivate this ability.

Objectivity

It means separating your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors from your identity and sense of self. We are more than the contents of our minds (thoughts, emotions, desires).

Keeping a Thought Diary is a helpful way to reinforce this understanding.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Power Of Choice

Our thoughts can become our worst enemy if we let them. Think about how you may be “feeding” your negative thoughts by allowing them to rule your mind.

If you analyze what a negativ...

The Cherokee Indian Legend Of Two Wolves

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. He tells him a fight between two wolfs rages inside him, and in every other person too. One wolf is filled with good emotions and another filled with negative ones. The youth asks which will win. The old man answers: “The one you feed.”

Counteracting Negative Thoughts

If negative thinking becomes incessant, it can lead to depression and self-destructive behavior. At minimum, negative thinking saps our energy, erodes our self-confidence and can put us in a bad mood.

Certainly, many would agree that our thoughts come and go so quickly that it’s seems impossible to notice them, but with awareness and an attitude of self-compassion, we can redirect our negative thoughts to more positive ones.

Dealing with your anger

Anger leads us to poor decisions, regrettable behavior, or hurt feelings. However, some anger leads to more significant consequences, like strained relationships or legal trouble.

The key to ...

Anger ≠ aggression

Anger is an emotion, while aggression is a behavior. They differ entirely in one central dimension - control.

  • You can't control your emotions directly. In the legal system, nobody gets sent to prison for how they felt, regardless of how angry they were. They get punished for what they do.
  • You can influence your emotions indirectly by how you think and behave. For example, when you focus on how terrible all the drivers in your town are, your anger will likely increase. But, if you listen to music and think about how grateful you are, your anger will probably subside.
Expressing anger

While you can't control your emotions of anger directly, you have control over your aggression, which is a decision to express your anger.

Aggression does not only involve acts of violence. Being overly-critical or judgmental of someone in your mind is an act of aggression, as is replying sarcastically or rolling your eyes at someone.

6 more ideas

Anger is caused by impulsive judgment
Anger is caused by impulsive judgment

Getting angry is about facing some form of perceived threat. It also involves a knee-jerk reaction to negative feelings such as shame, guilt, anxiety, powerlessness, reject...

The “It’s happening again!” trigger for anger

Thinking, "I'm getting angry again" is a strong trigger for overly intense anger.

When this happens, the negative feelings that we associate with this thought make our emotional reactions worse. Common feelings include shame, guilt, feelings of inadequacy. If we know we have not made peace with our past hurts, we are more likely to experience this emotional reaction.

Changing destructive anger into healthy anger

This process requires us to pause and reflect on our internal experiences.

  • A meaningful component is to identify the negative feelings behind it and the conclusions we make. We should realize that our reaction in the moment may not only be about the current event but also about previous hurts.
  • Meeting this challenge requires attention beyond only controlling anger. It takes self-observation about the moments when anger arise. This way, we can immediately recognize that our reaction to a situation incorporates reactions coming from previous hurts.
The Limits of Objectivity

If you think you're really objective, you're wrong. We all like to think we are objective, but the reality is we all have biases that interfere with our ability to evaluate a situation accurately.

Find Your Weak Spots

We leave clues when we're less objective.

If you're getting irritated or highly emotional about a topic, you're probably not thinking rationally or objectively. You might be emotionally invested in the subject or hold particular beliefs that prevent you from looking at other viewpoints.

Seek Out Different Opinions

The best way to become more objective is to broaden the input you're receiving.

Build a network of people you respect who holds different viewpoints from your own. Seek out their opinions on various matters.

2 more ideas

3 decision-making mistakes that you must avoid
  1. Impulsivity. Thorough decisions combine all three senses – seeing, hearing and feeling. Impulsive decisions always lack one of these elements.
  2. Allowing yourself to be pe...
Open awareness

One of the valuable skills in meditation is called open awareness, where you rest in the awareness of awareness. You can then approach situations with fresh eyes, and let go of your habitual reacti...

The power of open awareness

Some find that being aware of awareness is confusing or even bizarre.

However, upon further reflection, they consider it very peaceful.

Social neuroscientists found when practicing open awareness meditation, Gamma waves that usually occur briefly and in one spot of the brain are elevated all across the brain. It makes you feel a sense of vastness and spaciousness.

Our brain is an anticipation machine

We typically see the world through a set of filters that can limit our experience and keep us stuck in painful patterns of emotion.

Filters help us anticipate what is going to happen next and influence the information our brains receive. When we begin to filter too much, we lose touch with the beginner's mind that is open and without preconceptions.

2 more ideas

All-or-nothing thinking
Seing people and situations in either/or categories, without allowing for complexity(e.g.: the best/the worst). In reality, our lives unfold in shades of gray.
Overgeneralizing
When you draw general rules from specific events, and apply them across unrelated situations. Your rules are usually negative rather than positive.

For example, when you don’t get a job you want, you think, “People don’t like me, I’m going to die alone.”

Disqualifying the positive
When you reject positive statements or occurrences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or another. For example, your boss praises you in front of your colleagues. When someone mentions it to you later, you say, “She said that because I was standing in front and she couldn’t avoid me.”

Whenever you disqualify the positive, you’re wrongly reinforcing negative beliefs about yourself and your world.

2 more ideas

Self-distancing

The act of increasing the psychological distance from your own subjective perspective when assessing events that you experience.

Is an external perspective that you can use when th...

Benefits of self-distancing
  • It can help people cope with difficult events from their past.
  • It can  help people deal with socially distressful situations.
  • Useful because of our tendency to display high levels of wise reasoning when we give advice to others, but not when we decide how to act for ourselves.
  • It reduces decisional biases and improves decision-making during times of information overload.
How to create self-distance
  • Use self-distancing language:  refer to yourself in the second or third-person.
  • Try to view the situation from an alternative viewpoint, that is different from your own.
  • Try to visualize the perspective of  someone you admire, and then ask yourself what would they do in that situation.
  • Try expressive writing: write about your thoughts and feelings when you’re trying to analyze an event that you’ve experienced.
What Perspective Taking Is

It’s the ability to take on someone else’s point of view when thinking.

By taking yourself out of the equation, the motivations of your opponent becomes clearer. And by understanding the othe...

Develop perspective taking
  • Put aside your feelings so that you can concentrate only on the other person’s perspective.
  • Use open ended questions that can help you draw out the interests and motivation that the person may not be verbalizing.
  • Be clear about your own position and the weaknesses it has.
  • Remove any personal intentions you may have, so as not to project them on to the other person.
  • Using what you know about the person, their background, their mood, their intentions and expectations,  imagine how they are seeing the current situation.
  • Validate their position by paraphrasing back to them what you think their position is.
Using perspective taking

When you break it down, almost every aspect of business involves an element of negotiation. 

By honing your perspective taking skills, you are much more likely to come up with solutions that are acceptable to all parties.

Altering the brain
Altering the brain

In 2005, studies began to point out that meditation can change the structure of your brain by thickening the cortex. The cortex controls your attention and emotions.

You can reap the benef...

Mindfulness meditation

It typically refers to a practice for training your attention. It is an awareness that comes through paying attention in the moment, but non-judgmentally.

It involves sitting down with closed eyes and focussing on feeling your breath go in and out. When your attention starts to wander, you take note and bring your attention back to your breath.

Reduced amygdala activity

Meditation shows reduced activity in the amygdala, our brain’s threat detector. When the amygdala perceives a threat, it sets off the fight-flight-freeze response.

In a study, after practicing mindfulness for 20 minutes per day over just one week, participants showed reduced amygdala reactivity only while they were engaged in mindfulness, suggesting they need regular practice.

4 more ideas