Self-reflection requires you to pause, to be present in the moment, and to intentionally decide to search inside yourself. Unfortunately, most people have never been encouraged to take this self-guided journey and find themselves ill-equipped to make it an integral part of their life. Do you find that you seek answers, satisfaction, and fulfillment outside of yourself? A lot of people take this path which steers them in the wrong direction. Being reflective requires you to turn inward for direction and affirmation, and it is in this place of self-study that you can begin to connect to your thoughts and feelings, and deeper yet the ability to inquire what is influencing them. It has been my experience that when you become more aware and awake to how you are feeling, you can make more informed and intentional life decisions. Consider taking time to reflect daily, it is good for the soul.
1. Try taking walks in nature without distraction and process how you are feeling in the moment
2. Take a time out… pause, close your eyes, breathe and notice your thoughts and emotions
3. Read a daily devotional and process how it makes you feel
4. If faced with a big decision, consider taking time to consider the pros and cons and focus on how each makes you feel
5. If you find yourself unsettled about something, take some time to reflect on what is making you feel uneasy
6. If you are triggered or find yourself in a difficult situation, pause so you are clear on how you want to respond
7. Despite challenging circumstances, you can take a moment and remind yourself you have a choice to let something affect you are not
Take a deeper dive:
Keep in mind, we all have our own perceptions of life which influence our thinking, shape our reality, and impact what we believe to be the truth. Personal growth requires you to deepen and expand your understanding of your own truth and this requires self-study. However, pausing to reflect and inquire is not always easy. It takes discipline and a desire to question your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, but through reflection and deeper inquiry, you can gain a greater understanding of yourself and others. Letting go of what is familiar takes courage, but it will allow you to see through and beyond your own filters, which can lead to greater acceptance of yourself and the world around you.
If you are searching for meaning and purpose in your life consider reading Victor E. Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl is a holocaust survivor, psychiatrist, and author who suggests that the greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life. In Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor saw three possible sources for meaning: in work (doing something significant), in love (caring for another person), and in courage during difficult times. Suffering in and of itself is meaningless - we give our suffering meaning by the way in which we respond to it.
He vehemently believes forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can control how you allow it to impact you.   Harold S. Kushner in his foreword, Victor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (Beacon Press: 2006), x.
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