In order to grow, personally or professionally, it is essential to utilize the powerful tool of self-reflection of which we often take for granted. Self-reflection enables us to pause, take a step back from our constant race with life and deeply scan our character to fine-tune it. Remember, the ultimate objective of it is to create a better-self.
Here’s my take on this. Take a few steps back. This statement may seem like a paradox at this point since you are most likely to be given advice of moving on the contrary direction however you will see what I mean momentarily. Think back and analyze your most recent experiences whether it was an interaction with an individual or a situation you had encountered. Now answer, what are some corrections of errors you could make going forward to depict your character at its best? Answering this simple yet powerful question ensures you are picking on your behavioral flaws and constantly developing your character for the better. After all, intuitively, we learn from our experiences and mistakes and consequently from our strengths and achievements as well.
Hold on, you are not done yet. You solely viewed yourself through the colorful bubble wrapped around you. Kindly pop the bubble and step out to reality – you must now view your past situations from the lens of another individual (assuming one was present with you). Go ahead and answer, in what direction did your behavior impact the individual’s feelings, i.e. positively or negatively? Be honest with yourself when responding to this question, naturally you would think you are in the right and that you left the situation with the individual feeling positively (assuming and hoping you have high self-confidence); however it is fundamental to realize that you may not always be right. Therefore, think deeply on how the individual may have actually felt by your words, actions and overall interactions. The best way to approach this context is by putting yourself in the individual’s shoes, i.e. empathize with the individual’s emotions. Now analyze the situation and refer back to the question. Perhaps, your response may have changed as you have now viewed yourself from the individual’s perspective. Remember, the key is to dig deep and search your soul to list your correction of errors and act on them.
You may hold an image in your mind where you believe you stand as an individual who is humble, motivated and passionate; however it is evident that credibility is only built if you ‘talk the talk’ and ‘walk the walk.’ Therefore, I believe you can only strive to become the person you desire once you enhance your character which can be achieved by an increase in self-awareness via self-reflection. It is the powerful practice of self-reflection that will be your anchor in prospering as an individual.
It may all sound like fluff, but think about it, we pick on a whole lot of unnecessary nitty-gritty of people and situation yet we don’t realize that instead we could invest that time on our character and the betterment of it.
On that note, let me conclude with simplicity: “spend so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.”
This blog post was written by Isra Ikram.