It’s almost the end of the year. Christmas is just days away now and life can feel pretty frantic as we try to get organised for the Big Day!
Thankfully, Christmas can also be a time when life slows down a little, giving us an opportunity to relax. And to reflect on the year gone by and on where we are, before getting ready to start planning for the year ahead. What went well this year?
Self-reflection is one of the best things you can do to create a positive mind-set and to connect with yourself.
Socrates said that in order to live a balanced life one must ‘Know thyself’
Keeping it Positive
Modern research demonstrates that people who are open to new experiences and who use regular reflection on their daily experiences are better able to control their emotional responses. I use this research finding in all my Solution Focused therapy sessions. My opening question is “What’s been good about your week?” This question encourages my clients to reflect on their experiences in a positive way. They start to develop self reflection skills so that they notice positive changes and experiences in their daily lives.
Self-reflection also allows us to look back and see where we have come from. It helps us to see how far we have progressed and what we have achieved.
It is important to understand that self-reflection is not the same as negative introspection. We talk about introspection in our sessions as a stress-bucket filler! Instead self-reflection is a positive state of self-awareness. It is an ability to focus on and to draw on our strengths, skills, values and emotions to achieve our goals.
There are many ways to practise self-reflection. Some people choose to meditate. To dedicate some quiet time without interruption to focus on themselves. Others choose to use reflective diaries or journals to record their journey.
Making Self-Reflection Effective
For self-reflection to be effective, it is important to ask the right questions and to give honest answers. This will then lead to self-awareness and an opportunity for personal growth.
I am always delighted to receive messages from clients who contact me to let me know how they are getting on. It is fantastic to hear how they have achieved new goals since they finished their sessions. Sometimes it’s to let me know that they have passed exams or got a new job or put themselves forward for promotion. Many clients have been able to overcome addictions. They come to realise that their addiction no longer controls them. They are just living their life! Sometimes it’s just a message to say that they feel happier or calmer, or that they are sleeping better.
All these messages demonstrate that an effective process of positive self-reflection enabled them to take note of the changes they had made in their lives.
So What’s Been Good About Your Year?
Perhaps this Christmas when all the rushing around is done and before you start to plan or make resolutions for next year, you could ask yourself this question. What’s been good about your year?
Starting a process of effective self-reflection which could lead to positive changes in your life.