Has this year been kind to you, or have you been thrown one curve ball after another… say the loss of a job, a partner who left without a reason, other bizarre happenings – or all three? If any of this rings true, the universe may be giving you a wake up call that is screaming to be answered.
When life has kicked you to the curb, it can be one of the best times to jumpstart a practice of self-reflection, and to learn how to keep it going once the rough roads have calmed. It’s like taking your own temperature to see what part you’re playing in all of this, with the aim of better understanding the driving forces within your life.
Why look inside?
There is an assortment of reasons why introspection is a must-see stop on the journey of your life. If you’re in a hole with no foreseeable way out, the need may be clear, but if not here are some reasons to get you started:
1. Stay on course. We all know that to successfully arrive at a destination, you need to map out the most reasonable means and methods for getting there. Self-reflection is no different, look at it as a tool to ensure that you get to your location in life with the least amount of detours as possible.
2. Avoid damage control. By staying in tune with your own inner workings you are taking a proactive step toward reducing the odds for having to do damage control in the future.
3. Your success is contingent on it. In order to progress forward, you need to look inward as a means to ready yourself for the outward world.
Commit to you
Implementing a basic practice of self-reflection can start by simply agreeing to make time to get familiar with your self. First and foremost you need to commit! Start by setting a regular appointment to do so. Just like you book time on your calendar to go to the dentist, you need to allot time in your schedule to focus on yourself. It’s as simple as that. This does not include time spent tending to errands, kids and pets that need feeding, a partner that demands attention or your friend that wants to dish – it means alone time with you (well, alone!).
In order to be successful you have to consciously consider all of the internal variables that need to be nurtured in an effort to achieve the best possible outcome. Look at the things which might affect you emotionally – your mood, relationships, mental and physical health, your thought process. These are areas to get you going so pick ones that are most relevant and important to your life now.
Once you have identified your inventory list begin to track areas where you have experienced success or positive movement, so that you can parlay those events into other aspects of your life. Also track negative situations, like those credit card payments you keep forgetting to send (Why are you sabotaging your credit score?). Do it with the purpose of mitigating, where possible, those types of occurrences in the future. Leverage whatever tools work best for you such as a journal, calendar, Blackberry, etc.
Mind the gaps
Now that you have asked yourself the tough questions and noted your answers you have a clear idea about how “on target” you are for getting where you want to go in life. Also pay attention to any gaps between where you are and where you want to go. As you chart your progress, pay attention to levels of disparity between the two. Once you are aware of the cracks you can make a conscience effort to reduce and ultimately close them. You will likely notice that as you become more in tune with your inner desires, your goals may evolve and take on new shapes.
In the end, it comes down to survival. We all know we have to eat food and drink water in order to sustain our physical existence. Self-observation is no less important. By tending to our own inner workings we are one step closer to building a habitual routine that serves us.
It’s sort of like getting out of bed to go to the bathroom – once we learn how, we don’t have to think about it we just do it. So go on, sit down with yourself, as often as possible, to take a look at what the motivating forces have been behind your last few months.
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