One of the hardest things but most beneficial things a person can do is to engage in periods of self-reflection. No one is perfect, but being able to identify your own flaws and actively work to improve them is essential to your personal growth. The best way you can do this is to engage in self-reflection, though that is often easier said than done because it’s typically far easier to identify flaws in other people than in yourself, making it difficult to know where to start.
People who are more self-aware are more likely to have better decision making skills, improved patience and a greater sense of accountability, translating into them being a fairer person who can take criticism better. This is beneficial in both social situations and work situations, and could strengthen your social bonds and result in increased feelings of satisfaction.
For those looking for ways to reach their full potential and practice better self-awareness, we’ve put together a list of three ways you can reflect on yourself and reap the rewards of doing so.
- List your flaws
This is easier said than done but everyone should be able to list at least five things about themselves that they think could be improved. Whether it’s that you procrastinate too much, are too indecisive, or that you often flake on plans last minute, there’s bound to be something about yourself that you’re not the biggest fan of.
Make a list of the five things that bug you the most about yourself. Then, make a list of five traits or skills you wish you could replace your flaws with and see if the two marry up. If one of your flaws is that you often act on things when you’re in a bad mood, and one of your goals is to be more patient, it makes sense to practice not acting when upset and forcing yourself to wait until you have a clear mind. This will allow you to turn your flaw into a positive thing.
Another flaw might be that you feel like you’re too selfish sometimes, and one of your goals could be to be more selfless. In this case, cancel out the flaw with your goal by engaging in small, selfless acts like fundraising for charity, volunteering your time or paying it forward at a coffee shop. Small gestures can have a big impact, both your personal growth and other people’s lives.
Creating lists of flaws shows that you’re self-aware and willing to acknowledge your faults to better yourself, making it a great place to start on your self-reflection journey.
- Write in a diary
If you struggle to list your flaws, try regularly writing in a diary instead. Doing so will expose any negative patterns or trains of thought, and this will better allow you to analyze your habits and identify areas that could be improved upon. When you notice repetition, make a note of it and list ways you can break the cycle.
- Talk to yourself
Many people associate talking to yourself with erratic behavior, but it serves a purpose in the sense that when you speak to yourself, you can talk through your problems as if you were talking to someone else. This can help you rationalize things and make better, more informed decisions. When spoken aloud, you’ll be able to better communicate things than you would otherwise be able to in your head, and this is important when you’re trying to reflect on the day or a specific course of action you took.
This is also a great method of reflection and awareness for those who struggle to put their feelings into concise words with a pen and paper.
These are just three ways you can begin to engage in self-reflection, but other ways include taking time to list what you want out of life and formulating a plan of how to get there, taking a walk outside and spending some time alone with your thoughts and nature, praying to and working on strengthening your bond with a higher being for clarity through the medium of cleansing your body and soul, and focusing on breathing exercises to calm yourself and clear your head.