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How Personal Reflection Can Guide You in Life and Work

10th November 2017

How Personal Reflection Can Guide You in Life and Work |

Personal reflection

Personal reflection is something I had to complete as part of my work appraisals, but in all honesty, I didn’t really value it. I think this is because I’ve always felt fairly self-aware and as a deep-thinking creative, I probably spend far too much time in my own head anyway!

Since starting a coaching and mentoring course five months ago, I’ve written over ten-thousand words of personal reflection – crazy, eh? The process seemed a little odd to begin with, but after persevering I started to understand its value. As a result, it’s now a fundamental part of my coaching practice and wider business. I view it as a kind of positive journaling, enabling me to get the most from my experiences and to learn from each scenario and encounter.

Positive journaling

If you’re new to personal reflection, it simply involves evaluating your experiences and reconsidering things from a fresh perspective. This can include establishing what happened, how you responded to the situation, how you related to others, how your actions may have influenced others, what you learnt about yourself and what, if anything, you might do differently in future. I don’t think there are any rules when it comes to reflecting, it’s simply taking the time to consider each experience and to learn from it. This can be done through thinking, writing or discussion.

‘When you stop looking around and start looking within, you may find you already have the answers.’

So today I’m sharing a few of the benefits I’ve found from regular personal reflection. I’m passionate about making my life simpler and easier, and I’ve found that by reflecting, I’m better placed to decide if the things in my life are serving me. I also believe that, in most cases, if we look within we have all the answers. This can enable us to curate a beautiful life packed full of all the things we love!

How Personal Reflection Can Guide You in Life and Work |

1. It strengthens our self-awareness

Few things increase our self-awareness like personal reflection, and by taking the time to evaluate a situation we can learn from it and in some cases, stop making the same mistake again! Personal reflection helps us to better understand who we are, how we relate to others and how we show up in the world. It is an extremely empowering tool, which can build our confidence and encourage us to embrace the person we are.

Reflecting can support us if we overthink or play the same situation over and over in our minds. By looking at what happened, we can view it from an objective viewpoint, rather than a subjective or emotional one. This process can support us in finding a solution or enable us to let it go. If we imagine our life-experiences – good and bad – are there to support our growth, we can approach everything from a place of curiosity and wonder. In the words of Eckhart Tolle, ‘Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.’

2. It enables us to establish what’s working and what isn’t

As I mentioned above, personal reflection can feel like a moment of clarity. For example, if you feel deflated after an interaction with someone, by objectively reflecting you can begin to establish why. Through asking questions and getting to the root of how you feel, you can learn from the experience and make any necessary changes.

Reflecting on life can also help us to build on what’s working. When we look closely at our lives, we can uncover what makes us feel truly happy and ensure there’s an abundance of it! We’re all a work in progress and when we view ourselves from a place of discovery we can liberate the pressure of having to be perfect. After all, the more mistakes we make the more we can grow!

How Personal Reflection Can Guide You in Life and Work |

3. It helps us to be mindful and promotes gratitude

When we work on our self-awareness we become more mindful in our lives. This is because when we’re observing ourselves in a situation we’re more present in it, stopping our minds from wandering or operating on autopilot. It’s easy to get caught up thinking about the past or future, so by observing life more closely, we will undoubtedly be more present.

Reflecting on who we are and how we approach life can also promote gratitude because it enables us to value every moment. When we’re grateful for our life experiences and encounters we can begin to feel more content in our everyday lives. This encourages us to make space for the things that bring us the greatest joy.

4. It instigates personal insight

Self-reflection can motivate and encourage personal development. For example, if we notice ourselves struggling to convey our opinions and beliefs, we may consider ways to build our confidence and become a little more assertive. Every day we’re subjected to experiences that can fuel our growth, so by taking a step back, we can get the most from them. Personal development is an ongoing journey and personal reflection is a great way to instigate advancement.

To end I’d just like to admit I did feel a little awkward when I started this process, but by approaching it from a place of curiosity rather than criticism, it has helped me to be more accepting of who I am. I think smiling at our mistakes and using them to develop is a much kinder way to live. After all, it’s okay if we don’t have all the answers because none of us is the finished article!

Further reading

Five benefits to keeping a gratitude journal
Bring your dreams and goals to life with a vision board

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day!

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  • Avatar
    Reply Sue 10th November 2017 at 8:28 am

    That first paragraph about being inside your own head so much already is spot on. Writing and reflecting is incredibly useful for being able to move forward when stuck too

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 10th November 2017 at 8:52 am

      Thanks, Sue. You’re right, it’s a great way to find some clarity and to move on from things. I hope you have a fabulous Friday!

  • Avatar
    Reply fashionforlunch 10th November 2017 at 10:21 am

    Natasha please start a podcast!!!! I need you in my ear when I’m working!!!!

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 10th November 2017 at 11:00 am

      Thanks, Kirsty. My friends keep suggesting I start one – maybe, one day… I think you should start one first! 😉 I hope you have a fantastic Friday!

  • Avatar
    Reply Carole King 10th November 2017 at 12:29 pm

    I need podcasts too. I’m very guilty of operating on autopilot most of the time but you inspire me to be more mindful. x

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 10th November 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks, Carole, for stopping by. I hope you’re having a great week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Lori 10th November 2017 at 12:49 pm

    THIS Is fab! I’m going to get Paul to read this tonight as I definitely think he could use it! X

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 10th November 2017 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks, Lori. I hope he finds it helpful. Have a great weekend! 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Karen 10th November 2017 at 1:51 pm

    I completely resonate with all of these points. Especially in the mindfulness and promoting gratitude. Sometime’s it’s easy to get bogged down in the everyday noise (especially commuting to a city) . I think that’s what I value about my blog so much. Some time just for me, to write and reflect. Those pops of teal in the first image are absolutely gorgeous btw.

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 10th November 2017 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks so much, Karen. Being mindful and grateful make such a difference, don’t they? It’s such a cute coffee shop! I hope you have a lovely weekend.

  • Avatar
    Reply Kate 10th November 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Great post Natasha! Definitely something I need to do more of x

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 10th November 2017 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks so much, Kate. Have a great weekend!

  • Avatar
    Reply Kimberly Duran 11th November 2017 at 10:25 am

    What a wonderful post and so many valuable reminders! I totally concur with the suggestion of a podcast – it would be amazing! xxx

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 12th November 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Thanks so much, Kimberly! I’m going to have to get moving on that podcast, aren’t I?! 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply lazy Daisy Jones 11th November 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Natasha spot on as usual you manage to read my mind most weeks, I must learn to calm down and do more of this!
    I so agree you should do a podcast, I would love to hear you gentle voice in my ear !
    best as ever

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 12th November 2017 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks, Ashley. I hope you’re having a great weekend. Podcast request noted! 😉

  • Avatar
    Reply Denise 11th November 2017 at 7:52 pm

    I’ve been trying to add more journaling and mindful meditation to my day. It’s definitely a struggle, as I’ve always felt very self-aware, but I know there is more I could work on. Thanks for sharing – I think l can definitely use some of these ideas in my journaling.

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 12th November 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks, Denise, for stopping by. Squeezing in time for meditation and journaling can be tricky, can’t it? I’m pleased you found the post helpful.

  • Avatar
    Reply Stacey Sheppard 11th November 2017 at 9:55 pm

    I never make time for personal reflection. I’m so busy constantly firefighting but I realise now how helpful it would be to stop and reflect for a while.

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 12th November 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks, Stacey. I hope you’re having a great weekend!

  • Avatar
    Reply Lucy Clarke 13th December 2017 at 10:57 am

    This is so on point! The ultimate benefit, “it instigates personal development” precisely sums it all up! After all that we reflect on, the things we say, how we responded to situations, what we could do or not do should the same thing arise… these steps develop us and makes us grow.

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 13th December 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Thank you, Lucy. This is so true after all, everything that happens in life helps us to discover who we are. I hope you’re having a great week!

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