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The Power Of Reflection
There is no denying the power of reflection as an empowering process. Not only to help us make sense of our day but to make better decisions, set a course of action, and discover new ways of thinking.
In today’s fast-paced world, time is a scarce commodity to come by and what we do with our time is often a reflection of what is important to us. This is true from a personal or professional perspective.
But, in our rush to get things done, we often forget to take a step back to reflect on our goals and decisions, how we are feeling, and what we are doing. When we pause and reflect, it’s been shown we are more able to improve our performance and decision-making. Not to mention our overall well-being.
Today, we want to outline the power of reflection and how to easily start implementing it into your day.
What is Reflection?
Reflection is defined as “serious thought or consideration.” It is the careful and considered examination of a situation, an event, or our own thoughts and feelings.
Reflection could be considered a process that can help us make sense of the world around us and better understand ourselves. With reflection, we act and move forward in a more meaningful and thoughtful way. And this goes for both our personal and business life.
An important part of the human experience, reflection plays a fundamental role in our growth and development, especially when it comes to problem-solving and decision-making.
Reflection & Learning
There are two types of learning: experiential and deliberate. Experiential learning is the knowledge and skills we gain from completing similar tasks over and over again, without having to think. While this is a good way to build experience, taking the time to reflect on this experience is far more valuable. This is what deliberate learning is.
Reflective practice has huge benefits in increasing self-awareness. It also allows for the development of new skills, as well as improving and building on existing ones. It also helps us identify areas that need work, and helps us develop strategies to improve our performance.
In the workplace, reflection can play an important role in individual and team development. Employees can learn more about themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they work best. In addition, it can help them better understand their teammates, what motivates them and how they can work together more effectively.
Misconceptions About Reflection
While the power of reflection is undeniable, this is a concept that is still widely misunderstood. There are many myths about reflection that make it difficult for people to understand what it is, and how they can use it in their everyday lives.
Myth 1: There is no time for reflection
Today, many of us are constantly on the move. Whether this is working, running errands or running a household, we are always on the go. We rarely stop! As this pace continues to intensify, many of us think of reflection as a luxury, rather than an essential part of our growth and lives.
Yet, many findings have shown that reflection is a critical driver of both individual and professional success. In fact, the benefits of incorporating 5 or 10 minutes of reflection each week can be far better than learning.
Myth 2: Reflection is a waste of time
Reflection is often seen as a waste of time because it takes us out of the moment and requires us to stop and seemingly do nothing. We are so used to constantly ‘doing’, that taking a step back to reflect can feel like a waste of time.
However, taking the time to reflect is so incredibly valuable. As we’ve mentioned before, we can make better decisions, improve our performance and understand ourselves and others better. When you think of it like that, we’re crazy not to, right? It’s not a waste of time, but an important part of living a meaningful life!
Myth 3: Reflection is just thinking
Another misconception is that reflection is simply ‘thinking’. This could not be further from the truth. Reflection involves not only thinking, but also feeling and being. It is a process that allows us to move from experience to understanding in connecting the dots and making sense of what has happened. In order to do this effectively, we need to engage all of our senses.
Myth 4: Learning is a Static Process
Many of us view learning as a static process, where once we have learned something that is stuck with us forever. However, this is a limited view of learning that does not take into account the role reflection plays in our growth and development.
Reflection allows us to revisit what we have learned, apply it to our current situation, and then use that to achieve our goals. It also allows us to learn from our mistakes, and develop further.
How You Can Reflect
No matter how busy we are, as we are working towards goals and success, it is important to make reflection a habit. Whether this is in the car on the way to work, or in bed before we go to sleep, allocating 10-15 minutes of reflection every week, can make a massive difference.
To get started, here are some tips that might help:
1. Ask Questions
Taking time to observe our thought processes is a great opportunity to make the most out of every moment. The starting point of any reflection process is to ask questions:
- What happened?
- What thoughts and feelings did I experience?
- What was the outcome?
2. Be clear about what you want to achieve
Before you start reflecting, it is important to be super clear about what you want to achieve.
- What are your goals?
- What are you working towards?
This will help you better identify the skills required to learn and the areas to focus on – so you achieve these goals.
3. Record your thoughts
Journaling is a powerful reflection tool that can help you track your thoughts and progress. Whether this is an old notebook or a note-taking app, recording your thoughts can help you make sense of them, and see how you have grown and changed over time.
4. Start Small
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the task of reflection, start small. Where a full hour of reflection may seem like much, just 5 or 10 minutes each week can make a difference. This will help to build the habit and make it easier for you to reflect on a regular basis.
5. Ask For Help
For many of us, reflection can be a daunting task. If you are feeling lost, or unsure of how to get started, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of resources available, including books, articles and online mentors that can help you develop the habit of reflection and start seeing the benefits in your professional and personal life!
Ready To Experience The Power of Reflection?
Despite the challenges to reflection, the impact is clear. Reflection is an integral part of the learning process and essential to helping us learn more about ourselves and our journey.
If you are ready to experience the power of reflection in your own life, consider incorporating some of the tips listed above into your weekly routine. Doing so can help you achieve your goals and live a more fulfilling and successful life!
And, if you are in need of a little extra help, our selection of successful woman mentors are available to help you on your journey! With a range of skills and knowledge in a range of industries, there is a mentor at Ruffle Mentoring for you!