Submitted Date 12/27/2018

“An unexamined life is not worth living” — Socrates

In order to grow from our experiences and live our most fulfilling lives, we must consider the importance of self-reflection. It allows us to look at our life in order to gain new insights. We all want to move forward and become the best version of ourselves, but in order to do that, we must look at who we are now. To make this easier, here are some important steps to self-reflection.

First Step: Look

The first step to self-reflection is to ask yourself: what happened? Focus on a certain experience that you think is important to look back on. Figure out what details you remember and how they contribute to what happened. If you are looking back at a certain time, it can be helpful to look through photos, journals, messages, or other documentation. Once this step is done, you can look directly at the experience you want to reflect on.

Second Step: Analyze

Once you can picture your experience looked like, ask yourself: why does it look like this? This could be a positive or negative experience, but in either case, you need to analyze the outcome. Everything happens for a reason, but acknowledging those reasons will help you self reflect. During this experience, there were many factors that contributed to the result. Your feelings, actions, preparations, and atmosphere are all important considerations.

Third Step: Derive

Now that you have thought deeply about your experience, ask yourself: why did I do this? There is a reason you chose a certain experience to reflect on, to derive the meaning behind it. You may have learned something important from it. Maybe it had a profound effect on you that makes it stand out. Self-reflection will only be meaningful if you recognize it’s meaning.

Last step: Act

The last step to self-reflection is what will allow you to progress, as you ask yourself: now what? You’ve understood what you have gone through, why it happened, and how it is meaningful. It’s now time to figure out how you can use this understanding to influence your behavior and actions. Perhaps it will solidify a goal you want to accomplish or an idea you want to explore. This turns your reflection into a positive reaction. How will you react to what you just learned?

Remember, there are accomplishments in self-reflection. Let these steps help you renew yourself as the person you want to be!

Replace intimidation with curiosity. Be your authentic self with everyone you meet, so you make authentic connections.

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