The past may impact the future. What a concept.
Many of you may have read that title and immediately assumed I was referring to my obsession with the mirror. However, what I’m actually referring to is the importance of actively taking a step back and thinking about recent events, your own personal growth, your actions, and your life itself. If you’re anything like me, you might often get caught up in what’s happening next when, in reality, taking a second to reflect on recent happenings might actually better prepare you to handle the future.
I’m 21 now so I’m supposedly like an adult or something. This recent birthday (happy Aries season by the way) gave me the opportunity to think about the past year of my super adult-like life. I thought about all of my accomplishments (too many to list) as well as, and arguably more importantly, all of my shortcomings (also too many to list). I actually made a quick video summarizing some of the highlights of my year that you can watch here if you feel so inclined. But by doing this, I was able to do two things for myself that I felt I should share because they had a positive impact on the way I go through life.
Appreciating Your Successful Moments
I can hear y’all sipping your tea because it’s possible I do this too much. Nevertheless, this is a very important aspect of reflection that can add value to your life. Life ain’t so bad, but how often do we sit back and think about all the great things we’ve accomplished? It’s more natural to overthink the negative things we encounter. Allocating time to focus on all the positives can work wonders for your self-esteem and all that other stuff I learned about in Intro to Psychology for Rockstars 201.
Recognizing Your Mistakes and Moving Forward
This is where self reflection can be the game-changer. Whether you're an individual or a team leader in any type of organization, taking time to reflect is the only way to effectively recognize shortcomings and improve on your strategy moving forward. Regular intentional thought regarding your actions will allow you to ensure you learn from your mistakes and are less likely to make them in the future. It's all common sense to be honest, but individuals need to make a conscious effort to think about these things in order to utilize the information and move forward as productively as possible.
Reflection is all about asking yourself high-quality questions. What worked well? What could I have done better? How did this make me feel? How did this make others around me feel? How can I apply this experience to my life/future in a positive way? These are all questions I would recommend you ask yourself while you're reliving some of your experiences in your head at the end of each day. Happy reflecting.