On Reflection

There are times in our lives when we wish that we could start it all again – the business, the project, the year, the deal, the relationship, the habit (perhaps not), or even the career.

When you reach that stage, it is most likely down to exhaustion, frustration, the sense of nothing working, or just the ‘banging your head off the brick wall’ feeling.

It will pass.

But the feeling itself is a sign of the need to reflect, as well as an opportunity to begin again, if you choose to take it.

We don’t do enough reflecting and assessing. Instead we just go through the motions repeating what we have always done until we hit a problem or crisis that gives us a jolt. And even then, we don’t actually do it: reflect, assess and ask ‘is this really what I want?’

I don’t mean that we should grade or judge what we have done or where we are at, but rather inquire if we are happy with a particular aspect of our life, whether it is our career, our business, our financial circumstances, our health and fitness, or our relationships. And if we would like to make changes.

The point is that reflection leads to awareness that when combined with action, brings about change and improvement. This IS the change formula: a methodology understood and utilised by all of the best sports people, business leaders and creative innovators.

It’s a simple process. With a pen and paper, it involves simply asking and recording: 

  • What new situation would I like to create? 
  • What do I need to do to get there? 
  • Who can help me? 
  • What small first step can I take to kick it all off?

Taking the time to think about these questions and answers moves one away from the negative, unproductive emotions of frustration and anger to  creating an opportunity for fresh thinking. It is from this fresh thinking that solutions emerge.

This process is a key life skill and I often wish that children were taught it in school. I also wish that I could remember to use it myself more often when problem-solving or in facing difficult situations.

So what about you? 

What is going on in your life or business that might benefit from you taking time out with a pad and pen to ask yourself these reflective questions?

Photo from Marina on Shutterstock