Why Is Self-Reflection Important?

I have just completed my quarter 3 reflection ritual (I created a quarterly journal process) and yes, I share it in the end-of-year ritual). I developed further insights in to my actions and habits and where I am in my life at the present time. For me, this is enough reason to keep this ritual going, however it got me thinking – what if you were new to the idea of self-reflection, why is it important? Or if you have let the habit of self-reflection go for a while, why would you want to start it again? Subsequently, I wanted to share some of the reasons why self-reflection is important!

 

What is Self-Reflection?

There are many definitions on self-reflection, including –

  • “serious thought about one’s character and actions.” ~ Google and Oxford Dictionary
  • “the activity of thinking about your own feelings and behaviour, and the reasons that may lie behind them” ~ Cambridge Dictionary
  • “careful thought about your own behaviour and beliefs” ~ Merriam-Webster

 

Some people prefer to refer to self-reflection as introspection, so I decided to also look up that definition –

  • “Contemplation of one’s own thoughts, feelings, and sensations; self-examination.” ~ Dictionary.com
  • “the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes.” ~ Google
  • “from Latin introspicere, ‘to look within’, the process of observing the operations of one’s own mind with a view to discovering the laws that govern the mind.” ~ Encyclopaedia Britannica

 

As you can see by the above definitions of self-reflection and introspection, they are very similar and both essentially are about looking within. So, now we are on the same page about self-reflection, let’s have a look at why it is important to having a healthy relationship with yourself and living whole-heartedly!

 

11 Reasons Why Self-Reflection Is Important

Personally, I think self-reflection is an essential skill to develop for a healthy relationship with your mind, body, emotions and spirit, have greater connection with yourself and to live whole-heartedly. Following are eleven reasons why I make self-reflection a priority in my life.

1. To Develop Self-Awareness

”Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” ~ Margaret J. Wheatley

For me, this is one of the clearest reasons why it is important to take time out to reflect. Subsequently – am not sure if I need to add any more 🙂

2. To Increase Self-Acceptance

“The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination. Until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life”. ~ Iyanla Vanzant

By taking the time to reflect, you start to learn more about yourself and increase self-acceptance. Yes, I have learnt that I am not perfect, however I am really grateful that I can accept myself for who I am after many years of untangling of self-criticism and am on my way towards loving myself whole-heartedly.

3. To Create Freedom

”Self-reflection is the gateway to freedom. It also brings greater appreciation and enjoyment. We begin to enjoy spending time with our own mind, and we enjoy reflecting on our experience of the teachings. Like the sun emerging from behind the clouds, the teachings of the dharma become clear.” ~ Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

As we start to see our minds for what they are by starting to untangle from the thoughts and start seeing the thoughts for what they are (just thoughts), we start to create greater freedom within our life.

4. To Be More of Myself

”It is always our own self that we find at the end of the journey. The sooner we face that self, the better.” – Ella Maillart

Yes truly! I spent so many years trying to please other people, that I forgot and lost who I was. So now, I am enjoying the process of being myself and having greater connection within my internal world.

5. To Increase Compassion

”Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung

This is one of the greatest gifts fo self-reflection. As I have learnt to untangle from my own self-criticism and challenging behaviours, I have been able to increase my own self-compassion, which then has transpired being about to give that compassion to other people.

6. To Look After Myself

”Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.” ~ Barbara De Angelis

As a highly-sensitive person, I need time out to reflect and look after myself. Self-reflection fills me up and gives me energy, so it helps me function optimally.

7. To Learn About My Experiences

”We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” ~ John Dewey

Yes, this is a little different from number 1, however they are intertwined.

8. To Increase Inner Peace

“When your higher self is present, it always promotes peace.” ~ Wayne Dyer

I don’t know about you, however inner peace is definitely something I enjoy being connected to in my life!

9. To See My Progress

“Self-reflection is so healthy. When I record the details of what I’m going through, whether it’s a relationship issue or negative thoughts, I can look back and see how far I’ve come. It makes me proud to see my progress and how I got through a bad situation.” ~ Kelly Rowland

Ever felt like you are not going to get through something? When I write in my journal, I can look back and see how far I have travelled and how I have overcome the challenges.

10. To Listen to Myself

“Unless you learn to face your own shadows, you will continue to see them in others, because the world outside you is only a reflection of the world inside you.” ~ Unknown

In the past I have listened to other people’s opinions more than mine and lost my sense of self. By investing time in self-reflection, I listen to myself and where I am in my life.

11. To Develop Genuine Self-Confidence

“Remind yourself that you cannot fail at being yourself.” ~ Wayne Dyer

Ahh that is so true and for me self-reflection has helped me to grow genuine self-confidence. How? When I self-reflect I am honest, so I know what is going on inside me. Knowing this, helps me make informed choices throughout the day.

 

Over to You…

I hope this post has helped you to see why self-reflection is important! Are there any other reasons you would add? If so, feel free to share them below 🙂

Want to start journaling? Click here or the image below to download the 24 Whole-Hearted Connection Journaling Prompts.

 

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