Self reflection is the root of learning. Taking the time to evaluate who you are as a person is a crucial element to growing, evolving, and changing. For me, my entire existence in the past two years has been a compilation of reflection of my inward self, my outward self, and my self that interacts with those around me. It’s a constant process that gives you an understanding of who you are, why you are the way you are, and how that affects others. It is a time that allows you to set goals and remind yourself of those incase you have somehow deviated from your course. Self reflection gives you an understanding of yourself that you didn’t know was possible and from that you can understand yourself on a whole new level-what a mindfuck.
Do you ever think to yourself, am I the one changing, or is my perspective just different, distorting the image you once had of yourself? This is the process my mind goes through often. Did I really change all that much? Was it really for the better? Am I still changing? Who the hell even am I? This is why I have a terribly dysfunctional relationship with self reflection. It takes me to places that my mind sometimes doesn’t even have the capacity for. On the flip side however, I have made some serious realizations and have been able to overcome so many questions and struggles I have encountered simply through the process of thinking, crazy right?! Back to the idea of changing though. This is something I have struggled with for a long time. Over the course of my life I have been influenced to think that change has a negative connotation, thus believing if I was to change from who people think I am, I would somehow be doing wrong. This is where self reflection has shown me otherwise.
Changing can take on a series of forms. Mentally, physically, spiritually, relationally, you name it, anything and everything, to some extent, can be changed and often things change without warning. For me, I have always wanted to be the best version of myself that I can be, and these past two years have definitely been a huge revelation for me. I have changed in ways that only I know of, I have changed in ways that the people around me know of, and I probably have changed in ways that other people have felt that I don’t necessarily notice-it’s all apart of the process. People every now and again come to me with that negative perception of change and lay into me about how you really shouldn’t change who you are, but I say, why should I stunt my growth as a human because I am afraid of deterring from the same mindset I have had for years, if not my whole life? Fear should not be the deciding factor of who you become. I truly pity those who do not allow themselves to discover themselves beyond what they think they are. Imagine the person you could be holding back? That is my fear, not adding up to my fullest potential. That is why I have changed, that is why I believe in growing as a person, that is why self reflection has become a lifestyle for me.
Let’s get one thing straight, reflection of yourself doesn’t happen over a cup of coffee in an hour. Self reflection is a mindset that is present over a lifetime journey. It is not easy by any means, this shit is hard and often times leaves you feeling like an emotional wreck. Often I look at it as a detox; necessary, uncomfortable, a pain in the ass, totally worth it, and sometimes leads to craving pizza (perhaps that’s just a common trait about me though, I love me a damn good pizza). If you don’t feel this way when self reflecting, you are not doing it right.
So you ask, what are the benefits because it doesn’t sound like something that I want to spend my only free time doing? For me I have gained an understanding of why I am shy, standoffish, and afraid of social encounters (forgive me if you have been victimized by my RBF, I swear I’m really working on this). I have been able to gain new perspectives of what I believe and why I believe them in a society that has forced a single opinion about every topic humanly possible. I have been able to better my relationships by realizing that I am not a flexible person, I pick fights just to fight, and I require quality time with those I love, and if I don’t receive that I feel rejected. I have learned that change is good. Seeing who I was just a few years ago to now, there has been so much growth and I can honestly say I am so proud of myself; I can’t wait to see where I will be in the next five years. Most importantly however, I have acquired a new found self love that is bold, unapologetic, and loves every single damn part about myself, even my downfalls.
Self reflection isn’t a step by step process that will get you from point A to Z in X amount of time. As a type A person this was hard for me to grasp, but if I can do it, you can too. I believe that we were put on earth for a reason, and I’ll be damned if I don’t live up to my fullest potential. I won’t be controlled by fear, I won’t be controlled by others opinions, and I won’t be held back because change is something that we as humans naturally stray away from. I am going head in, no reservations, no regrets, only learning, becoming, and succeeding.
Do you have any self reflection stories or want to share your take on what I have written? I’d love to connect with you and continue this conversation, or just to get to know you even. I want to make conversation about these topics something that is normal and not taboo. Text me, message me, comment below and I would LOVE to connect, get coffee, or something of the like-it won’t be weird, and I promise to keep my RBF in check 😉
Photos courtesy of Luba Kochubey.