How much time do you spend reflecting upon life? Is this something that you do daily, weekly, monthly? How does it work for you, or does it not work for you?
I remember a time, not long ago, when reflection was something I did infrequently. It was not that I didn’t want to reflect upon situations as they arose. More, it was not a skill set that was fully developed within me; and is one now, that I work on daily.
What is reflection? Reflection is basically the process of deeply considering a situation or issue before making a decision or a choice.
Why is having time to reflect important?
As I’ve written in other posts, humans are reactive. Stimulus, response. If we simply react to a situation or issue, however, without the time to reflect on it, we are limiting the possibilities that may present themselves on how to solve that situation or issue.
We can all create more time to reflect upon the situations and issues that are confronting us. It takes actively creating that space; and, that is possible.
How can you add more reflection time into your day?
- Slow down your decision-making process – when you believe that a decision needs to be made quickly, consider why that is so? Ask yourself a few questions.
- Why is it necessary to make the decision right now?
- Has there truly been enough time to seriously consider the decision?
- What will happen by waiting a few hours, or a full day, before making the decision?
- Add more reflection time into your work day – intentionally create space on your calendar to reflect upon and consider the conversations of the day; and add reflection time into meeting agendas, and, or into conversations you are having during the day.
- Add more reflection time into your time off – similarly to your work day, intentionally create time to reflect upon and consider your day. Both during the week and weekend.
- Let people around you know that you’ll need time to reflect – let everyone around you know that you’ll need time to reflect upon decisions and choices, if needed; which will help slow down reactivity, and expectations of those around you.
- Practice, practice, practice – once you get started, keep going. You can start with smaller amounts of reflection time, and add more as needed, and as you get more comfortable with your new routine.
How will you benefit from adding more reflection time into your day?
Though I cannot say exactly how you will benefit from adding more reflection time into your day, I can tell you how I’ve benefited. Here are a few of the more important benefits of adding more reflection time into my day, and of practicing reflection daily.
- Space to breath.
- Slowing down, and slowing down those around me.
- More time to seriously think about and consider all of the options available to me with any situation or issue that arises in my life.
- Knowing that the decisions and choices I’ve made have been thoughtfully and meaningfully considered.
- More time with myself, and my thoughts.
How else will you benefit from actively practicing reflection?
There are also a couple more benefits to actively practicing reflection. Here are a few of the ones that have impacted me most.
- Seeing how situations and issues that arise are related to other areas of my life, both personally or professionally.
- Solving issues in these areas, previously thought of as unrelated.
- Seeing past an issue at hand, to possible related issues in the future.
- Creating the ability to solve these issues before they arise.
- Creating future possibilities by reflecting upon current situations and or issues.
- And, creating action plans for these possibilities.
Though there are many other benefits of actively practicing reflection, to really understand the benefits, one must experience the effects of reflecting more often.
Does this mean that I will never again react to a situation or issue?
No. Some situations and issues that arise require making quick decisions and choices. Yet, what I’ve found is that by reflecting upon and fully considering most situations and issues as they arise, there are less quick decisions and choices I need to make. Why?
Because when we react to a situation or issue without fully considering it, we may, inadvertently, be creating more issues – more reactivity follows reaction, simple.
However, when we choose to incorporate reflection into our daily life, we reduce reactivity by intentionally creating the space and time needed to fully consider situations and issues as they arise. Not sure, that’s okay. Whether you’re sure or not, here is my invitation to you.
Create the time to consider this post, or a situation or issue you are currently facing in your life and reflect upon it, and see what you get.