Self-Reflection: What Do I Really Want

Self-reflection is perhaps one of the buzzwords when it comes to personality development. There is definitely a reason for this: whoever does not make use of this tool, which significantly distinguishes humans from animals, will hardly find inner satisfaction. Unfortunately, there is often a lack of clarity when it comes to self-reflection.

Self-reflection is first and foremost about understanding yourself. You have to be honest and question your motivations and drives. Once you have a clearer picture of yourself, you can use it to develop in a direction that seems right to you.

I have discovered self-reflection for myself only in recent years, but it has helped me a lot. Especially in moments when you feel lost or don't know where to go with yourself, it can do wonders to look inside yourself and see what is really important to you. Because if you do not know where you want to go, you can quickly get lost and go astray.

So that you stay on the right path as much as possible and don't follow any will-o'-the-wisps, I will now tell you why I am convinced of self-reflection and how to do it the easiest way.

Why it is important to understand yourself

In times when distraction is the norm rather than not being distracted, it's important to stop and ask yourself if what you're doing is what you want or if you've just barely invested the time to consider what you really want to do.

Whether it's social media, video games, movies, food, alcohol or gambling, distractions are around every corner. So we deprive our brain of capacities it could use to think about more important things. For example, what we want to do with our lives or where we want to be in two years. But to plan our future (as far as that is possible at all) we first have to understand where we are now and why we are where we are.

So when we start thinking:

  • Am I in this circle of friends because I am valued here or am I afraid to be alone?
  • Do I have this hobby because I enjoy it or because I want to impress people?
  • Am I on the path that will lead me to my goals or am I merely walking a comfortable path that holds few challenges?

Without asking the right questions, it can be very difficult to get to know yourself better. What exactly the right questions are, I can not answer you, because they are always very personal and individual. However, I dare to say that it is essential to be honest with yourself. I mentioned the topic of honesty in this post about discipline, among others. If you want to learn more about why honesty is indispensable for discipline, just click >here<.

By the way, it is also important to understand what you don't want, this is also emphasized in self-reflection. Knowing what you don't like sounds pretty logical, since we know with many things that we don't like them. However, knowing what we don't like is just the beginning - knowing why we don't like what we don't like is a whole new level.

Why self-reflection is difficult

The hardest thing about self-reflection is that we have to be almost 100% honest with ourselves. Being honest with others, as well as with ourselves, is something that can and should be practiced a lot. If we want to understand ourselves, it is important that we are honest with ourselves. The reason is that the goal of self-reflection is to understand ourselves better in order to steer our future in a direction we consider important.

I have already written an article on the subject of honesty. You can read this here and learn everything you need to know about this virtue.

In addition to talking to yourself, you also have to actively engage in self-reflection, which doesn't sound like a lot of work at first. However, you have to keep in mind that, for example, when you meditate, you also just have to sit there and "do nothing" and many people - myself included - are too lazy for that.

I've discovered for myself that when you take short walks or walk somewhere, you often have time to self-reflect. Since you have nothing to do anyway except walk and look around, walking is a great way to self-reflect.

How to understand yourself

In a fast-paced world like ours, it's important to take some time out. Whether you go for a walk, meditate for ten minutes or simply enjoy a cup of tea. All of these activities can be used as downtime. If we are not during the cup of tea on the cell phone and let us distracted by new stimuli.

The view from Hohen Heven during a morning walk

Self-reflection is about seeing what already exists and analyzing it. In other words, we look at why we do what we do, what our motivations and drives are.

Often the questions we have to ask ourselves in order to understand ourselves better are unpleasant and we prefer to avoid them. Therefore, in my opinion, self-reflection is something positive. Not only do we understand ourselves better, we also move out of our comfort zone.

At first, I found it difficult to formulate the right questions. However, it's like with all activities that you learn: the more often you do it, the better you get at it.

In my experience, it is important to probe as penetratingly as possible. Because most of the time you can answer the reason for your own actions with the first question: "I do this because I enjoy it." or similarly flat answers. So if I suspect that I haven't really answered a question honestly or in enough detail, I set myself the following task think about the question for at least 3-5 minutes. If you have more time to answer the question, or more follow-up questions, you will inevitably come up with a "more correct", more detailed, more in-depth answer, which will help us understand ourselves much more.

I will now use an example to show you how I personally get on my nerves:

  • I like to play the guitar. <- Why do I like to play the guitar?
  • Because I enjoy it. <- Why do I enjoy it?
  • Because I can be better at it. <- Why do I want to be better?
  • Because not improving means standing still. <- Why do I want to avoid stagnation?
  • Because life itself is change and not stagnation.

I have discovered now quasi only by penetrating inquiries - which I find funnily enough opposite me by others as annoying - a small life wisdom for me.

Of course, there are significantly more profound questions that can - or rather should - be asked. This train of thought is only meant to serve as a rough overview of how to proceed. However, this can also look different for each person.

The most important thing about self-reflection is that you are honest with yourself and understand your drives and motivations so that you can live the most fulfilling life possible with them.

So take some time for yourself; think about what has happened to you lately. Where you want to go with your life or where you don't want to go with your life. Take some time to have a conversation with yourself. Make yourself some tea or go for a walk and listen to your inner voice.

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