The Creative Genius Corner
Lessons, musings and advice from the author of ‘The Life I Won’
The Power of Reflection
Why you should be reflecting on life every day, and 7 tips on how to do it!
Last year was tough for pretty much everyone on the planet and this year isn’t shaping up to be much better, generally speaking. But I’m a firm believer in finding silver linings in every situation! It may be tough, but it’s so important to reflect on the positives that came out of 2020.
If you don’t look for those silver linings, life is going to seem pretty miserable. So let’s figure out how to find that silver amongst the gloom!
Let’s take your face as an example. How many times a day do you look at your own reflection? If you’re a woman, you probably spend hours in front of a mirror applying make-up to specific areas in a very specific way, right? You know what you like and what you don’t because you study that beautiful mug daily.
So why not put the same effort into looking at your life?
If you make time to reflect on the events that happen, you can learn to love and accept them as much as you do the imperfections of your face. Then you can make considered upgrades that will make you feel more confident, just like you do with make-up!
As we grow older, we become more accepting and less critical of the way we look. We’ve already been on a journey with our face and it’s filled with wisdom. We make eye contact with ourselves daily and we trust the person we see in the mirror because they are familiar. If we reflect on life events in the same way often enough, we begin to grow more familiar with our achievements and behaviours. When we’re familiar with them, we can change them!
Here are my 7 top tips for reflecting on your life…
1. OVERCOME YOUR BARRIERS
“I just don’t have time.” – I hear this constantly! You’re lying to yourself and you’re doing it so well that you’re convinced it’s true. But guess what? Leaders and business owners like us are ruled by our diaries, so schedule it in! The first thing I put in my diary every week is my Friday review at the end of every week, which is also when I plan next weeks entries.
2. LEARN ‘HOW TO’
So many entrepreneurs struggle with the idea of how to reflect. It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? We’re on the go all of the time so slowing down and accepting personal responsibility for all of the chaos can be difficult. Reflecting requires you to stop and think at a slow pace. This will bring up all sorts of objections and excuses, but that’s part of the benefit! Valuable insights and breakthroughs will be experienced when you allow yourself to slow down and think.
3. GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY
Many leaders and business owners can become defensive when they see weakness, often making excuses. This can make them dismiss their own strengths, which is absolutely absurd! So get out of your own way and accept the lessons, because in them there is a better way to do something. You already have it in you, you just haven’t noticed yet because you’re making excuses.
4. WHAT TO REFLECT ON
This is easy, so let me prescribe some questions for you to ask yourself: What is going well? What is not going well? How do I feel? Reflect on your attitude and thinking – however you feel, you made yourself feel that way! So how do you change it? What have you learned that can help with what is not going well? How will that improve things for the next week/month?
5. START WITH THE BASICS
Spending 15 minutes a day reflecting on what you have learned can improve your performance by around 20% if you do it consistently! Imagine how a 20% increase in your performance is going to feel if you spend just 15 minutes looking at what you’re doing instead of your face! If you take just one thing away from this article, it should be this. It can cause such a profound chain reaction! Make the last 15 minutes of your workday ‘reflection time.’
6. TURN IT INTO A HABIT
Anything you do consistently for a long enough time becomes a habit, that’s just how humans work – good or bad. Habits can either improve or reduce productivity, success and self-worth. I hold my clients accountable to reflect on their week every week to identify their barriers, successes, how they felt, how much money they made etc. Once you create a positive habit, the fruits of your effort just happen on auto-pilot!
7. BUILD ON YOUR GROWTH
Once you have mastered daily and weekly reflection time then you can promote yourself to a monthly review. Reviewing and reflecting on your month takes about an hour (for me, anyway) and allows you to recognise the things you did well and learn how you can apply them to your life and business going forward. The things that did not go so well are the big lessons! The growth that you can gain both personally and professionally be creating these habits is exponential.
Here’s a little exercise for you. Take a little time to write down just 20 things that you did, made or achieved in 2020. By forcing yourself to think back and recognise the things you did, you can kick start a new habit that is going to serve you way more than you can even see right now!
Remember: treat this new habit like looking at your face. Do it daily, be critical and seek to improve.