Understanding the Value of Self Reflection
Photo Credits: Adhitya Andanu
2020 is winding down like an old music box, so long sad-girl-summer. It’s winter now, and all the trees are preparing for the long haul while we humans continue to fumble our way through life haphazardly. It has been a sad year filled with controversy and opposition, and in others, it has been a year filled with opportunity.
But, what makes 2020 an opportunistic year for some, and a year from hell for others? The answer is far more straightforward than we make it out to be — it is all circumstance. Possibly happenstance as well. While we’re at it, let’s call it providence.
No, not Rhode Island, though it is a quaint little state. Before you start rolling your eyes (hey, I saw that!), I’ll let you in on a bit of the secret to personal success. Your circumstance does not define the role you ought to play in this world. As Shakespeare once wrote, “The world’s a stage.” But you, my friend, have a bigger role in this performance, and it starts with asking yourself three simple questions.
Who are you?
Yeah, you. Who are you, and what are you adding to the world around you? Before you can conquer some great zoom meeting or the hike up your neighborhood mountain, you must first know your worth. You can go about this in several ways; many people have mantras, positive affirmations, and post-it notes from hell with encouragement. The path you choose is up to you, but regardless of your approach, be sure to work on understanding your wants and needs before you climb that mountain. Maybe, you need a moment of complete honesty with yourself, don’t be afraid to ugly cry while you’re at it.
What are you doing in my swamp?!? Just Kidding
What do you promise to be?
As a kid, what did you aspire to be, and how has that changed over the years? Maybe you wanted to be an artist but realized you didn’t quite have the finesse or skills to go that route. That’s alright. A part of growing older is learning to judge your skills without embellishment or false belief accurately. The promise you made to yourself as a child or in your adulthood doesn’t have to be about a specific career; it could be a simple phrase like, “I will help others, or I will make a million dollars.” Perhaps, you never made a promise to yourself, now could be a great time to reflect on who you are and what you aspire to be.
How will you express that promise?
It is shameful to admit that I have often broken the promises I made to myself due to fear and self-doubt. But, if I do not dare to be honest with myself, how could I possibly move forward. How will you take the beliefs and talent you have to cultivate your character in order to achieve your goals? If you want to make people happy, you could become a clown, a comedian, a chef, a nurse, a teacher, an astronaut, or a firefighter. Your possibilities are endless, just as the promise you made has unlimited potential to change the world.
If you are willing to take the time to ask yourself these three questions, then you are ready to start fulfilling the promises you made to yourself. It takes great courage, to be honest with yourself about what you want in life and great sacrifice to achieve it.
Before I go, I would like to ask you three more questions.
What are you doing in life?
Why are you doing it?
How will it help others?
Take all the time; you need to have an honest and raw discussion with yourself. It’s okay if you don’t like the answers; keep going until you do. Improving one’s character and standing in the world is a journey rather than a short walk to the shore of life’s uncertainties.