How to Progress from Self-Reflection

How to Progress from Self-Reflection


Self-reflection has an important part on developing our personal and professional selves. Interestingly we often overlook such value unless confronted with mistakes or obstacles,  then we finally turn to ourselves – why me?

Everyone does self-reflect at a certain level, especially when relating to the others. We are all somewhat different from one another, and reflection has this important role on helping us become aware of these differences, and thereby valuing and respecting individuality.

I love meeting different people and learning about the amazing new ideas or perspectives I never think of. While I expand own knowledge base, I am more aware of how my awareness deepens in terms of its integration with the redefined understanding which meaningfully relates to self and the others – certainly reflection has a big part in my process.

Relationships are certainly more than just exchanging views. To have a compromised goal, or work out a collaborative outcome among the different individuals, often the effective way is not about selecting the best option, but co-creating and improvising something new together which best fits everyone.

One thing I find useful in learning is that I do not just either actively contribute own views or be a passive receiver, but also constantly shape and reshape own thoughts and attitudes via reflection. From this I learn to be more open and adaptive to diversity and unfamiliarity.

Reflection is not an one-off learning. It taps into our subjective thinking, and so to check out the appropriateness of subjectivity, especially with the different others, we ought to keep attending to the progressing thoughts under the various circumstances. In other words, we have to revisit our reflections over and over again.

Indeed the hard thing is to follow the shadow of reflection: not merely reflect but keep reflecting on reflection. We think, but only progress through thinking about thinking and the action of it. Conducting reflection is easy, as everything goes within our minds. Reflecting on our reflections, on the other hand, is tricky and much more effortful, as it requires action of change.

When one says, I need to value more the significant others, this is a good reflection of what needs to be changed. If such reflective thought just stays within the person’s head, nothing in particular will happen to the person, and certainly not between the person and the related others. It is only until he/she puts the learnt reflection into action, e.g. changing the speaking pattern with adding more praises, or showing gratitude when helped, then the person can further reflect.

The point is, reflection on our reflection only counts after we change, and such change only happens after we take action. The first reflection on self is often the easiest. It is the long trail of after-work which is difficult. It is about facing the fact that change is never one off hard work, but the constant facing of difficulty and pain. It forces us to admit that our change is never good enough until we break away from letting our change stay within our mindful comfort zone, to putting the action of change forward.

The most important thing is, the ultimate goal of reflection is not to reflect, but to have the actual positive self-change.

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