Every day we have experiences that are in some big or small way different than those we have previously encountered. We are not just spectators to those experiences. We thought, felt, and acted (or didn’t act) during them.
Often we are not cognitive of what happened, so we miss out on the benefits of those experiences. If we don’t notice what happened, we can’t learn from them and miss opportunities to improve and grow.
WHAT IS SELF-REFLECTION?
Self-reflection is a powerful improvement tool. Reflection is the ability to think back, observe ourselves in action, and to learn from it.
Typically I have this deep moment of self-flection when I feel things didn’t go as planned while coaching a class, conducting a personal training session with a client, for example, they seem confused and ask a lot of questions about something that I just explained at the whiteboard. I find myself thinking about what I did, what I thought, and felt at the time.
HOW TO SELF-REFLECT?
Questions you can ask yourself:
What did I experience during the conversation?
What happened inside me during the conversation?
For example, when someone has a million questions after I explain the Workout of the day at the whiteboard, if I reflect on the situation leading up to these questions, I might realise that it is maybe NOT that the member wasn’t paying attention to my presentation, it is that I did not spend enough time at the board or that I didn’t do a great job explaining what we are doing that day.
When I taught my first class, I remember having lots of questions the minute before starting the workout. To my thinking, the workout is written on the board, I went over the movements, what could I have possibly missed? SO MUCH! Every week, I eliminated little by little all the questions I would receive immediately after. Having the ability to look back and observe where and what you missed is vital. Even when you think you taught a great class, there is always more room for improvement, and always keep an open mind and never stop asking for feedback.
APPLYING WHAT YOU LEARNED.
Now follow up, by reflecting on what you learned. Analyse your experience and compare to the models or principles that you want to follow. And last, you want to apply what you learned to your practice. Also, consider what options you have for the next time you face a similar situation.
We must learn from all of our experiences, not just when we receive feedback.
IMPROVE YOUR LOCKDOWN.
So, we are all going through Lockdown 6. We have plenty of past experience being in this situation.
What did you experience previously?
How did it make you feel?
How does it resonate with your beliefs, your goals, your aspirations?
What can you learn from your past experiences, to improve your current experience?
Perhaps on reflection you determined that Lockdown 4 you maintained a routine, which resulted in less anxiety, compared with lockdown 3 or 5.
Perhaps on reflection you gave into social media trends and used your spare time to make loaves of bread, instead of trying new salads or recipes, resulting in weight gain.