Vampires grease back their hair because they have no reflection. Life sucks and you’re a mess if you never look in the mirror.
Socrates was right, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Self-reflection makes life worth living.
Self-reflection makes growth possible and contribution meaningful.
5 reasons leaders don’t practice self-reflection:
- The term self-reflection is for hippies and dope smokers.
- Who has time?
- Why bother? Just go do something.
- I wouldn’t know how if I wanted to.
- My imaginary self is better than my real self. Don’t burst my bubble.
The purpose and value of self-reflection:
A mirror bursts the bubble of imagination. Healthy self-reflection reveals self-distortion, self-delusion, self-inflation, or self-condemnation.
Fantasy is great as an escape, but a lousy lifestyle. You must know who you are in order to make meaningful contribution.
Fantasy might succeed, but lack of authenticity sucks satisfaction from life.
5 purposes of self-reflection:
#1. Pattern recognition.
For most of my life I’ve been “too busy” to waste time on self-reflection. The result – unrecognized self-defeating patterns.
#2. Increased self-awareness.
Meaningful contribution requires that you know the power of talent and the defeat of weakness.
#3. Correction and direction.
Ships never reach their destination apart from adapting as they go.
#4. Improved performance.
Customer service agents who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting about lessons learned performed 23% better after 10 days than those who did not reflect. (Di Stefano, Gino, et al.)
- What is satisfying about your current station in life? Dissatisfying?
- What do your satisfactions and dissatisfactions say about you? Your values? Priorities?
- Reflect on current satisfactions. What attitudes, decisions, and behaviors expand your life?
- Reflect on current dissatisfactions. How long have these dissatisfactions been with you? What attitudes, decisions, and behaviors sabotage your life?
How might leaders practice self-reflection?
What concerns you about practicing self-reflection?
Why you Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even if You Hate Doing It) (HBR)
3 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Reflection (USC)