How Self-Reflection Might Limit Potential
Self-reflection done poorly distorts reality and limits potential.
Real self-reflection exceeds navel gazing like rib eye steak exceeds veggie burgers.
Perhaps our grandchildren will print steak with a 3D printer, but for now, give me a real rib eye charred on a blazing grill.
Self-fascination leaves us head-down in a narrow hole chewing on artificial realities.
Self-reflection and others:
Self-reflection done in isolation is like a meat eater chewing an Impossible Burger. It’s satisfying until you learn it’s an imposter.
The effect of isolated self-reflection is self-confident distortion.
Since my mid-twenties, people have said, “You make me think.” It surprised me. I’ve learned that making people think isn’t something I try to do. It’s who I am. It’s my contribution.
The real meat of self-reflection includes others. Self-reflection that excludes others propagates the perversion that we are the center of the universe.
We understand ourselves in contribution, not isolation.
Self-reflection and feelings:
If self-reflection always makes you feel good, you’re doing it wrong. Perhaps the goal of meditation is inner peace. But real self-reflection is painful sometimes.
When the goal of self-reflection is affirmation and comfort, self-centeredness is the motivation.
Activities that promote self-importance limit potential. (Confidence yes. Self-importance no.)
4 reflection questions:
- What contribution reoccurs in your interactions?
- How do you leave people when you walk away?
- How are people better after interacting with you? Worse?
- What do people – who know you – repeatedly say about you? What if they’re right?
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.” Confucius
How might leaders elevate the practice of self-reflection above self-centered naval gazing?
How might the practice of self-reflection multiply contribution?
The Right Way to be Introspective (Yes, There’s a Wrong Way) (Ideas.TED)