4 Tools for Self-Reflection Every Leader Needs

Self-reflection enables self-discovery. You must know yourself before you can enjoy giving yourself to the world.

Apart from self-reflection conformity is self-destructive.

“If you are not self-reflective, how can you truly know yourself? If you do not know yourself, how can you lead yourself? And if you cannot lead yourself, how can you possibly lead others?” Harry Kraemer

Apart from self-reflection conformity is self-destructive. Image of lollipops standing in a row.

External influences:

Peer pressure:

Peer pressure isn’t just for kids. You wear a suit to work when you’d prefer jeans because of peer pressure. People in wealthy neighborhoods drive similar cars, wear similar styles, and do similar things because of the bandwagon effect.

Culture building:

Culture building creates conformity through peer pressure. Conform with awareness. Conformity apart from self-awareness is suppression. Choose conformity willingly and you find enjoyment in alignment.


You lose yourself when external influences define you.

Apart from self-reflection useful feedback becomes subjugation. What makes someone’s opinion more important than yours? Power? Prestige?

You can’t bring your best self to others when you’ve lost yourself to external influences.

Self-reflection enables self-discovery. Image of a person in a cave.

4 Tools for self-reflection:

#1. Awareness of influence.

You begin to find yourself when you notice external influences.

What is influencing you right now? Is it internal motivation or external?

It’s OK to conform if you do it knowingly.

#2. Pattern recognition.

What do you repeatedly feel? Record your emotional state every morning for two weeks? What emotional patterns do you notice? How might emotional patterns reflect people pleasing instead of your best self? How do emotional patterns reflect who you are?

#3. Flow.

What are you doing when time stands still? What does that say about you?

You find yourself when you lose yourself. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls it Flow.

#4. Connection.

We discover who we are in connection. Isolation leads to self-deception.

Sometimes others know who we are before we do.

What are some tools for self-discovery?

How might people practice structured self-reflection?

Still curious:

Where Leadership Starts – The Surprising Practice You Can Begin Today

4 Questions to Ask at the End of the Week for Self-Reflection

The Secrets to Self-Leadership