I call it personal reflection but some might call it hindsight. There’s a reason that hindsight is thought to have 20/20 vision. It’s because when you look at an event that has already occurred, it is so much easier to see what you did and decide what was right and wrong. While you are IN the process it is very difficult to look at it objectively and see it from an alternative perspective. Sometimes you can’t even do this by yourself after the event and you need someone else to tell you how they see it. It’s always much more pleasant when the outsider is someone who cares for you and can do it in a loving way (particularly if it is difficult to hear) but it is important to gain insight from someone else regarding your actions and behaviour if you wish to improve as a person.
The person who does this for me is a brave and beautiful soul who thinks very differently from me which helps with reflection because he brings a completely different perspective and set of ideas. Sometimes the things he tells me or the perspective he brings is a complete revelation to me and allows me to look at and think about an event in new ways. Sometimes the things he tells me are affirming what I already thought but this is helpful also because it lets me know that I was on the right track so to speak. Keep in mind, these things are not always easy to hear but it is my belief that it is essential to hear the things that are most difficult because they are the things that will challenge you. Hearing the easy stuff is wonderful but not helpful for self improvement. It takes a great deal of courage to help someone with self improvement when they are asking for your opinion or point of view because there is always a risk that what you say could be difficult to hear and therefore your reaction may be unpredictable.
I am extremely grateful for the way that Michael makes me look at my actions and behaviours and gives me time to reflect on them. Because we think very differently from one another, he is always able to gently tell me his viewpoint and it is often from a place that I didn’t even consider. I can then take some time to reflect from a differing perspective and make an evaluation based on more than just my own point of view. During the reflection process, I try to come to terms with my actions and accept them for what they were at that time but also try to discover a way to not replicate them if I didn’t like them. Sometimes it’s very difficult to accept what you’ve done but you simply have to find a way or you won’t be able to move on or improve. Acceptance and letting go will be the topic of my next blog.
I am still working on my skills regarding giving my viewpoint as this is something that I struggle with. I have the habit of asking questions of the person and trying to get them to come to their own conclusions. This type of feedback has it’s place but sometimes it’s less helpful than simply stating your perspective. I am aware that I need some more practice at this and I am looking forward to the challenge but like any new thing, it takes time. This is just one very small pebble on the self improvement road upon which I am travelling but I have a very understanding, helpful and intelligent travel buddy who I enjoy being with immensely.