What even is self-reflection? This is a good place to start, seeing how there are many misunderstandings about what self-reflection really is and the purpose it serves us.
First, think about the word reflection, often you immediately imagine a mirror. When you look into a mirror, you see a true, realistic image of yourself. Self-reflection is when we take a step back to think (as unbiased as possible) about our actions, beliefs, motives, position, and goals. We think deeply and introspectively. We analyze ourselves in detail and reflect on how we feel that we're doing.
Living a fast pace, busy life means that you likely haven't put much thought into self-awareness. The reality is that you also may be nervous or unaware of how to get started. Without self-reflection, we eventually become overtired, overwhelmed, and very stressed. We push our stress to the side to deal with later. We keep pushing forward when we experience failure, instead of stopping to think about why we failed, and how we can succeed next time.
How can you begin to self-reflect? There are countless possibilities. A good way to start is by thinking of specific subjects you would like to reflect on. Then, set aside some time during your day to think deeply and honestly about these topics. Write down your goals, thoughts, and questions that you want to explore. Consider both, the things you are successful at and the things you need to work on.
Ask yourself questions like: What am I thankful for? What is bringing me happiness? What is/isn't working? What are my passions? What are my goals/what am I doing now to work towards them? What have I been avoiding to think about? Do I support my friends/do my friends support me? What can I improve? What should I step back from? How do I generally feel today/why? Keeping a journal of your goals/attitudes/ideas can enhance your ability to self-reflect.
Why is self-reflection important? It allows us to break our daily cycles. We often get caught up in our busy lifestyles and leave absolutely no time for ourselves. Self-reflection gives us a chance to assess how we're doing, set goals, develop stronger confidence, and learn more about ourselves. It can improve our critical thinking skills, strengthen relationships, enhance our emotional intelligence, and allow us to better manage those rising stress levels.
There is no "correct" way to self-reflect, but the fact is that it is important. Start small.