5 Reasons to Reflect

Do you every give yourself the time and space to reflect?


Reflection is a very
deliberate practice in my life.
 

As a blogger, I reflect on the experiences
of my career, my interests in fashion, and lessons in life to bring you meaningful content. I’m
constantly writing, reflecting, and creating. I feel called to bring the
practice of reflection into your life because of the benefits it’s brought to
me in all aspects of my life. I’ve found that I’m happier when I take a step
back and reflect on my life.

 

Before I jump into
the benefits of reflection, 

let’s first define it. 

Reflection is deliberate action and intention to learn from
previous experiences. It is an important exercise in learning and thinking. Reflection
is exploring, questioning, and examining ourselves. Reflection is taking the
time to understand how we fit into our roles, communities, work
place/organizations, and how we impact the greater world.

Here are 5 reasons to take the time to reflect today: 

1. Learn from the experience

Whether you’re in the classroom or just completed a major project at
work, taking the time to reflect on the experience allows you to think about
what you learned.

Guided reflection questions:

  • What would you have done differently?
  • How has your perspective changed from where you started to where you
    are today?
  • What preparation helped make you successful?
  • What road blocks did you encounter?

2. Examine your strengths and
weaknesses

The time you take to reflect can be spent thinking about your strengths
and weaknesses. For instance, when I decided to leave my first job with PepsiCo
I took the time to think about what skillsets I wanted to build next. I knew I
had strong intrapersonal/people skills, but needed to work on my technical
skills – like excel, finance, etc.

Guided reflection questions:

  • If you completed a project with a team, what skills did you use to
    support your team? Were there any skills you developed? Like excel, public
    speaking, strategy, etc.
  • If you’re thinking of looking for a new job, what skills and
    experiences can you bring to a new role/employer? What skills do you want to
    develop next?

3. Allow yourself the time and
space to make decisions

I absolutely carve out the time for reflection so I have a space to
make decisions in my life. I reflect on my life when I’m running or I’m sitting
down to write. I think about what I want out of the next step in my career. I
also think about what I want out of blogging and what I’ve enjoyed/not enjoyed
about it so far. I even think about all the different sports I’ve done in my
life and whether it’s time to start a new sport or hobby.

I like to carve out this space because I like to make decisions when I’m
in a calm, logical space and when I’ve thought about where I’ve been and where
I’d like to be next.

Guided reflection questions:

  • How do you make decisions? Emotionally? Logically? Do you write them
    down? Do you talk about them?
  • Where do you make decisions? In the moment? In the shower or maybe on a
    run?

4. Reexamine your values and goals

At one point in your life, you probably imagined you were going to end
up somewhere in a certain time frame. But the reality is: life happens and your
plans change.

I thought I was going to complete the PepsiCo Sales Associate Program.
When I started the program, I was ready to move every year for the next 4 years
in whatever cities they sent me to. After a year, I realized that grad school is going to be a very important step and goal for me to accomplish. I needed to work for a company that sponsored grad school
so I decided to leave and go back to the Boeing Company.

Guided Questions:

  • If you are about to graduate from college: ask yourself what do you
    think is important when you start working full time? Are you okay with working
    6 days a week during busy season? Do you need work life balance?
  • If you are looking for a new job: why do you want to leave your current
    role or company? Is the company or team you work for not aligned with your
    values? What are those values?

 

5. Gives you the space to be
creative

When you give yourself the space to think about your past experiences,
you also give yourself the time to think about your ideas for the future.

I find when I reflect back on my favorite photo shoots or blog posts,
I’m inspired to create more fun photo shoots and write more creative topics. Up
until November of last year, I strictly blogged about fashion. I was nervous to
share more personal stories as well as lifestyle and career posts. But when I
sat down and thought about it, I knew life and career related advice would be
helpful to my readers.

Guided Questions

  • How have you been creative in your personal life or profession this
    past year?
  • How did you come to your creative ideas?
  • Are there any ideas or experiences you envision for yourself in the
    future?

What are some ways you practice reflection in your life?

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Thank you for reading!

Love,
Emma

Photos: Holly Phan

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5 Comments

  1. May 31, 2017 / 3:54 pm

    Great post Emma. It's so important to take the time to examine yourself. It's easy, for me, as a mother to put myself last. Thank you for this important reminder.

  2. May 31, 2017 / 4:45 pm

    Love this! I think so often in life we're rushing around and moving on to the next thing, and we forget to look back and reflect. Great post!

  3. May 31, 2017 / 7:13 pm

    Thanks for this. When I was younger, I used to spend a lot of time reflecting. But now that I'm older, my time is limited. Reflection time has to be shuffled into work, taking care of kids, blogging, and spending time with my husband. It's good to be reminded to take a step back every once in awhile.

  4. June 1, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    YES! so important to look back and reflect on how things went but never dwell on things that didn't go as planned. Use those times as ways to make yourself better next time!

    Ellie | http://www.scotchandstilettos.com/

  5. June 1, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    I started meditating recently, and it has freed me up to reflect. I should be more intentional with your tips here. Thanks!

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