Self-Reflection – The Key to Professional and Personal Growth

As the countdown on New Year’s Eve began to usher in 2016 as 2015 faded away, I began to reflect how 2015 impacted me in many ways and how those impacts has influenced and shaped the decisions I have made for in 2016. It also made realize that I need to assess my strengths/weakness and focus on areas where I need to improve.

self-reflection-pillow-mint-partnersExperience is great place to start for self-reflection. When we take stock of our successes and failures we can ‘analyze’ them to determine why certain things were successful and why some simply failed. Failures and successes are always an opportunity to reflect why something worked/did not work.

Self-reflection is great exercise for anyone who is in a leadership role, managerial position or simply beginning their career path. It allows one to assess their successes, failures, challenges on a personal and professional level.

When one does not take time for self-reflection you are essentially stating that you have no challenges; have no need for development and growth. This hurts you and your professional development. Self-reflection is how one grows and moves to the next level. A few benefits of self-reflection:

1. Emotional Intelligence
Self-reflection means you are looking inwards.  It helps build two components to emotional intelligence: self-awareness and self-regulation. Self-awareness provides the ability to understand your emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals, and recognize their impact on others. Self-regulation is the ability to control or redirect your disruptive emotions and impulses and adapt to changing circumstances. Building these emotional intelligence components will improve your leadership and relationship skills.

2. Integrity
Understanding your core values will help to strengthen one’s leadership integrity and lead to better decisions.  During stressful and difficult times our integrity is often tested.  Taking time to review key decisions and actions in the recent past and grading them against your core values is a good discipline for everyone especially someone in a leadership role. Consistency will solidify your values and make the decision making process easier. Integrity will not only produce better quality from you, but at the same time it will increase your expectations of others and encourage them to perform to the best of their ability.

3. Confidence
Confidence is crucial for professional growth and it definitely can help in our personal life. It helps in your ability to communicate effectively, making decisions and being influential. The more you self-reflect your strengths and how you can improve and build upon them, the more confident you will be as an individual and a leader.

When you do self-reflect keep in mind to be brutally honest and to accept that we do not always have the answers and have to reach out to others for assistance to build upon existing strengths and working on weaknesses.

Self-reflection is all about you and there is no right or wrong!