I am a big believer in the power of developing a regular reflective practice and as we enter the final quarter of the year, it’s a really good time to review our experiences so far this year in the light of the goals and aspirations we had 3, 6 or even 9 months ago. A quantitive approach to reviewing our progress undoubtedly has much value but for me the most valuable reflective practice seeks to also spend time with and understand some of the less easily measurable parts of ourselves such as our emotions in relation to our experiences and experiences.
What if the process of achieving a goal I have worked really hard for makes me feel terrible and the success leaves me feeling flat? Conversely, many times a failure in achieving my goals has led to ‘eureka’ moments of learning and an emotional surge of pleasure as a result. Furthermore, especially as a highly sensitive person, it is crucial for me to be self aware of the emotions I am feeling and have the dexterity and courage to change course to protect my energy and reinvigorate my intentions and goals if i feel I need to. A regular and comprehensive reflective practice really supports with regards to decision making.
Sometimes in our personal as well as professional lives, we stoically plod on regardless and certainly I was modelled this as a way of being as a younger person. “Stay Positive”, “Keep Your Chin Up”, “Stick it Out”, “Never Quit” are all familiar mantras to me and sometimes still they ring true and serve me. However, sometimes my inner voice is reciting these stoicisms as a reminder that something simply is not working for me anymore, to remain agile and consider whether it might be time to plot a new course of action.
The trick, of course, is knowing when to stick and when to twist. That, for me, is part of developing self-awareness, resilience and courage and we all have very unique windows of tolerance. One of many things I love most about coaching others is supporting and walking with them as they discover theirs in pursuit of a personal and professional life they desire and deserve.
Until the next time, why not consider developing a reflective practice of your own or if you already have one, please do let me know in the comments what works for you?