I have been pretty open on this blog, as well as with my nearest and dearest, about my struggle with self-identity since becoming a mother and being hit with alopecia.
One day a cherished friend and colleague introduced me to the idea of self-reflection byways of getting in touch with my values, priorities, goals, and ultimately me!
Of course, self-reflection isn’t a new concept, but to me it was. So in my usual ‘try anything once’ manner, I gave it ago.
I have been doing weekly reflections for six months, and my self-awareness and self-love has skyrocketed! I have goals, accountability, and appreciation for all my blessings.
Do you reflect?
It isn’t an easy process as you have to ask yourself some deep and difficult questions in order to make profound, life-altering changes. But oh boy is it worth it!
Here are four of those difficult questions, to encourage you to understand and take control of your life.
Question 1: How does another year sound?
Could you relive the same year again for another 365 days? I don’t mean the ‘groundhog day’ reliving. I mean would you be willing to spend another year in the same career, making the same progress, and having the same lifestyle and mindset? You will have the same job, the same relationships, be the same weight, have the same emotions, and do the same activities. Everything the same.
How does that sound? Are you excited or disheartened by that thought?
This question has been ringing in my ears of late. The thought of not changing some circumstances and habits in my life or not progressing in some way scares me. I have been stuck in comfort mode, and this question has made me realise it is time to shift gears and put my life into sports mode!
Take a moment to reflect back on these aspects of your life while asking yourself –
“would I do another year of this?”
* Relationships – marital, parental, social, etc.
Question 2: Am I using my time wisely?
Another powerful question in your self-reflection session is to evaluate life’s most precious commodity. Time.
Imagine yourself in ten years looking back on where you are now. Would you be regretful of wasting time?
Try to feel the emotions you’d have if you were 10 years older and reflected on how you spent your ‘younger years.’ You might soon realise you have wasted too much time sitting at a desk, sleeping away your mornings, lazying on the sofa, living in a negative environment, or not cherishing your relationships.
Wasting time is a huge fear of mine. I wasted a lot of my 20’s by having low self-awareness and often taking the easy route. I don’t want to feel the same way about my 30’s.
Take a moment to break down an average week of your life and note the time you spend:
* at work
* online/social media
* with friends
* with family
* practicing you hobbies
* and anything else
How does it look? What hours would you consider ‘wasted’?
Question 3: What type of life do I want?
There is a quote referenced to George Bernard Shaw that says,
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”.
I have spent a lot of time trying to find my ‘purpose’ and ‘passion’ in life. I start new hobbies and new interests on almost a monthly basis, constantly seeking my ‘thing’. It is very frustrating.
You could liken this search to me losing something special but not knowing what it is I’ve lost. I could spend days, months, or even years tearing my apartment up to find it, but because I don’t know what I have lost, I can’t find it.
If you think of it that way, it seems so pointless!
Stop letting the idea of a missing ‘purpose’ rule your future. Destiny is a beautiful lie!
Instead, ask yourself what type of life you want, and start to create that life one step at a time. Be your creator and stop waiting for a miracle to land in your lap.
Stuck for ideas? Set up something as simple as a Pinterest board to spark your creativity. Then create a three month, one year, and three year goal timeline.
Question 4: Am I taking care of myself physically?
My wonderful Mr. Bonono has inspired this question. Over the last year, he has pushed himself physically with the purpose of achieving a healthy mind and body.
And whooooooa has it paid off!! He looks better than ever and mentally he is happy and motivated.
Our physical well-being can often be put on a back burner without us even being aware. For instance, I missed a few gym days because of work and other responsibilities. Now it has been four weeks since I last laced my trainers! How is that possible?!?
A fact of life is that we are all aging, and it is not until you have lost your health that you realise you should have taken better care of it.
Keep a clear image or note of where you want to be physically in the next 2 or 3 years and don’t let it slip away from you!
Baby Bonono inspires my mental fitness image. She will only get faster and heavier! So if I want to be able to hold her, carry her, and play with her, I need to make my physical health a priority!
That’s it, all the hard questions are over. I hope you have found them inspiring.
The next step is to make a note of your answers and then refer back to them on a monthly basis (I use the full moon as my marker). That way you are less likely to let things slide.
Changing your life isn’t easy – it takes constant work, but after awhile you will discover a more profound love for your life and the people/things that fill it.