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People Don’t Succeed by Luck, They Succeed by Doing a Lot of Self Reflection

People Don’t Succeed by Luck, They Succeed by Doing a Lot of Self Reflection

How often do you set aside time to really think about yourself?

If you’re like most of us, rarely.

Self-reflection is the process of looking at yourself, your life and your experiences.

It’s been shown to strengthen your emotional intelligence, help you act with more integrity, and boost your self-confidence. [1]

Even if you’ve never deliberately practiced self-reflection, you probably have at least some experience with it.

Here are some examples of self-reflection that you’re probably familiar with:

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  • New Year’s Day. Most of us spend some time reflecting on each year as it comes to an end, and making resolutions to improve ourselves in the future.
  • Birthdays. Many of us use our birthday as a time to reflect on our lives so far, and think about what we still want to achieve.
  • Job applications. Applying for jobs forces us to lay out all of our skills and experiences in a clear and linear way, which can be an eye-opening experience.

But do we have to wait for the new year’s day or birthdays to review ourselves? If we really want to improve ourselves, why can’t we have such self-reflection every month, or every week, or even every day?

Are you ready to start improving yourself with a deliberate self-reflection practice?

Great!

Just follow the simple tips below.

Questions to ask during self-reflection

To do self reflection effectively, the best way is to ask yourself questions.

What are my strength and weaknesses?

Identifying where your strengths and weaknesses lie helps you solve problems and make good decisions.

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For example, if you know that you’re great at organisation, you might volunteer to help put on an event at work and get on your boss’s good side.

If you don’t work well under pressure, you’ll know not to take a job as head chef at a busy restaurant.

However, remember that your strengths and weaknesses aren’t set in stone. Want to change something about yourself?

You can.

Put together a plan, set measurable goals, and take it one small step at a time. There aren’t many problems you can’t solve this way.

What have been my greatest achievements?

Identifying your biggest achievements shows you where your values lie. Are you most proud of something to do with work, family, or education? Do you want to focus future efforts in the same area, or shift to something new?

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What have been my biggest failures?

Failures can be a wonderful learning experience. Gently acknowledge a time something went wrong, and ask yourself why? Low self-confidence? Lack of planning? Fear?

Now consider what you could do differently to ensure you don’t make the same mistake twice.

What skills do I have?

Making a big list of your skills is a great way to see how you’re doing. Are your skills where you want them to be? If not, commit to learning something new, taking a course, or trying out a new activity.

Are your skills equally balanced. Divide them into categories, including:

  • Work
  • Hobbies
  • Spirituality
  • Health
  • Exercise
  • Social

Are the lists equally balanced, or are you lacking skills in certain areas of your life?

What problems do I have right now?

Self-reflection deals with good and bad. Ask yourself what the biggest source on unhappiness is in your life right now.

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It could be:

  • Your job
  • Your partner
  • Your living environment
  • Your finances

Once you’ve identified the biggest problem, you can start looking for ways to solve it.

How could I improve my life?

Writing a short passage describing your ideal day is a great way to generate ideas for this question. Focus on all the small details, like your home, what you’re eating, your hobbies, your routine, etc.

Then compare your ideal day to an day in your current life, and think about how you can bring the two closer together.

Common challenges during self-reflection

You might encounter some of the following problems when practicing self-reflection:

  • You forget to do it.
  • You’re not sure what to reflect on.
  • You’re afraid to be honest with yourself.
  • You feel embarrassed.

How to stay committed to self-reflection

To ensure you stay committed to self-reflection, try the following techniques:

  • Add a weekly or monthly ‘reflection date’ to your calendar.
  • Write a few sentences about why you want to keep up with self-reflection. Read it when you start to lose interest.
  • Be kind to yourself. Self-reflection isn’t about being too hard on yourself, it’s about helping you to be the best you can be.
  • Keep self-reflection private. It’s hard to be honest if you’re worried about the opinions of others. Don’t feel you need to share your practice.

Ready to stop moving through life on autopilot? Start your self-reflection practice today.

Featured photo credit: The Crunchies! via flickr.com

Reference

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Eloise Best

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

Dreams — Mysterious, bewildering, eye-opening and sometimes a nightmarish living hell. Dreams are all that and much more.

Here are 20 amazing facts about dreams that you might have never heard about:

Fact #1: You can’t read while dreaming, or tell the time

    If you are unsure whether you are dreaming or not, try reading something. The vast majority of people are incapable of reading in their dreams.

    The same goes for clocks: each time you look at a clock it will tell a different time and the hands on the clock won’t appear to be moving as reported by lucid dreamers.

    Fact #2: Lucid dreaming

    There is a whole subculture of people practicing what is called lucid or conscious dreaming. Using various techniques, these people have supposedly learned to assume control of their dreams and do amazing things like flying, passing through walls, and traveling to different dimensions or even back in time.

    Want to learn how to control your dreams? You can try these tips:

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    Lucid Dreaming: This Is How You Can Control Your Dreams

    Fact #3: Inventions inspired by dreams

    Dreams are responsible for many of the greatest inventions of mankind. A few examples include:

    • The idea for Google -Larry Page
    • Alternating current generator -Tesla
    • DNA’s double helix spiral form -James Watson
    • The sewing machine -Elias Howe
    • Periodic table -Dimitri Mendeleyev

    …and many, many more.

    Fact #4: Premonition dreams

    There are some astounding cases where people actually dreamt about things which happened to them later, in the exact same ways they dreamed about.

    You could say they got a glimpse of the future, or it might have just been coincidence. The fact remains that this is some seriously interesting and bizarre phenomena. Some of the most famous premonition dreams include:

    • Abraham Lincoln dreamt of His Assassination
    • Many of the victims of 9/11 had dreams warning them about the catastrophe
    • Mark Twain’s dream of his brother’s demise
    • 19 verified precognitive dreams about the Titanic catastrophe

    Fact #5: Sleep paralysis

    Hell is real and it is called sleep paralysis. It’s the stuff of true nightmares. I’ve been a sleep paralysis sufferer as a kid and I can attest to how truly horrible it is.

    Two characteristics of sleep paralysis are the inability to move (hence paralysis) and a sense of an extremely evil presence in the room with you. It doesn’t feel like a dream, but 100% real. Studies show that during an attack, sleep paralysis sufferers show an overwhelming amygdala activity. The amygdala is responsible for the “fight or flight” instinct and the emotions of fear, terror and anxiety. Enough said!

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    Fact #6: REM sleep disorder

    In the state of REM (rapid-eye-movement) stage of your sleep your body is normally paralyzed. In rare cases, however, people act out their dreams. These have resulted in broken arms, legs, broken furniture, and in at least one reported case, a house burnt down.

    Fact #7: Sexual dreams

    The very scientifically-named “nocturnal penile tumescence” is a very well documented phenomena. In laymen’s term, it simply means that you get a stiffy while you sleep. Actually, studies indicate that men get up to 20 erections per dream.

    Fact #8: Unbelievable sleepwalkers

      Sleepwalking is a very rare and potentially dangerous sleep disorder. It is an extreme form of REM sleep disorder, and these people don’t just act out their dreams, but go on real adventures at night.

      Lee Hadwin is a nurse by profession, but in his dreams he is an artist. Literally. He “sleepdraws” gorgeous portraits, of which he has no recollection afterwards. Strange sleepwalking “adventures” include:

      • A woman having sex with strangers while sleepwalking
      • A man who drove 22 miles and killed his cousin while sleepwalking
      • A sleepwalker who walked out of the window from the third floor, and barely survived

      Fact #9: Dream drug

      There are actually people who like dreaming and dreams so much that they never want to wake up. They want to continue on dreaming even during the day, so they take an illegal and extremely potent hallucinogenic drug called Dimethyltryptamine. It is actually only an isolated and synthetic form of the chemical our brains produce naturally during dreaming.

      Fact #10 Dream-catcher

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        The dream-catcher is one of the most well-known Native American symbols. It is a loose web or webs woven around a hoop and decorated with sacred objects meant to protect against nightmares.

        Fact #11: Increased brain activity

        You would associate sleeping with peace and quiet, but actually our brains are more active during sleep than during the day.

        Fact #12: Creativity and dreams

        As we mentioned before, dreams are responsible for inventions, great artworks and are generally just incredibly interesting. They are also “recharging” our creativity.

        Scientists also say that keeping a dream diary helps with creativity.

        In rare cases of REM disorder, people actually don’t dream at all. These people suffer from significantly decreased creativity and perform badly at tasks requiring creative problem solving.

        Fact #13: Pets dream too

          Our animal companions dream as well. Watch a dog or a cat sleep and you can see that they are moving their paws and making noises like they were chasing something. Go get ’em buddy!

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          Fact #14: You always dream—you just don’t remember it

          Many people claim that they don’t dream at all, but that’s not true: we all dream, but up to 60% of people don’t remember their dreams at all.

          Fact #15: Blind people dream too

          Blind people who were not born blind see images in their dreams but people who were born blind don’t see anything at all. They still dream, and their dreams are just as intense and interesting, but they involve the other senses beside sight.

          Fact #16: In your dreams, you only see faces that you already know

            It is proven that in dreams, we can only see faces that we have seen in real life before. So beware: that scary-looking old lady next to you on the bus might as well be in your next nightmare.

            Fact #17: Dreams tend to be negative

            Surprisingly, dreams are more often negative than positive. The three most widely reported emotions felt during dreaming are anger, sadness and fear.

            Fact #18: Multiple dreams per night

            You can have up to seven different dreams per night depending on how many REM cycles you have. We only dream during the REM period of sleep, and the average person dreams one to two hours every night.

            Fact #19: Gender differences

            Interestingly, 70% of all the characters in a man’s dream are other men, but women’s dream contain an equal amount of women and men. Also men’s dreams contain a lot more aggression. Both women and men dream about sexual themes equally often.

            Fact #20: Not everyone dreams in color

            As much as 12% of people only dream in black and white.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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