Self-introspection is the examination of one’s conscious thoughts and feelings. It is closely related to self-discovery and is contrasted with external observations. It is nature’s gift to humans that helps us to navigate our path and determine our future success by choosing to operate with our strengths while acknowledging our limitations and working on them.
The lockdown has forced us all to pause from the speed of our lives and self-reflect on what is essential to our well-being. Numerous people have made a conscious shift in their lives by leaving old routines and stepping out of their comfort zone to realign with their true selves.
Looking at the silver lining, the downtime from this global lockdown has allowed for some quality time for self-introspection and personal growth. When introspecting, it is crucial to ask oneself the right questions for arriving at a healthy outcome. Given our frame of mind or conditioning, some questions could otherwise trigger reactive tendencies or self judgement and hence it is important to be cognizant and have this in check.
When evaluating your life choices or being at crossroads, here are three questions to turn to for healthy self-introspection -
1. What do I want?
A straightforward question that will help you think down to the T - asking yourself this question serves us to face the true north. Sometimes we get so involved in chasing the daily aspects of our goals that we tend to lose the bigger picture.
However, by revisiting your purpose or what it is that you truly want, you will not only realign with your goals but will also take inspired action to fulfil them.
The key to answering this question is in assessing your end goal and mapping the subsequent goals required to get there. Some other questions to ask yourself to break this down - What do I really want? Are my short term goals synced up with my long term goals? How deeply do I care about each of these goals?
Answer these questions and make sure you answer them by being honest with yourself. It’ll help you stay clear from inviting complexities and keep your actions just as straightforward.
2. Are my actions aligned with my goals?
Once you get clarity on your goals, you also need to have a plan in order to achieve them. Just as important it is to have a plan, it is equally important to have a regime to attain its success. Examine your schedule and take account of all the things that comprise your day. Make sure your actions align with your short term and long term plans for achieving your goals.
Classify your actions by low, medium and high priority tasks and look for productivity pockets to accommodate them. With better time management you will find yourself more focused towards activities that are important over other distractions that could otherwise take up your time. So, be mindful of the activities that can derail you or distract you from your path to success.
3. What changes do I need to make to support my goals?
Change is the only constant. Just like how your vibe attracts your tribe, your tribe also shapes your vibe. Your friends, colleagues, habits and lifestyle have a tremendous influence on your life. This influence - good or bad, always wins.
It is important to have external factors in regular check such as the environment you surround yourself with, the knowledge you consume and the extent to which you accommodate learning and growth to cultivate exponentially better habits.
Let go of habits that no longer serve you. Learn to say no to circumstances that no longer help you or hinder your growth. Inculcate healthy habits that will bring you closer to yourself and your purpose.
Self-introspection is important to bring in the voluntary changes in yourself and the world around you while not settling for anything less. Keep these questions in check every time you feel disoriented and you will find yourself being more aligned with your goals.
As Gandhi said: “If you want to change the world, start with yourself.”