Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Authentic Self-Reflection

Over the last few months, I have been in several discussions with several peer groups I belong to and the concept of self-reflection is ever present.

Not because they've all said it to me (although both my executive coach and couples counselor have told me I am the "most self-reflective person" they know in the last week- interesting, eh?), but because as we discuss the various topics that come up - I am always looking at them from a unique perspective in comparison to the group.

The dictionary does not really define "self-reflection" - it merely shows "self-examination or introspection" as its definition. However, you put "self-reflection" in Google without quotes and more than 1.1 million references are instantly noted.

My favorite is from a web page on leadership competencies that defines self-reflection "as a process of examining the impact of personal values, beliefs, styles of communication and experiences". This comes pretty close to my definition and application.

In my world - I self-reflect 100% of the time and about everything....

my role as a mom to Emma and Evan

my role as Isael's wife - notice I did not just say a wife

my role as a marketing leader where ever I choose to lend my talent

my role as a Kindergarten/1st grade ministry leader at Willowcreek

my role as a big sister to my siblings

my role as a daughter

my role as friend,  colleague and even casual business acquaintance 

Self-reflection is just like speaking or breathing for me. And honestly - this is how I view it:

In every situation, I take in all that occurs and pass it thru a lens of my values, my priorities and my goals - then I act. On the slight chance that I act before doing that (see blog from Nov 23), it is very shortly after that I self-reflect and course correct. Amazingly, my self-reflective abilities enable me to apologize or say I am sorry for something and truly work to never repeat the action.

Additionally - I find that my self-reflection allows me to not have many regrets in life. It has also allowed me to move seamlessly between jobs and industries, only building on my core talents rather than taking away.

It is allowing me to be the parent - I'd only dreamed I'd be,  raising confident, polite and compassionate little people.

It is allowing me to maximize my talents to juggle a full-time job, this blog, my side career as a motivational speaker and soon to be politician (on the ballot in the first or second position vying for one of three village trustee spots out of a field of six candidates, including two incumbents - EXCITING - I promise to keep you posted).

Today, I ask that you stop and self-reflect on where you are in your many roles in life.

Are you where you want to be? doing what you want to do? interacting the way you know best? 

If the answer to any of those questions is No - I encourage you to dig into that question and look at how you can impact a different result. 

Now, not later.

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