Reflection means many things, however in the scope of this article we are using the term ‘reflection‘ as the process of remembering a previous event and learning what you can from it to help you with a problem you may have right now.
Why reflection is so important.
Too many people are affected by what has happened in the past to the extent that they have trouble living in the present, paradoxically too many people try to forget the past without learning from what it can tell us.
Not learning from past mistakes, or repeating poor behavioural patterns can make mistake happen again and again, whilst people can also fail to take opportunity as they are too worried about past mistakes, in these examples we can see how reflection could help us learn and improve our decision making process.
“Reflection is all about learning from the past not living in the past”.
To reinforce this point think of the following analogy: Those of us that drive a car we frequently look at the rear view mirror to see what is behind us, this keeps us safe, if we don’t look in the mirror we could miss something important and even cause an accident. Consider also trying to drive looking only in the rear view mirror at what’s behind you and not out of the windscreen at the road ahead, if you do this and fail too see what’s in front of you, you are heading for a crash.
Process of Reflection.
Take some time to think and follow these 4 steps and see how it makes you feel about a problem that maybe on your mind.
1. Think about that problem and how it makes you feel right now.
2. Take yourself back to a similar time when you can see yourself handling a similar problem.
3. What can you learn from yourself the past, what did you do well and perhaps think about what you can do better, and what can you bring with you from the past to help you with your present problem.
4. Now think about applying the learning you have from the past to your problem and other problems you may have in the future.
Reflection is about learning from the past and bringing this learning with you into the present.
You can use it as a resource of solutions and learning to make you more resourceful, lack of reflection can be a reason for making poor decisions.
“Reflection helps you learn from the past, it is more than just remembering”.