The Dramatic Effects of an Honest Self Reflection
A few weeks ago I was stuck in the Kentucky airport for seven hours. My flights were delayed multiple times and I was eventually rerouted. After a really intense coaching conference, I was already exhausted before getting to the airport, and when the delays started I just wanted to curl up and cry (and I’m not a crier). I just wanted to get home and hug my dog.
But that day in the airport, and over the 14 hours of travel (it was supposed to be 5 hours), something happened that I will never forget.
Normally I would have called a friend to keep me company, maybe bitched on social media, and read a book. I didn’t want to think about how much work I had to do the next day and how tired I would be.
But I did something different.
The Small Action that Changed my Life
I had a really honest check-in with myself and took 100% responsibility.
Without judgment, I observed that I was feeling sorry for myself and my inner angry-toddler wanted to stomp her foot and be mad. I was feeling entitled to an easy day of reading on a short trip home and that wasn’t possible.
With this honest self-reflection, once I was able to accept the situation as is I was able to decide how to spend the next ten hours in a completely different way.
I could look further ahead to how I wanted to show up for my clients on Monday. If I didn’t do the work that day, I was going to be the one responsible for throwing my whole week off balance. If I got behind because I didn’t want to work in the airport it wasn’t the airline’s fault, it was mine.
And so I opened my laptop and I shifted my thoughts to my clients and how I was going to help them get results. I took advantage of every moment of travel that day and I probably deserve a productivity gold star (if someone’s handing those out). It felt good.
I felt in control. And I was only able to find the self-discipline to do this because I kept the focus on only the things I could control.
The Habit of Doing Honest Self Reflection
It can feel uncomfortable, to be honest with ourselves when things aren’t going our way, it’s much easier to blame circumstances or other people. The weather, lack of time, the asshole boss, a difficult partner, … the flight delays from Kentucky to Toronto.
But that doesn’t that serve you. When you put the blame on things outside of your control, you stop taking responsibility for your results, and once you give away the responsibility, you can easily slip into a victim mentality or entitlement.
When you build the habit of doing frequent and honest self-assessment, you will foster a strong relationship with yourself. It gets easier to let go of the self-judgment and you will be more powerful in every area of your life. You will feel in control. And you will grow your capacity to create any result you want.
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