Over the last few posts I have really focussed on the importance of releasing negative thoughts. I have discussed the importance for Acknowledging, and Accepting and today I want to talk about Reflecting.
Reflecting on why something maybe occurring is one of the best ways to identify how to stop it from happening. Finding the true cause of a repeating pattern empowers you to address that cause reducing the chance of it continuing to occur. The thing is, identifying the true cause of something is difficult.
Not only is important to identify the cause, it’s also crucial, because as life has shown us time and time again, just because it appears outcome B is caused by action A, it is not always the case. In my experience this certainly has been shown as true. I could blame my self-esteem and confidence issues entirely on my previous employment. Yes I could say that that job belittled me, questioned me, and constantly told me I wasn’t good enough. BUT the reality is I also did all of those things. Yes, being in that particular situation wasnt healthy, and yes to an extend it started the downhill spiral, BUT I continued with those thought processes beyond that job. I allowed those thoughts to take up permanent space within my mind, playing on repeat. I chose to be the victim and not actively stand up against something that was hurting me.
The reality is that it took me years to work out that I was actually hurting me. By ignoring it, by running and finding new employment, by acting like those 8 months didn’t exist I was giving those thoughts power. I was allowing them to continue to foster beneath the surface ready to cause havoc as soon as the opportunity arose. It wasnt until I started to cement reflective practices as a weekly thing, that I even identified that while the original cause wasnt 100% internally driven, the current cause continuing the negative thoughts was. It was 100% me, because I was allowing a historic situation to continue to drive my life, my thoughts and in turn my happiness.
The reflective stage can be uncomfortable. I am not going to lie and say it was an amazing blissful experience allowing me to go all zen and realise what was going on. It took hard work and consistency. It took me to actually ask myself “Am I behaving in a way that I am proud of?”, and it took a lot of strength to accept the answer was “No.”. But I wouldnt change it, because that process allowed me to grow, to reflect and to learn what my own triggers were, and how to change some of the patterns I had established to allow the negative thoughts to grow.
Reflective practices can be anything. It doesnt have to be a formal process by any means, but rather an opportunity for you to ask yourself the hard questions, to ponder, to consider, and to be ready to hear your answers. You could use writing, discussions, art, music, meditation. Anything that allows you to be honest with yourself. How you reflect is not important, what is however, is you readiness to be honest.