The art of self-reflection is something that you do not read in most leadership books. It is one of the more under valued leadership tools and the reason why many leaders end up falling. I do not know where I would be today if I didn't spend some part of my day self-reflecting with God: my emotions, my interactions with people and trying to find the silver lining in the negative experiences of my day. It often gives me clarity, or at the very least an ability to off-load heavy emotions so I do not carry it throughout the day and into other relationships. So how do you self-reflect? Here is my guide to self-reflecting. I'm sure there are better ways to self-reflect, but this is the way I find maximum impact in my times of self-reflection.
1. Silence - I give myself anywhere between 10-30 minutes of silence. You cannot do this with music on, or in a loud place, you have to find a place where there is some semblance of silence.
2. Feel - I allow myself to feel every emotions that I have towards people that I interacted with, or people that I can't get out of my mind. I am extremely raw at this point. I allow myself to feel every emotion, even the ones I believe are sinful. Hey, you have to be honest with yourself.
3. God - I bring my emotions before God and process them. I do not simply just feel for the sake of feeling, but I allow myself to feel before God. I usually journal at this point and am wide open to what God may want to say to me regarding my emotions.
4. Future - After bringing my emotions before God, I ask myself, how will this inform me when I see this person, or experience this situation again? I look for God's direction and I make sure I journal it for reference.
5. Share - I always share things that God reveals to me to my soulmates (accountability partner) and my wife for greater accountability.
6. Execute - If you do not execute the things that God is impressing upon your heart, then you have disarmed the power of self-reflection. Self-reflection must prepare you for action. If it does not, then it is an empty practice.
I encourage you to practice self-reflection for the next several weeks. I hope it will become a regular practice in your life.