3 Dangers of Reflection - Traps to avoid

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 3 Dangers of Reflection - Traps to avoid

„Well….and then he said….“ „And then I said….“ „And then he did….“ „I wonder why…“ „If I had said….“ Are you having these conversations regularly? With friends or with yourself in your head? This might be a sign that you a in general a reflective person. This is great! Reflection is one to the key components to self-improvement. Analyzing what went wrong or identify things you want to do different next time is the first step to change. Like Einstein put it:“ Madness is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results!“ However, reflective thinking has some pitfalls. Have these in mind when you want to have the most of your personal reflections.


Trap 1: Understanding vs. blaming

You reflect a lot about situations. But you seem to end up with no personal action steps for you? You often just feel more aroused, angry or sad? Then you might rather focus on blaming than understanding. That is a common pattern. Especially, If you secretly do not want to change.  It is a lot easier to shift responsibility to others. However, you can not control others. Even if others are responsible for a certain outcome you should focus on what YOU can do to feel better with a situation. Even if you have identified not a certain action in the situation, you could focus on reactions that might help you. You could decide to cut or reduce contact with that person. Or decide not to take their behavior so seriously. Or the simple decision not to get angry or upset with what they said. This will improve YOUR life because you do not waste time and energy. Another important thing is that you also should not blame yourself! When you make a decision you regret afterward do not linger in the past. You made the best possible decision back then. Full stop. Focus on the future. You will never change the past. Blaming yourself will just leave you unhappy in the present and take a lot of the self-confidence for you to create a better future.


Trap 2: Thinking vs. acting

„Just start and see what happens.“ That was the advice I got from my best friend in one of the hundreds of discussions we had about my blog. I planned a lot. I made lists and wanted to think through all the possible pitfalls. It hindered me to get started. Sometimes, it is important just to stop thinking and do something. It will give you new and the RELEVANT feedback you need. Otherwise you will go over and over again over things that do not really matter. Which brings me to the last pitfall...   


Trap 3: Ruminate vs. rethink

It says that we think a lot of the same things within one day. That is the sad truth. Maybe give it a try and make a list for every time you had a novel thought within one day. You might be very frustrated that the list is shorter than expected. Repeating good thought is something I do not object. It makes you happy and gives you some positivity in your life. Way to often we focus on (unsolved) problems or bad experiences. We waste time and energy and a lot of resources we could focus on solving real problems or enjoying happy thoughts. „I am searching for a solution!“ That is what I also tell myself. Often this is not true. What were your initial assumptions? Have they changed? If some of your initial assumptions you made HAVE changed, then it might be very helpful to open the box of this problem again. Otherwise, I suggest that you leave it closed. Going through the stuff will not help you in any way. 

Published on Thursday 27th February 2020

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