Choosing to reflect on our own behavior is trading off feeling bad now for feeling less bad (and maybe even good) some day in the future.
This speaks to the biggest challenge faced if you’ve just begun journal-ling or some similar form of regular reflection. Reflection triggers the inner critic. We rarely think of our actions during the course of the day and pat ourselves on our back. Instead, we naturally catch the five or six dumb things that point to our need to change some aspects of our behavior.
This may not seem like a fun way to spend time at the end of a day. But, it is a necessity as time passes. As we work with more people in our careers and perhaps influence young minds at home, it is on us to develop an internal compass of how we need to get better. And, it is consistent reflection that enables the development of that internal compass.
The best part about the process is that it becomes easier the more we do it. We become more (but, vitally, never fully) comfortable with our inner critic, begin to appreciate the need to work on one or two key themes at every point and learn to better enjoy the process of attempting to balance our strengths and vulnerabilities. It is through this process that we come to realize and accept that we’re all just works in progress. And, it is how we acquire a growth mindset.
And, there are few better gifts we can give ourselves than that.