Self reflection doesn’t have to be critical….. it can be liberating!
Jane Bridgman Smith, Ollie Coach trainee, asks "Do you spend time criticising yourself for an event you wish you could have approached differently? How many times are you in conflict with yourself, instead of accepting it was the best you could do with the tools you had at the time?"
Checking in with yourself every now and again is a good way to keep in touch with your emotions, your beliefs, to keep your inner critic in check (mines called Dotty) and anything else currently going on for you.
Once upon a time, I would have dreaded any form of self reflection as it would have meant having to deal with areas I might not like about myself (Dotty is controlling my thoughts here), but now I embrace it all, its very liberating! Dotty doesn’t like self reflection much, because I have taken some control back and I am more at peace with myself for doing that.
I often do my self reflection in third person position (see below), being in the third person brings clarity and allows me to self reflect without judgement or becoming self critical of myself. I had never used third person when self-reflecting until I started training at Ollie School, but I have found it to be a really useful tool in my every day life and have been using it more recently in life events and especially during COVID-19.
I have noticed there any many positive benefits to reflecting back on a recent event. Dotty, my inner critic appears less and less the more I check in with myself and I am able to be more subjective about my work (my day job). Sometimes we can be too critical on ourselves, (Dotty always used to be hard with me) and I have learnt in the last 6 months that I don’t need to be hard on myself anymore. I have learnt that it is ok to always want to learn more about myself and I can’t do anything about the events I can’t control, but I can do everything about the events I can control, and that is LEARN FROM IT AND IMPLEMENT CHANGE.
Now, imagine a time you recently found yourself in a position where you felt you could have handled an event differently and to also notice what went well? Not everything in self reflection has to be negative.
Think of it now and notice how it might make you feel, is there any noise to the event, is it visually very clear in your mind? It might help if you place a chair in front of you and imagine yourself sitting in that chair. Look towards the chair in third person position about 6 feet away and revisit that event. Give it a go! Ask as the third person -
What was (your name)’s intent? What did (your name) you do well? What could (your name) have done differently?
How did you find that? Imagine the more you do this, the less you might find your “Dotty” interferes with your life. Imagine that feeling of liberation from that inner conflict you might experience if you are able to reflect on what you did well and what you could have done differently . Imagine experiencing less inner-critical thoughts entering your head as you self reflect more.
Frequently checking in with myself has enabled me to continue to evolve and learn more about myself and this benefits others around me too.
Dotty was very critical at the start and used to rule my thoughts, but not so much anymore, I don’t dread reflecting back and am able to continue to learn more about myself as I progress.
Remember, no failure only feedback!
Jane Bridgman Smith, Ollie Coach trainee
Jane is currently training to be an Ollie Coach, whilst working for her local police force and volunteering as a mentor for an Essex wide charity who support children and young people with trauma and emotional wellbeing. Jane is looking forward to becoming qualified as an Ollie Coach, so she can use the skills learnt to make a difference to the lives of many. Jane is looking to specialise in working with Teenagers who suffer from anxiety. Jane has a Masters Degree in Life!
To get in contact with Jane, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about Ollie and his Super Powers and how to become an Ollie Coach go to https://www.ollieandhissuperpowers.com/pages/about-us