Having considered how perfectionism can put a stop to achieving goals, I now would like to share a great tool that is often overlooked and not used to its full potential, however, it could be one of the key elements that creates change in someone’s life. Although it is a skill, we mostly do it without even realising while we’re doing other things, such as driving, or having a shower. You may also recognise it as an internal monologue in your mind.
But take this chatter to the next level and see improvements fast. That is, analysing your progress, what is working, what is not and make changes accordingly. This method works well as a process that happens in our minds, it is best practiced in conjunction with a recording device.
How does it help self esteem?
Why does recording something make a more permanent mark on the brain? There is good evidence that shows writing things down create an impression on the mind, making it a more permanent fixture by becoming a prime focus point. In my opinion, it is one of the most important building blocks of self esteem (and other areas of self improvement) building, as just thinking or reading about things are less likely to create the desired result.
If you think about it, how many books have you read and thought, “oh what a great idea, I will use that!” But within a few weeks it’s easy to forget that you have even read those points. Skills evolve by practice, and self reflection exercises are a good place to start with, because they can be used over and over again to strengthen other areas of your life that need improving. Think of these as foundation stones; the more robust the first layer, the better it will be able to support what is piled on top of it.
Let’s see how this works in practice. For simplicity, take a pen and paper. At the top of the page, write just in a single sentence, the biggest obstacle you see right now in your life that prevents you achieving your goals. Next, you can drill deeper and reflect on this subject. So you would ask yourself questions, such as “why is this a problem for me and what are the steps to overcome this barrier”? Keep asking similar questions and write down whatever immediately comes to your mind. Once you brainstormed a few answers, you can create an action plan from there. The main point here is that you need to try and keep an objective and critical approach without negativity.
Another important factor that will help this process is consistency. Take time to regularly go back and check your progress against what you wanted to achieve originally. Remember, this is an ongoing process and not an activity that will produce overnight results. It is something you have to keep going back to. Reflecting is central to changing because that is where you are making subconscious decisions and guiding your mind in the right direction.
The process eventually becomes easier, faster and you may not even need to record what goes on in your head!
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Thanks for reading.