Time for Reflection

My family love Christmas. My daughter has been counting down the days since the start of September!  It’s funny isn’t it how young children wish away their time; “I wish it was Christmas”, “I wish I was a grown up”, “I wish I could drive, “I wish I could cook dinner and eat what I like”. I’d be very happy to pass on that baton to be honest!

How do you spend your time?

I remember thinking the same thing as a child and now I’m wishing I could stop the clock and go back in time. I want to re-live those precious times with my children when they laughed out loud and wanted to hold my hand.  I wish I could be my teenage self again and re-live those years knowing what I know now. I wish I could let myself go with pure abandonment and joy just like a child running through the garden centre pulling at everything that sparkles as their parents try and choose the perfect shaped tree for their perfect Christmas!

But on reflection, I’m really happy to be living my life right now. I can see all the things that I have become, good and not so good, and how all those past experiences have shaped me into the person I know I am today. And I don’t really want to stop the clock. Time passes, as it should, steadily and without fuss no matter whether you’re a child or a grown up, and I’ve come to realise it’s what you do with it that matters, not how fast or slow it appears to go!

Why is it important to reflect?

It’s good to reflect and this time of year often forces us to think about the year we’ve just had and the year we’re about to have. It helps us to think about what has worked well and perhaps not so well, what you might like to do more or less of next year or think about something you want to change in some way.

Reflective practise is a great self-development tool and one that can foster a more positive growth mindset. It encourages you to think about what you have learnt as opposed to what you got wrong, and what you might want to change, adapt, or amend to continue to grow, develop and thrive. And it doesn’t just apply to individuals. The benefits apply equally to team reflective practise too. It’s part of any good agile process!

Is it part of your professional practise?

In the coaching profession we proactively engage with reflection on both a formal and informal basis. Supervision is the process by which we reflect more formally on our coaching practise with the help of a trained supervisor and perhaps less formally as individuals with the help of a reflection journal. Both approaches, whilst applying different techniques, encourage the coach to notice what’s happening in the moment with their client, to be aware of their individual response, to analyse what that might mean for them both as a human being and a coach, to consider what strengths and pitfalls this offers i.e. the learning, and how the coach might apply that learning moving forward. I wonder how you could apply the same principles to areas of your life?

I notice more and more of my clients are looking to create space for reflection in their day, time to think about what’s serving them well and what might be a recurring pattern of unhelpful behaviour.

“problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them”

(Einstein)

In other words, if we keep doing the same thing, we are likely to get the same result. That’s OK if those things are serving us well, but what if we never stop to think about it and reflect on whether that’s true?

What might you choose to reflect on this Christmas?

I know this has been a year like no-other, destroying the lives of many. In these most trying of times we constantly search for the familiar, a place of stability, a return to normal. It’s completely understandable. We’re human after all. However, if we were to take some time to reflect over the Christmas period on all that we have learnt this year, all that we have to be grateful for and all that we could do to make 2021 the best year yet creating a new normal in which we can thrive and flourish, then I think that would be reflective time well spent!

As always if you need a helping hand with embedding a reflective practise that works for you, please get in touch.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

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