I love looking back and reflecting on what I have learnt and how much I have grown. Being willing to learn from past mistakes or past experiences is so essential if you want to experience personal growth and if you want to be successful. A big part of self-reflection is introspection.
Introspection: Is the examination of one’s own conscious thoughts and feelings.
I know from working with a lot of people that introspection is something that people tend to avoid.
In my opinion people avoid introspection for 3 reasons:
- They are too busy
Doing some introspection takes time; it is not something that you can rush through or something that you can do while you’re multi-tasking. For you to benefit from introspection it should be a conscious process.
- They have a present-mindset
Some people only live in the NOW, they have a present-mindset and they don’t want to think about the past. Although I do believe that we should be present in the NOW, I also believe that we can benefit immensely from looking back learning from the past.
- They are scared of what they might find
I believe that some people avoid introspection, because subconsciously they are scared of what they might find. Introspection can be quite scary if you are living in denial or if you’re going through life with unresolved issues.
Although there are people that prefer not to do a lot of introspection, I truly believe that personal growth can’t take place without a process of introspection taking place on a frequent basis.
So in this blog I want to share with you the 5 things that I have learnt from 2014. If I look back, every year has taught me something unique and I would like to share what the previous year has taught me.
5 Things I have learnt in 2014:
- Being authentic is the ONLY way to go
“Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.”- Richard Bach
One thing that I have learnt is the importance of authenticity. Sometimes in life we try to adapt to the people around us. We adapt to others for various reasons; fear of rejection, fear of conflict and sometimes we adapt because we don’t really know who we are.
But one thing that I know is that you can only do something for someone else for so long…in the end you always want to go back to being yourself, because being anything else but yourself is taxing. Always be true to yourself and spend enough time with yourself to KNOW who you are, what you like and what you don’t like.
- Being comfortable in your own skin is a place of complete freedom
“When you are comfortable in your own skin, you can be at peace anywhere.” – Antsy McClain
As you might know from following my blogs, I know how it feels to deal with body-image and self-image issues. I can honestly say that being comfortable in your skin is a place of complete freedom.
I know exactly how it feels to be held captive by the perceptions you have of your body, to not feel pretty enough, skinny enough or fit enough. In the past three years and especially 2014 I have worked really hard on my mindset, because I really wanted to reach a place where my weight and my body don’t dictate my self-worth, mood or self-acceptance.
I can honestly say that I am in a much better place in this area. (NOTE: I didn’t say that I have completely sorted this out)
Does this mean that I don’t want to look good? Does this mean that I don’t want to lose weight? Off course not!! I still want to look good and at the moment I wouldn’t mind losing some weight, but my starting point has changed.
A while back I wanted to look better, because I didn’t accept myself where I was, but now I accept myself where I am and I love myself. It’s because I love myself that I want to be better and I want to be the best me, but if it turns out that I don’t lose 1kg for the rest of my life I would also be fine with that, because I accept ME and I know exactly what I have to offer and that it has nothing to do with my body.
- Sometimes holding on is just as hard as letting go
“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” – Ann Lander
Sometimes we find ourselves in situations or relationships or careers that just don’t serve us and usually we are scared of letting go.
But what if holding on ends up costing you more than what it will cost for you to just let go. No matter how painful, no matter how scary… If something doesn’t serve you or your future, you should let go, because sometimes holding on can hurt even more.
Although letting go hurts just as much, there is hope in letting go.
- Change isn’t always easy, but sometimes necessary
“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”
Making a change is usually not easy, because we like routine and predictability. In general people are resistant to change and people are afraid of what is different.
But I want to encourage you to make the changes that you KNOW you need to make. People might not understand it, people might judge you, people might turn their backs on you, but you didn’t do it for them.
You have to make peace with the fact that there will be people who won’t understand, because they haven’t even walked a mile in your shoes. When making a change it’s very important to know why YOU did it and then to know that you don’t need to convince anyone else.
I have learnt that it’s very important for you to bet on yourself, because if you can’t bet on yourself, how do you expect anyone else to?
- People may disappoint you, but God never will
“For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”” – Rom. 10:10-11
Although I absolutely LOVE people, I have learnt to not depend on them, because people have a tendency to disappoint us. It’s important to not judge the people that disappoint you, it’s important to forgive them and it’s even more important to NOT hold a grudge.
None of us are perfect and just like there are people who have disappointed you; there are people whom you have disappointed.
Make peace with the fact that people are just people…
But you need to know that God is not human, He will never disappoint you, He will never let you down, He will never forsake you, He will always love you and He will always catch you when you fall.
Sometime we look back and learn from the things in our past, but sometimes we also learn from others and the things that they have experienced.
I decided to write this blog, because I really hope that what I have shared with you today is something that can help you in the future.
Would love to hear from you.