Reflection - Why it's so Essential

Self-reflection is all about thinking about your feelings and behaviours, and the reasons why you are thinking that way. Reflection is so important in terms of work as it can lead to self-improvement and can therefore open up more opportunities for you.

You may be thinking that you would like to try reflection but are not sure where to begin or how to go about it.

If this is you, don’t worry. We are here to explain why you should self-reflect, what skills will help you to do so, and the methods that you can use.

All of this will help you to see that reflection is essential to a healthy mind and can help you to become the best version of yourself in terms of work and everyday life.



Why Reflect?

Every job we have, every interview and application process has it’s own challenges and learning experiences. Whether you have succeeded or ‘failed’ then you have the opportunity to think about your experiences and make change happen.

This is where reflection comes in as it is the best way to look back at what you have achieved and how you would do things differently.

By reflecting on how you would have done things differently in terms of a job role or application and interview you can therefore make improvements. For example, let’s say that you went to a job interview and ended up not getting the job.

Reflecting on how you answered each question asked and how you conducted yourself could lead to you realising what went wrong, instead of making the same mistakes again.

It may sound contradictory, but by reflecting on the past, it can help you think about your future. Maybe you have reflected on your past job roles and have decided to look at a new career? Or maybe you have reflected on where you are in your career and make the decision that you want to progress.

Reflection is not all about looking at the past, it can help you to decide what you want to do going forward.

Saying that, reflection can help you to make decisions not only about our next career move but also can help with your approach to working. This is important as now more than ever our approach to work and life in general can have a drastic impact on our mental health.

Self-reflection can make a difference in terms of introducing healthier habits when thinking about mental health.

By reflecting on what has gone wrong and what has gone well, you can help your mental health as it gives you time to think rather then getting upset about things you can’t change.


What Skills Help You Reflect?

Here are a few skills that can easily be developed that will aid you in your self-reflection journey.

  • Self-awareness - Being able to pause, pay attention to your thoughts and feelings and to then question yourself helps you to become aware of your natural ways of thinking and behaviour.
  • Description - When reflecting, it is important to be able to describe and recall situations and how you felt about them. Asking yourself questions about the situation will help you to describe.
  • Critical Analysis - Challenging how you think and feel is how you can make changes if you desire to do so and is therefore key to reflection.

By using these skills, you will be able to reflect upon situations and instances that you have been in and picture them as they happened so that you can help yourself to make changes if you want and to grow.


Reflection Methods

There are different methods to reflect depending on what you find works for you.

You may find that a mixture of these methods is effective, or that only one is. It all depends on your preference and what you think is the best way to help you reflect.

  • Taking to yourself

You can reflect by asking yourself questions and answering them either in your head or out loud.

This helps you to process your exact feelings on who you are, what you have done and how you think/feel about it.

  • Writing

If you find that having a conversation with yourself is not helping then try writing your reflections down. This allows you to see them visually and means that you can go back to it whenever you please for a refresh, or to see your progress.

A good exercise is to not think too much and just write.

This allows you to put on paper what is on your mind without thinking too much about wording or making absolute sense. This is usually when you can see your true thoughts that are unedited and raw.

  • Walking

Getting outside and going for walks will help you to feel refreshed and means that you can be at one with your thoughts.

Many people think of their best ideas when on a walk so it is the perfect time to reflect and think about your thoughts and feelings.

  • Reflecting with others

Reflecting either with another person or in a group is a great way for you to express your feelings out loud and have someone to listen. Even if they do not offer any advice or insights, sometimes it is helpful for reflection to just be heard as it means you can also listen to yourself and therefore make decisions based on that.


Self reflection is very powerful.

It is the key to changing how you feel about yourself whether that be in terms of work or every day life and can be a stepping stone to positive change. When we think about what we have done in the past, it can often lead to changes for our future.

Reflection is essential as it allows you to take a step back, make decisions, make sense of your feelings and can help you to get out of bad habits.

Do not underestimate the power of reflection as it could help you enact positive change in your life.