• Rebecca Laidlaw

How to Self-Reflect

One of the most powerful tools I leaned into this year has been self-reflection. It has certainly not been easy - trust me.

Self-reflection is the process of replaying your thoughts and actions and assessing if these have aligned with who you are striving to be or act in a situation. It's analysing and evaluating your life. Impartially and as it is.

I used to use self-reflection as a process of pointing out my flaws. A way to self-sabotage and a way to make myself believe I was actually just shit at everything. Self-reflection became a dangerous tool for me to hate on myself more. Yes, I use the word hate because that's what I used to do. I used to hate myself for not performing at 100% all the time. I used to live with constant pressure. I used to be stressed out and extremely hard on myself for the little things like when I made a mistake at work or forgotten a birthday. So you can imagine what happened when I felt like I'd majorly fucked up, like at the end of a relationship or when I invested money into something that did not pay off right away.

To turn this self-sabotaging, self-hating view around I needed two things:

  1. A growth mindset

  2. Knowledge

A Growth Mindset

When we believe we can develop and grow instead of a Fixed Mindset of feeling stuck and as if we are unable to change - an extremely brief overview.

Check out Carol Dweck on Growth Mindset - it's mind-blowing when you really dig in.


Here is a process to help you along the journey of (empowered) self-reflection.

First, reflect:

What was my experience?

What emotion was I feeling?

What emotion was I displaying?

What were observations made by others?

Second: Evaluate

How did I want to act?

What outcome did I want to reach?

Third: Apply

How could I have impacted the situation differently for the highest good?

What thought process, tool, or piece of learning is most important in this lesson?

How will I implement this in my life?

How self-reflection is different now is like an episode of Extreme Makeover. The process of self-reflection is a habit of growth and not a tool for self-sabotage. It's powerful and life-changing.

For me, I had to lean into my mistakes. Realise that I was not chicken little and the sky was not falling when I made a mistake. To go through the above process not as a victim but as a young woman who wants to do her best. To catch myself in overthinking, ask the question and move on to putting a practical step in place (step 3) to grow.

Let's go into 2021 in a place where we are ready to grow. Where we are ready to make mistakes. Where we are ready to fail. Where we are ready to self-reflect to get back up and go again from a more empowered place. Above all to grow into the person we want to be.

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