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Five ways to hone your power of introspection
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Five ways to hone your power of introspection

This 2024, make introspection your best friend. Explore five tips to hone the power of introspection
Power of introspection
Representational image | Canva

‘It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me…’

This is a line from American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift’s chart-topping song, Anti-hero that garnered over 59.7 million streams.

In a candid statement on a social media platform, the pop star says, “Anti-hero is one of my favourite songs because I don’t think I have dealt this far into my insecurities in this detail before.”

She reveals her continuing struggle with the overwhelming scale of her life and the challenge of not feeling like a genuine person. “But this song really is a guided tour through all the things I tend to hate about myself. We all hate some things about ourselves, and it is all of those aspects, the things we like or dislike about ourselves that we have to come to terms with.”

All of us have days when we do not like ourselves and become our worst critics. Our insecurities and anxieties can sometimes result in negative self-talk and affirmations. However, through introspection or looking inward, we can deal with these challenges, learn more about who we are, and foster more positive thoughts.

We explore five ways to hone our power of introspection introspection.

Mindful meditation

Mindful meditation involves focusing your attention on the present moment without judgement. According to the American Psychological Association, mindful practices can reduce rumination, stress, and emotional reactivity while improving focus and cognitive flexibility. Chandigarh-based psychotherapist Mahima Sahi suggests “allocating a few minutes daily to sit quietly, observe your thoughts, and focus on your breath.” This practice can help in recognising and accepting your thoughts and feelings.

Regular mindful meditation helps cultivate a non-reactive awareness, allowing for a deeper understanding of one’s inner self. Apps and guided sessions are available to assist beginners in establishing a meditation routine.

Understand more about mindfulness through this video.

Feedback and constructive criticism

Feedback from others can be a valuable source of self-awareness. Constructive criticism, when received openly, helps identify blind spots and areas for improvement. Studies have shown that feedback, especially when solution-focused, enhances personal development. “Seek feedback from trusted peers or mentors and reflect on it with an open mind to foster growth,” says Sahi.

Seeking feedback from others can provide valuable insights into your strengths and challenges. Actively listen to what others have to say. This external viewpoint can offer fresh insights, challenge preconceptions, and contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of your actions and behaviour.

Read more on how to master the art of active listening.

Values clarification

Understanding your core values is essential to hone your power of introspection. Take time to identify and prioritise your values, which are the guiding principles that shape your decisions and actions. To clarify your values, Sahi says to list the things most important to you and consider how they guide your daily life. “Regularly revisiting and reassessing these values can steer you towards more meaningful decisions.”

Take a moment to assess whether your current lifestyle reflects your core values—what truly matters to you. If there is a mismatch, make adjustments to align your daily choices with your values. For example, person A’s core value could be to spend time with her family and prioritise family bonds. However, she is not able to fulfil it due to several factors. So, person A, after reflecting and reassessing her values, makes a schedule that allows dedicated family time. Trying out such a process can enhance authenticity and give us a clear sense of purpose and a more fulfilling life.

Journalling

Journalling helps in self-reflection and growth. According to Chandigarh-based psychotherapist, Mahima Sahi, putting your thoughts and feelings on paper can help you gain clarity and understanding of your emotional patterns. Research suggests that journalling can significantly reduce stress and improve mental health.

Set aside a dedicated time each day to jot down your thoughts, feelings, and observations. Additionally, consider exploring your goals, challenges, and successes. Over time, reviewing your journal entries can help you identify patterns. This, in turn, enables you to understand areas for growth and improvement.

Read more on the power of journalling and how you can journal consistently and reap its benefits.

Goal setting and progress tracking

Setting personal goals and tracking progress is a practical approach to hone your power of  introspection. The goal-setting theory (Locke & Latham, 2002) highlights that specific and challenging goals lead to higher performance. “Start by setting clear, achievable goals and regularly monitor your progress,” says Sahi.

Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals can serve as a roadmap for personal development. Regularly review your goals and assess your progress. If you encounter obstacles, reflect on the reasons behind them and consider whether any adjustments are needed. Goal setting provides a structured framework for self-introspection, helping you stay focused on your aspirations and encouraging continuous self-improvement.

“Each of these methods offers a well-rounded means to self-introspection and can be implemented in your daily routine for personal development and greater self-awareness,” says Sahi. By incorporating methods that work for you into the routine, you can deepen your understanding of yourself.

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