The power of looking inward

August 30, 2023

Written byAdelekan Bolanle

Originally posted on September 4, 2021 @ 7:00 am

In a world filled with distractions and external influences, there is immense value in taking the time to look inward and engage in self-reflection. The most outstanding men are people who have harnessed the power of looking inward. They became self-aware in the process. In this article, we will delve into the power of looking inward, its benefits, practical methods for self-reflection, and how to overcome challenges along the way.

Happiness is inward, and not outward; so it doesn’t depend on what we have but on what we are.

Henry Van Dyke

What Is Looking Inward Or Self Reflection?

Looking inward refers to introspection and self-examination, where you turn your attention inward to understand yourself better. It is a practice that allows us to explore our thoughts, emotions, values, and beliefs, ultimately leading to personal growth and self-awareness. 

We are all a bundle of abilities, gifts, and talents. We are all important in history, so looking inward and understanding yourself is essential. No matter how much encouragement you receive from people, the decision to become better, succeed or live life to the fullest lies with you.

Looking inward is the ability to search deep within you. It is looking inward for ways to solve problems or overcome challenges instead of looking outward. The power of looking inward is essential because many of us look outside for solutions to our challenges. We have all it takes to overcome challenges but don’t try enough.

Insight, intuition, intelligence, and inner peace; all come from within. Pay attention inward

Anna Goldstein

Looking inward is the first step to self-awareness. Self-awareness is one’s ability to focus on your actions, behaviours, thought-pattern, and emotion to improve decision-making and relationships and align choices to your internal emotions. Some synonyms of self-awareness are self-worth, self-consciousness, self-direction, etc. No one can become genuinely self-aware without looking inward and becoming self-conscious.

The ability to look inward is a crucial attribute of leadership. Leadership positions are not for the faint-hearted. The possibility of being a good leader is your ability to look inward within yourself and understand when to look outward for solutions and answers. Often, situations demands prompt response, and these times, you only rely on the things you’ve learned over the years. You have to trust your instincts.

The power of looking inward; discover who you are
Discover who you are. Image Credit: Photo by Brett Jordan from Pexels

Benefits of Looking Inward

Looking inward offers numerous benefits. It cultivates self-awareness, enhances emotional intelligence, fosters personal growth, reduces stress, and promotes authenticity and fulfilment. By making looking inward a regular part of our lives, we can embark on a journey of self-discovery and lead a more fulfilling and meaningful existence.

Self-Awareness: Looking inward allows us to develop a deep understanding of ourselves, including our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. It helps us recognize our strengths, weaknesses, values, and beliefs. This heightened self-awareness enables us to make conscious choices and live in alignment with our true selves.

 Emotional Intelligence: When we look inward, we become more attuned to our emotions and better understand how they influence our thoughts and actions. This emotional intelligence helps us navigate relationships with greater empathy and compassion, leading to improved communication and conflict-resolution skills.

Personal Growth: Engaging in self-reflection and introspection fosters personal growth. It enables us to identify areas for improvement, embrace change, and take steps towards self-improvement. By continuously looking inward, we challenge ourselves to learn, evolve, and become the best versions of ourselves.

Stress Reduction: The practice of looking inward can be a powerful tool for managing stress. It allows us to identify the sources of stress in our lives and explore coping mechanisms that work for us individually. By understanding our triggers and developing healthy strategies, we can reduce stress levels and enhance our overall well-being.

Authenticity and Fulfilment: Looking inward helps uncover our true passions, desires, and values. It encourages us to live authentically and align our actions with our deepest aspirations. By embracing our authentic selves, we experience greater fulfilment and satisfaction in life.

 Improved Decision-Making: Self-reflection plays a vital role in making sound decisions. When we look inward, we gain clarity about our priorities and values. We become more aware of the long-term consequences of our actions and can make choices that align with our authentic selves. By reflecting on our options, we can make informed decisions that lead to personal fulfilment and growth.

Understand your strength and weaknesses: I believe no one is perfect. We can all harness our strengths and improve our shortcomings if we are self-aware.

Self-confidence: Looking inward helps to boost your self-confidence. Self-confidence comes from one’s ability to rely on your decisions.

Good career choice: people who know their capabilities tend to make good career choices early in life. It gives them a head start.

Inner peace: We all seek inner peace. A self-aware man will walk through life’s challenges with deep inner peace.

Practices to help you Look Inward

When it comes to looking inward or self-reflect, there are a few suggestions of things you can do to help you simplify the process.

  • Meditation: One powerful practice for looking inward is meditation. By cultivating present-moment awareness, we can observe our thoughts and emotions without judgment. Regular meditation allows us to witness our internal experiences with a sense of curiosity and compassion. This practice enhances self-awareness and allows us to tap into our inner wisdom.
  • Regular quiet time with God: Regular and adequate quiet time helps see God. When I am observing my quiet time, I often discover things about myself that I never knew. In the quietness of the moment, we can hear the voice of our thoughts.
  • Journaling: Another effective tool for looking inward is journaling. Putting pen to paper creates a space for self-expression and exploration. Writing freely about our thoughts, feelings, and experiences can unveil hidden insights and emotions. Journaling is a mirror reflecting our inner world, helping us gain clarity, process emotions, and discover new perspectives. I remember this blog was born on paper during quiet time, and I wrote it down.

Challenges of Looking Inward

  • Fear of Self-Reflection:

Embarking on the journey of looking inward can be difficult. Fear of confronting our insecurities and vulnerabilities may arise. However, it is essential to recognize that growth and self-discovery often occur outside our comfort zones. We open ourselves up to transformative personal growth by acknowledging these fears and embracing vulnerability.

Don’t forget God has not given you the spirit of fear.

  • Time and Commitment:

Finding time for self-reflection can be challenging in our busy lives. However, making self-reflection a priority is crucial for personal well-being. Setting aside dedicated time for introspection, whether a few minutes each day or a longer session weekly, can help make looking inward a consistent practice. By carving out this time, we honour ourselves and create space for self-discovery.

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We look outside for the wonders inside us

Rumi

looking inward or self reflection
look into the mirror of your abilities Source:Pexels

My Experience

While growing up, I was a very blunt and direct young girl. I say things as they are without fear, and I don’t care how it’ll hurt another person. While in high school, I was very blunt, and no one could win me by exchanging words. I never fought with anyone physically because I would have said mean and terrible words to my victims. One day I commented negatively to one of my friends, and she felt very hurt. It affected our friendship, and she was hurt terribly.

At this point, I became unhappy with myself and began working on myself. My central turning point was when I started attending church and met people who showed me much love. When I say mean things, they are always there to caution me. I am not at my best yet, but I am better. In the past years, I’ve seen myself handle annoying situations calmly. Becoming better was possible because I listened to what others thought about me and decided to improve. I’m still trying to improve, and I’ll be better with time.

This experience helped me realize the importance of looking inward and evaluating myself honestly. I couldn’t have improved on myself without the honest feedback of my friend. Situations like this are when looking outward comes in. We sometimes have to look outward for answers and solutions to challenges. It brings new knowledge and ideas because no man is an island. We all need people at one time or the other in our lives.

Don’t be afraid to look inward and see through people’s eyes.

Finally,

Looking inward is a powerful practice that invites us to explore the depths of our being. By self-reflection, we cultivate self-awareness, make better decisions, and develop a stronger sense of purpose. We gain valuable insights into our thoughts, emotions, and desires through meditation and journaling. While the journey of looking inward may have its challenges, the rewards are immeasurable. By embracing the transformative power of self-reflection, we embark on a path of self-discovery, personal growth, and a more meaningful life.

Today’s Task

Take out 10 minutes to reflect and look inward today. Create a list from your reflection, and separate them into two categories (strengths and weaknesses).

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