HEALTHFinding Your Future with Self-Reflection

Finding Your Future with Self-Reflection

By Caroline Godin

Ever find yourself wondering where you went wrong? Or maybe something in your life feels out of place. You wonder where your future is taking you and things feel uncertain. We all feel that way sometimes, but when it’s taking over your thoughts repeatedly, interrupting your daily life, you need to face it head-on.

That’s where self-reflection comes in. It’s not just some fluffy psycho-analyst jargon from a high-paid Ph.D. It’s real, it’s relevant, and it works.

Self-Reflection

Self-reflection is a tool used to get your bearings mentally and emotionally. It’s a method of finding where you are and where you want to be. It’s not always comfortable. Sometimes self-reflection means facing uncomfortable facts.

I don’t like this job, but if I leave, how will I make money?

I want to take that trip, but it means doubling down on overtime before.

Self-reflection, when done honestly, reveals facts about yourself you may have been ignoring.

Values

If you think about your values, some rank above others. You value some things others don’t, and vice versa.

Assessing your values gives perspective to your view of the world. No two views are the same, though they may have much in common. Most people value nutrition, some more than others. People tend to value hard work, though it looks different for each person. You can assess your values to determine what’s most important to you. Then look at your life.

Are you living your values honestly? If not, it might be the source of your unrest. Valuing timeliness but always being late could be eating you up inside. Valuing family but not having time to be with yours could cause inner tension. How can you adjust to live more in line with your values?

Wheel of Life

Another great assessment tool for self-reflection is the Wheel of Life. There’s a great free resource to a Wheel of Life here. The Wheel shows you where most of your efforts go. Is it work, relationships, or personal health? Where are the gaps? What could you improve? What are you not paying attention to? Knowing your personal “wheel” helps you to see at a glance how you’re currently living and decide how you might want to live. You can focus efforts on areas you decide you need to improve or change.

If your fun wedge is lower than you’d like, maybe you need to satisfy that piece of your life. Find a day off and plan something enjoyable. If your money category needs growth, look into financial guidance, money-saving tips, or assess your current job status.

The Brain Dump

When in doubt, write it down. Sometimes just getting it all on paper is both cathartic and rewarding. The Brain Dump is all about sticking your pen to the paper, and not coming back up until it’s all out there. It works with typing too. Just get it all out there, drop it like a hot potato, then breathe out and set it down. Walk away and do something you like. Go for a walk. Eat a cookie. Doesn’t matter.

Now, come back when you’re ready to review it. If this were someone else coming to you for help, what would it look like? How would you help this person?

Brain Dumping can be like venting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re in a high-stress state, it likely will be. If done right though, it should help you to calm yourself. You should be able to look back and think, Wow, I was angry. Be sure not to fire yourself up again, but now what?

Go to the other tools and see what you can do to help your situation. Remember, you can only be in control of yourself. Follow your values. Find a way to fill those voids.

The Coach Approach

Life Coaching changes perspectives every day. Coaching isn’t about giving advice or telling you what to do. It’s about asking powerful questions and reflecting back your thoughts, words, and actions to you in a way you may not have seen.

Coaches also keep you accountable, reminding you of the goals you set and what values you determine to focus on. They keep you honest and on target. They guide you to answer your own questions, find solutions you didn’t realize were there and see things in a new light.

At First Responder Coaching, you gain insight into resources designed specifically for first responders by first responders. You can certainly take a few assessments on your own, but having someone in your corner who knows you best and is keeping you honest and on track is invaluable.

Finding Your Future

So, where are you going from here? Are you satisfied with your career and at home? Is there a part of you you’d like to work on? Are you acting and speaking according to your values? Is your life balanced according to your needs? Are you on track to the future you desire?

There are so many questions when it comes to self-reflection. When it comes to “I don’t know” or “No,” it’s time to reevaluate and decide what needs to change. Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s the job.

Look deeper and find what’s in your control that you can start to change for the better.

Caroline Godin is a freelance writer and publicist for First Responder Coaching. Her husband was a firefighter/EMT and a 911 dispatcher out of Boston. He currently works in emergency medicine. First Responder Coaching is a life coaching service dedicated to all walks of first responder life with a mission to save lives, marriages, and families.

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