self introspection

How introspection paves way for self-improvement: 7 questions to ask yourself

Introspection helps us dive deeper into our souls and helps us unlock our latent potential and talents, ensuring that we remain focused on self-improvement.
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Most of us have pondered upon the existential question, ‘Who am I?’ at some point in life. Oftentimes, when we are unsure about ourselves, we tend to depend on the opinion of others. If they find us worthless, we accept that as the truth without self-introspecting why their opinion matters to us. We create our reality based on the version of the truth that others portray instead of looking into the mirror of our minds and finding the answers that lie within. Moreover, we develop an insatiable appetite for external praise and validation, as we become dependent on others’ judgment. When we try to be a part of a herd, we create a superficial reality wherein we engage in activities that don’t reflect who we truly are. We will laugh at jokes that aren’t funny, accept opinions and ideas that we don’t relate with, and neglect our talents for easy wins that please others.

Self-introspection helps us dive deeper into our souls and helps us unlock our latent potential and talents. When we self-introspect, we gain the ability to think for ourselves and discover what we are truly capable of. It helps us stay focussed on self-improvement and enable us to enrich our lives. Here are some questions that we ought to frequently ask ourselves if we want to walk on the path of self-introspection.

What am I grateful for?

Several studies suggest that gratitude can influence behaviours that eventually lead to self-improvement and positive change. For example, a study titled Why Gratitude Enhances Well-Being: What We Know, What We Need to Know discovered that people feel more energised and motivated when they experience gratitude. It encourages them to pursue their objectives. So, if you wish to improve yourself, take a moment to think about what you have in life, such as your house, family, and friends, and be grateful. By letting your sense of gratitude guide your self-improvement journey, you will learn to focus on what matters to you, which will make achieving those things all the more satisfying.

What am I really afraid of?

If you want to become successful in life, you need to make an effort to achieve your goals. But most people fail to go the extra mile because they are afraid of failure. If you want to improve yourself, you must consider working on overcoming this fear. Ask yourself what is holding you back from fulfilling your potential. Is it because someone you know doesn’t believe that you can accomplish your goals or are you underestimating yourself? Once you identify the root cause of this fear, you will be able to see things with a renewed perspective. Self-introspection can help you transform I cannot into I can. In his book, The Confidence Gap, bestselling author and therapist Russ Harris says, “Fear is not your enemy. It is a powerful source of energy that can be harnessed and used for your benefit.”

What do I value most in life?

Different people value different things in life, but sometimes their actions don’t match their words. For example, some people say that family is their priority, but they always choose work, nightlife or something else over it. Some people say that their health is important, but they lead an unhealthy lifestyle. Others want a better life with more fame and success but aren’t prepared to put in enough effort to achieve it. If you know that something matters to you, prove it through your actions and don’t wait until it is too late to express how important someone is in your life, only to look back and realise your priorities should have been different.

Am I using my time sensibly?

Time is the most precious commodity you have in your life. Once lost, it can never come back. How you use it can determine how successful you become in life. During self-introspection, ask yourself, ‘Am I spending my time wisely?’ If you are not, you still have the chance to turn your life around. When you manage your time wisely, you will be able to achieve what you want or at least come closer to your desired objective. Understanding the basic technique of time management can go a long way in helping you realise your goals while making your life stress-free.

Do I have the right people around me?

The people you surround yourself with have a great bearing on your success. Your company, the people who you hang out with, often dictates who you are and who you want to be. This social conditioning continues throughout your life. Harness the power of self-introspection and analyse how you are influenced by your peers. Take a look at the five people with whom you spend most of your time and ask yourself, ‘Do I want to be like them?’ If the answer is no, then you better start looking for some new friends and change the course of your life. If you are surrounded by people who demotivate you or restrict you from believing in yourself, you need to distance yourself and seek inspiration from those who successfully chased their dreams by following the path of self-empowerment.

Am I comfortable in my skin?

Being comfortable in your skin is all about having confidence in yourself and trusting your capabilities. When you feel better about yourself, you tend to act accordingly in your day-to-day mannerisms. It shows through your actions, demeanour, and interactions with others. Some people find it hard to embrace themselves for who they are. They critique themselves and feel shy around others. This does nothing but hurts their self-worth. In order to improve yourself, do self-introspection and try to find beauty in the things you already have, whether it pertains to the way you look, your career or your personality. Staying true to yourself will do wonders to propel you in the right direction in life.

What are my values and am I being true to them?

To truly know who you are, do self-introspection to unearth your values. Your values are standards of behaviour and ways of doing things that you think are correct in the way you live and work. When your actions and decisions align with your values, you show others that you have integrity. You become a good role model and you experience peace of mind because you are confident that you are doing the right thing. On the other hand, when you are acting against your values, you are likely to feel bad about yourself. You can make mistakes and may even find yourself behaving unethically. If don’t know what your values are, start by thinking about the times you were happy and proud. Ask yourself why were you so happy or what were you doing that made you so proud. Doing so can help you find your values and you will know whether you are being true to them or not.

Am I taking care of myself?

You take on more responsibilities as you grow older. As they increase, they may overwhelm you and make it difficult to find time to look after yourself. Chances are you have put your own well-being on the back burner. This minor oversight can create big problems for you in the long run if you are not careful. To avoid this, you should set a goal for yourself of where you want to be physically in the next few years, and work toward realising it.

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