Self-reflection is the ability to witness and evaluate our own cognitive, emotional, and behavioural processes. In psychology, other terms used for this self-observation include ‘reflective awareness’, and ‘reflective consciousness’, which originate from the work of William James.
Self-reflection depends upon a range of functions, including introspection and meta cognition, which develop from infancy through adolescence, affecting how individuals interact with others, and make decisions.
Self-reflection is a process of communicating internally with oneself. When one takes time to think about their character or behavior, they analyze the reasons that caused the behavior, where this comes from, what the outcome of the behavior means to them, is it effective for them and what they can do about it. Individuals process this information about themselves to help them find methods to deal with the information gained during the self-reflection process and applying this information to future behavior has been shown to elicit strength and joy. Self-reflection helps people in multiple ways. First, self-reflection fortifies an individual’s emotional stability. When setting aside some effort to self-reflect they are looking inwards. This assists with building two parts to their emotional intelligence: self-awareness and self-concept. Self-awareness enables a person to comprehend their feelings, qualities, shortcomings, drives, qualities, and objectives, and recognize their effect on others. Self-concept includes the capacity to control or divert their troublesome feelings and motivations and adjust to changing circumstances. Building these skills will improve both their personal and professional life. Second, self-reflection enhances a person’s self-esteem and gives transparency for decision-making. Self-esteem is significant for dealing with a filled, complex life that incorporates meetings, vocation, family, network, and self-necessities. It helps in decision-making, effective communication, and building influence. The more they think about their qualities and how they can grow them the more confident they will be later on. A person may become happy with their good qualities and identify the ones that require growth. Third, the self-reflection process requires honesty of the individual in order to be effective. When a person is honest with themselves when self-reflecting, they are able to understand their experiences, this person can grow and makes changes based on what they have learned and lead them to better choices. Fourth, self-reflection adapts a person’s actions in future situations. Making time to step back and consider their behaviors, the consequences of those behaviors, and the expectations of those behaviors can give them a source of a clear insight and learning. A person engaging in self-reflection may ask themselves: What appeared to have a more remarkable impact? How can we accomplish a greater amount of that and enhance it? This cycle of reflection and variation—before, during, after actions—is regularly a recognized part of the process. Finally, self-reflection may create a positive mentality. An individual may try to keep their ideas and thoughts positive; however, they should be frank with themselves. They may view negative outcomes that may lead to self-culpability, or self-loathing—negative self-talk which may obstruct their progress throughout their everyday life.
The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory – Cultural Marxism