How Self-Reflection Leads to Personal Growth

2022 was the year I had a coherent moment of realisation. The exact moment went like this—me sitting down on my small school bed with tears pouring down my cheek, and murmuring beneath my breadth “I am tired of all this!”.


Then, boom. Eureka.


I couldn’t even pinpoint the exact problem, all I knew, at that point in time, was that my life needed reformation.


I believe a lot of you can relate to this, cos when I have random discussions, this is sometimes brought up. Not necessarily the moment of REALISATION but the moment of EXHAUSTION.


I think this explains, to some extent, why pretty much everybody is on a self-discovery-realisation journey. It’s beautiful, don't get me wrong. But, there’s one thing I feel a huge chunk of these sojourners get wrong, and that is—there is a thin line between understanding the need for self-realisation and the attachment of mindfulness to your journey.


In this post, I’ll be enjoying a bowl of seasoned rice noodles while pointing out the valid, indispensable part of the self-reflection journey a lot of people are missing out on. You can grab a bowl yourself and join me—for the ultimate oomph!


Demystifying the Concepts

As usual, I always love to give simple definitions of the main subjects of discussion before diving right into it.

First, let's start with the obvious—self-reflection. 


Self-reflection is like taking a mental picture of your thoughts and feelings, and then proceeding to really LOOK at that picture. You scrutinise every detail in it so you can have a unique understanding of who you are and how you're evolving from the inside out. Your answers become an integral part of who you turn out to be on the outside. Afterall, as within so without.


Self-discovery on the other hand is, to me, almost self explanatory—it is an exploration of self. It's more than just a picture now; it's videos and audio clips of you in all of your YOU-NESS. It helps you realise the wonders of who you truly are, your strengths and weaknesses, your passions and dreams.


It’s quite painful to note that a sizable group of individuals do not and have not taken the intentional step to discover who they really are. A lot of people just tend to follow the crowd, seeking to change themselves without knowing who the real self is, and trust me, I have examples to back this up.


One example I'd love to use is one a lot of people publicly shy away from—Sex. My wild guess is that you learn about it from courses, discussions and research. Or, maybe you learn about it from less socially acceptable sources like adult sites (cue the fainting, how scandalous!).


One thing I've seen over and over again is how mindfully people avoid the topic of sex, or sex-related genitalia. It’s so bad already that people give slang names to body parts because they do not want to be caught saying those terms out in public. BUT, we know that they are active members of room 306 in private. And if we go a step further, all the information they have about sex was gotten from the good old porn sites. This shouldn’t be the case!


Here's another example: the newfound aversion to good ol’ confrontations and mature conversations—the avoidance culture. Tell me why the common practice now involves taking “a break” from a situation when it doesn't favour you. Or depending on “time heals” as the reason you won't apologise for the shitty thing you did to someone.


Don't get me wrong now. A non negligible skill in life is knowing when to walk away; and when to give someone or something some much-needed space. Unfortunately, it's just being overused of late. What happened to the fact that we are all unique individuals, and sometimes, we can get on each other's nerves? What happened to having mature conversations and apologising?


Finally, let's talk about mindfulness. It is the act of taking control of things, be it your thoughts, feelings or actions. This is very important because it makes your self-discovery journey meaningful.


Now, one thing I’ll love to add, before we go on, is–I am not to be exonerated from this. Nevertheless, I am on my learning journey and will, of course, document many of these things here because—why not?!


Discovering the Mystery Within

Understanding your genuine likes, dislikes, and boundaries is an ongoing journey only you can navigate. As a child, I found role-playing to be a revealing window into my inner world, and even now, I embrace this practice with a modern twist–don’t ask, I won't tell!


Yet, discerning between my authentic self and remnants of childhood wounds isn't always straightforward. It involves examining if my actions align with my genuine values and exploring any recurring patterns or triggers that may stem from past experiences. And I’m not gonna lie; it's a challenging process, even though it’s one that’ll ultimately lead to deeper self-understanding and growth.


When you ultimately pass this stage, it becomes easier to identify our strengths and weaknesses as well as our likes and dislikes.


Navigating Emotional Intelligence with Finesse

Just like the trinity, the human body has its own TRIAD. The heart, the brain, and the mind, which some people often refer to as the guts.


Similar to the body's trinity, emotional intelligence includes the interaction of our ideas, feelings, and instincts.


Our emotions flow from the heart, guiding us with compassion and empathy, while our brain powers our intellect, enabling self-awareness and wise decision-making. Meanwhile, our mind taps into our instincts and intuition, guiding us through social interactions and sparking those intuitive gut feelings. Together, these three shape how we experience the world around us.


More importantly, these components work together to create emotional intelligence. A tool that enables us to successfully comprehend and control our emotions, negotiate challenging social situations, and make decisions that are consistent with our beliefs and objectives.


So, it is paramount to note that emotional intelligence is more than just recognising and managing our own emotions; it’s about developing all three aspects mentioned above, which helps us cultivate more meaningful relationships, communicate effectively, and thrive in both personal and professional settings.


How Self-reflection Sprouts Wings of Personal Growth

Self-reflection is more than just watching a video or listening to a podcast and realising that you’ve been tolerating shit all your life. It is also not just about pondering over past experiences or contemplating future aspirations. 


It is an active and intentional act of soul-searching. One that develops self-awareness and encourages a better comprehension of both the outside world and oneself. It is a skill that provides us with an understanding of our values, beliefs, strengths, and shortcomings, which enables us to face life's obstacles with direction and profound clarity.


Don’t waste time assuming who you are or what you stand for. Take intentional steps to ask yourself those deep questions you dread the most. Most of all, cultivate the habit of having meaningful conversations to understand the people in your circle fully. This is because you are a reflection or projection of the company you keep. 


I understand that technology has taken over, but there's still a gap that human interaction fills that cannot be replaced with any form of technology, no matter how much we lie to ourselves.


Understanding that life is a journey and as with physical journeys you’ve embarked on, there are beautiful sights to behold and cultures to experience. Therefore, cut out that archaic belief system and adopt one that will propel you to your highest good.


To wrap this up like a roll of shawarma, the journey of self-reflection is not just a solitary path; it’s a transformative experience that leads to profound personal growth. We are made up of different layers that need to be peeled back and rediscovered, and what better way to do that than by understanding ourselves better, confronting our challenges and embracing opportunities for positive change. 


This is where I say goodbye cos my food is finished and I need to give y’all room to input your contributions. As always, there’ll be more enlightening posts coming your way. Don’t forget to be particular with the share button. I bet your friends and angry neighbours need to see and learn about this.

Take care, unicorn friend! Don’t forget to smile till your cheeks hurt!


Fun Facts:

There is no finish line to self-care, self-development and self-discovery. It's stuck with you till death!

 

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8 Comments

  1. Self reflection is really important too so regularly. A lot of people don't even know who they are what they like or their standards, they jist go with the flow and do whatever they think is generally accepted.
    Will definitely do it more often now.

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    1. The generally accepted part--that was me some years ago. In my bid to learn, I oftentimes look at people I admire and then try to duplicate whatever I see. Goodnews, a lot has changed and I am able to question everything, pick what is justifiable and leave the rest.

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  2. Honesty with oneself is definitely the start to self discovery. Self acceptance helps us know what works for us and what doesn’t. Kudos glorychy. This is a beautiful writeup

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    1. Truly, self-acceptance is key. You have to know yourself first though before you can even accept who you are. Thanks for this nice input.

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  3. Now that you've mentioned it, self discovery is really vital for me right now, cos sometimes when I look at the mirror I can't actually recognize the person staring back at me. To realize and discover who I actually am is the best step to the growth that my life actually needs, special Thanks to you glory for your well written words

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    1. Heart warm welcome to you. I am always blessed when I can impact anybody in the smallest way possible. I pray the grace and favour needed to go through this journey is given to you on a platter of gold.

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  4. This article caught my attention by coincidence, and all I can say is--it was a lovely read. Initially, my intention was to identify with the article and attempt to relate to it. Subsequently, I realized that this was the main focus of the article; instilling in us the value of having a sense of self first before relating to others. It's impressive that this was put together, I must say. I'm hoping that fate leads me back here. Continue to be blessed!

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    1. Wow, I pray for more coincidences like this. Thank you so much. This is a lovely take!

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