Looking inside ourselves, opening up all the closets and actually examining those long-hidden skeletons, is a scary prospect for most of us. But learning to explore your own thoughts and feelings, including those bad memories and regrets, is an integral part of personal development and improving your mental health. Here’s why introspection is so essential.
What is Introspection?
When you examine your own thoughts and feelings, reflect on your memories, and really get to the heart of why you believe and act the way you do, you are engaging in introspection. When you take time to look inward, you get to know yourself better, learn about the early experiences that formed who you are today, and you get to shape the person that you wish to become.
When you learn to be introspective, you can begin to take positive steps in your life, make better choices, and become the person you want to be. Here are just a few of the many advantages of learning to be more introspective.
The Benefits of Introspection
It Builds Character
Looking inside yourself allows you to confront who you really are. It requires that you get to know what you believe, who you are. And, it means that you are taking an honest look at your character. With this self-knowledge, you can boost your sense of self-worth and confidence and well as find areas where you want to make changes in your life.
When you look back at your mistakes, failures, and blunders, you can learn from these experiences and learn to make better choices. Introspection allows you to replay these moments in time and decide how you are going to build your character to make the best use of these learning opportunities.
You Learn to Be More Fair
Fair thinking comes from your conscience and is neutral, rational thinking. It happens when you can look past your emotions and pain and see things more realistically. When you engage in introspection, you eliminate some of the cognitive distortions that tend to skew our sense of fairness.
You Make Better Choices
When you are more introspective, you stay in touch with your conscience, which helps you decide what is right and wrong. You are better able to weigh options and consider your choices when you can look inward and see how these are likely to affect you. You can learn to be more faithful to yourself and your own boundaries when you use introspection more.
You Confront Your Fears
This is where introspection can get scary, but also this is where growth really happens. Learning to be introspective is the best way to learn about your deepest fears, so that you may work to overcome them. Knowing your fears is crucial if you want to learn to live fearlessly, and introspection is the path toward that knowledge.
You Determine Your Happiness
Looking inside yourself and getting to know what you value and what brings you joy is how you define happiness. It can help you learn what you need in a healthy relationship, what career or professional goals will fulfill you, and how you want to formulate your long-term hopes and aspirations. Without introspection, you will never know what will bring you true happiness in life.
Introspection, the act of looking profoundly and critically within yourself, is essential for getting to know yourself better, for learning to handle your fears and deep-seated pain, and for becoming the best person you can possibly be. While it may be daunting to confront the negative sides of yourself, in the end, you will be so much better off.
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