Battling problems is an inevitable process of life. This process nurtures personal growth if problems are clearly evaluated and lessons are well-learned. However, a problem tends to repeat itself if maladaptive coping methods and same unworkable solutions are applied. A predisposing cause to poor problem solving skills is due to lack of self-knowledge. Lack of self-knowledge often leads to unclear perceptions and unconscious decisions.
From my life lessons, I learned a great way to solve problems. It is to be aware of two types of factors. These are factors that are ‘within my control’ and factors that are ‘beyond my control.’ Studying these two factors helps me to solve problems with ease.
The Two Factors
Let me explain more about these factors. Factors within my control are options that I could access and work on. Factors beyond my control are matters that I have limited access or completely no access. Factors beyond my control also describe rigid situations. For example, I can take personal responsibility to change my actions to improve a situation; but it would be arduous to change a person of poor communication skills, into an empathetic and good communicator overnight.
I understood that it is difficult to transform another person’s conditioned personality, but it is easier to work on myself and make myself more sharp and zealous in solving problems.
To work diligently on my problems, I have to choose the best options that are within my control. To choose the best options and maximize positive outcomes for myself, I need to know about my strengths and limitations. To arrive to a deeper understanding about my strengths and limitations, I need to raise my sense of self-awareness. And here….I would say self-awareness is all about ‘knowing the power within.’
When I first started knowing about myself, I went through a mentally taxing time. I stayed awake at nights staring at walls and spent long hours of journal writings. These actions led me to distorted reflections and mental fatigues the next day.
To overcome this ‘mind marathon’ and make my self-reflections enjoyable, I came up with simplified and lucid methods that were less time consuming. These methods gave me profound self-reflective moments.
These Are the Three Powerful Methods
Practice Concurrent Reflections
In the beginning, I used to do self-reflections at the end of my day. This is an enervating process. For example, coming home after a tired day at work and then thinking back about my actions that happened from morning to night, made me more mentally tired and perplexed. I realized that ‘delayed reflections’ faltered my thinking patterns.
To keep my reflections clear, deep and strong, I practiced doing concurrent reflections. Being constantly watchful over my thoughts, emotions and actions is one of the best ways to do concurrent reflections. Concurrent reflections are reflections that are done immediately after the appearance of any thoughts and feelings, or before and after performing an action. Being alert and watchful from moment to moment is a powerful way to practice concurrent reflections.
There were days when I wanted to end my self-reflections fast so that I can unwind and take a break from thinking. These half-hearted reflections pushed me to hunt for rational answers that fit my biases. These half-baked reflections steered me away from honesty. Lack of honesty in my reflections, made my life situations more challenging. In other words, my half-baked reflections kept me as an egoistic and biased person when dealing with problems. It stifled my problem solving skills.
To have a clear understanding about myself, I realized that I have to filter my mind from ego and biases before doing self-reflections. To come to this stage, one strong tool that I needed was…brutal honesty. I worked on accepting my flaws and was conscious about preventing my ego and biases hindering my perceptions. Walking through labyrinths of truths, made me feel bitter but it gave me a great sense of relief and clear perceptions. Practicing honesty in self-reflections raises my wisdom. I learned to evaluate problems without being overly judgmental. Less judgements, less biases and less ego resulted in more wise and sensible solutions.
Exploring deeper about myself means ‘knowing the light and darkness’ in me. The darkness are parts of me that needed healing. Entering into these ‘dark caves’ within me is a daunting task. These ‘dark caves’ blurred my perceptions, caused me to deny and avoid painful truths.
To overcome this difficulty, I started meditating. Today meditation made it easy for me to navigate through these ‘caves.’ Meditation is like holding onto a torch light. This torch light helps me to walk confidently into my ‘dark caves.’ I was able to spot clearly my own areas of sufferings and pains. As my inner vision grew, I was able to let go of my redundant and painful thoughts and emotions. Meditation facilitated my self-healing process.
Here is an example of a painful emotion. The emotion of guilt may help me in applying moral reasoning to my actions. But the same guilt shouldn’t be residing within me for years and chewing my peace. I believe emotions aren’t completely negative, until they get out of control and cause dysfunctions to humans.
Identifying my darkness and healing them early, helps me to do short, smooth and clear reflections. Meditation helps me to enjoy my inwards journey, and makes me return back with rewards that benefits my spiritual growth. One of the reward is making me into a more conscious person.
The Takeaways From My Experience
Being watchful and alert every moment makes self-reflections much easier.
It is good to do self-reflections on time.
Honesty towards oneself is the master key to unlock doors of self-awareness.
Meditations are great ways to achieve profound and qualitative self-reflective moments.
Inwards journey is a joyous trip that grants great spiritual rewards.
A deep sense of self-awareness helps to break any problems into simpler and solvable components.
Thank you for reading my insights.