Following on from our last post on resilience (click here to read), we wanted to highlight the importance of reflective skills. Resilient people are also reflective. Reflection can help you learn from your mistakes and identify changes you can make for the future.
Thinking about specific situations and your responses to these can make your personal expectations and biases more apparent, and therefore easier to change. You can spot trends in your behaviour and reflect on the way that you’ve dealt with things that perhaps haven’t worked out. The idea that you have to work through your feelings in some way after a setback might seem a bit self-indulgent to some, but it’s likely to be the most productive route forward. This is a technique that has been adopted by many entrepreneurs including Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
Questions to ask yourself when developing your reflective skills
Reflect back on a disappointing career event, maybe an unsuccessful interview or application, and ask yourself some questions, such as, what were my expectations? What went well? Why didn’t it go the way that was intended? What did I learn? How can I do things differently next time? And, what do I need to let go of, in order to move on? It’s worth writing down your answers, and trying to set out some changes you could make in future within a short action plan.
Develop your reflective skills
By accepting that something positive can be achieved from an experience that didn’t go according to plan, you’re much more likely to be able to adapt and move onto the next opportunity. This approach is quite key to developing resilience. Accepting what might be seen as a failure and turning it into a learning opportunity, you can see that you’re really beginning to build that all-important growth mindset, rather than thinking, well, that’s it, there’s no point in continuing at all. Reflection is also helpful in reframing difficulties, and changing the narrative, for ourselves and others.
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