Kickstart the New Year with a Self-Audit
Practicing introspection using these methods will improve your self-awareness, confidence, and innovation in the new year.
As New Year’s Eve approaches, so does the customary exercise of introspection and self-reflection.
The practice of examining ourselves can be a powerfully healthy one. Done correctly, it leads to self-awareness, which increases our ability to exercise control over our emotions and provides a greater sense of well-being.
But done incorrectly, self-reflection can go awry.
Sometimes, the examination of ourselves leads to self-loathing. Rather than looking inward to better understand ourselves, we may become absorbed in comparing ourselves to others, which only leads to insecurity and anxiety about the future.
As the unattributed saying goes, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
That’s no way to start the new year.
Arming yourself with a few methods for positive self-reflection can turn the traditional New Year’s practice into an insightful experience that boosts your self-belief, confidence, and motivation for the coming year.
It’s important to note that you won’t gain greater self-awareness overnight — self-reflection is a lifelong practice. But the spirit of New Year’s is a strong catalyst for such a practice.
Offer yourself compassion
As you self-audit, maintain unconditional positive regard for yourself. That means offering compassion to yourself even if you feel you’ve done wrong or could have handled something better this past year. Look at yourself with curiosity, not contempt.
Judgment and shame only elicit defensiveness. Acceptance fosters safety, which invites honesty and self-exploration.
Of course, it’s important to take responsibility for any failures or mistakes you’ve made. But don’t forget that everyone makes mistakes.
With wisdom — particularly the wisdom that comes from honest self-reflection — we learn that failure is temporary and doesn’t speak to our value as a human being.