Through self-reflection, you can understand yourself from the outside. This is why it is called self-reflection. Looking inward is like looking at yourself, your mind, and your intention in a mirror. This kind of reflection can help you understand yourself more deeply.
Awakening to fresh understandings of yourself is the foundation of change.
Once you see your inner self from the outside, you are able to recognize your own behaviors, thought patterns, and perspectives. Many of them will not look as you hoped. But this is why self-transformation is exciting. It’s why I called it the “muse of your own vitality”. By seeing yourself more clearly, with honesty, you are able to spot the parts of yourself that need to change. You can see what parts of you are holding back other parts that are dying to thrive. Then, with that self-awareness, you can choose to do something about it.
Self-realizations come in every shape and size imaginable. Since they are insights, they are thoughts. And thoughts are what construct our reality. Say one day you’re having lunch with a friend and you notice that you have a habit of talking over them each time you feel their sentence winding down. You are eager to jump in and contribute more to the conversation. There’s no intention to be rude. In fact, it’s the opposite. You’re so excited that you’re bursting outwards - so excited that you need to sit on that new bidet toilet that you bought. But by rarely letting your friend finish what they are saying, it comes off as if you don’t care what is being said. After you spot your behavior, you then notice how your friend becomes more deflated with each interruption. So, you make sure to be more patient and mindful before you speak. By choosing to turn your insight into action, you have changed and brought more of your best self forward.
That was a small, nuanced change in self. It dealt with a negative trait that is common among many people. But as I mentioned earlier, self-realizations come in all sizes. Years back I got into an odd habit of visualizing myself from the outside. At first, it was like I had an imaginary camera ten feet above me at all times that played in my mind’s eye. Then the view zoomed out. I walked around with an aerial image of my city in my mind. My precise location in the city moved like the blue location dot on Google Maps. Then the imaginary camera view in my mind zoomed out even further. An image of our planet Earth, from a great distance, found its place in my mind.
I could never escape the imaginative view of a lonely Earth floating in space. The notion that I was somehow stuck to the blue spinning spaceship of a rock stayed with me, too. The absurdity of this image etched in my head made me laugh. Until the image shifted again. The image of Earth in my mind disappeared and there was only me floating in the middle of infinity. The thought of floating there in our solar system began giving me anxiety. Mainly because it was true. We are, indeed, all floating in space and my awareness of it had become acute.