You and I both have come across countless articles that provide tips and tricks to build a successful life or career. We’ve read them and they tend to focus on things like time management, goal setting, developing your communication skills and relationship building.
Those are no doubt important and crucial to your success. However, I think there’s one tip that often gets overlooked. It’s reflection.
Taking time to reflect on yourself is essential to your professional and personal success. Reflection keeps you in control. It builds your confidence and it develops your learning.
There are moments in everyone’s childhood that we’ve held on to and unknowingly reflect on them. You may reflect on that time you needed stitches because you fell from your bike or when you missed your parent’s curfew, and got caught.
Think about an experience you’ve had in the workplace that you’ve held on to. Do you remember it? I remember one of mine.
I was two weeks out of college and working as an office assistant. A part of my job was dealing with client calls. Sometimes, I would get too casual with them. When talking with clients, I would say “Yeah” instead of “Yes”. This is something I didn’t think twice about, but it can be seen as unprofessional. Thankfully, my lovely manager made a note to me about this. I appreciated the feedback and have held on to this for years.
This feedback has played a part in developing my communications skills.
To this day, I make a special effort to say “yes” when communicating with clients or when in a professional setting. Sometimes “yeah” does slip out, I won’t lie!
Reflecting on little experiences like those, your successes, failures, experiences, relationships, skills, goals and needs, keeps your mind focused on what’s important to you.
So, how do you reflect? In the last few days of 2015, I sat down and wrote a list of highlights and lowlights. Here are some highlights:
- Got engaged
- Received a very special thank you email from a Senior Manager
- Took on a new volunteer position (shout out to 541 Eatery & Exchange!)
- Completed my first photography course
Not so bad right? What have you done lately?
Take time to think about it. You’ll appreciate it and it’ll motivate you to accomplish more.
– Tourism & Travel, 2010
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