Dr. Orobosa Owie
Going Beyond Face Value: Mastering The Art of Introspection for Career Success
Updated: May 10, 2021
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom" Aristotle
As a professional woman, it’s not uncommon to feel a sense of conflict between your inner self and the self you need to present to the world. It can be challenging juggling the expectations people have of you at work with your own personal development. This may even mean putting your personal development needs to the side to focus on making other people happy. However, by taking some time for self-love and self-analysis it can actually further your career in the long run.
Here’s why introspection is so important and how you can use it to your advantage.
1. Ask “what” instead of “why”
Research has shown that introspection can actually be unproductive if it isn’t done correctly. In some cases, it can make you feel upset and confused about your personal qualities or the events in your life. However, there is a more effective way to be introspective. Psychologist Tasha Eurich posits that instead of asking ourselves why we feel the way we feel, we should just ask ourselves: what do I feel? Observing the truth of our feelings is one of the best ways to help ourselves see a clearer picture.
2. Use introspection to reassess your habits
When you are busy and engaged with work, it can be easy to fall into the same behavioral patterns over and over, without stopping to think about whether or not they are productive or beneficial. One of the best ways to use introspection is to take a look at each of your actions throughout the day and decide whether or not they are helping or hurting you. By being conscious of even the smallest behaviors, you can make positive changes to be more productive.
3. Stay in the present
When assessing your beliefs and feelings, it’s important to look at things from a present perspective. While you can look back on past memories, it’s very difficult to accurately and productively assess your actions and thoughts after the fact. Instead, focus on how you feel about the memories now and how they affect your present life. You should also aim to analyze your actions and feelings as they happen instead of trying to predict future consequences.
4. Know your beliefs
One of the best things about introspection is that you can use it to learn more about your personal ethos. This type of self-observation is going to be very helpful for you as you are building your career. When you have confidence in your beliefs, it’s going to be easier to make decisions at work. You’ll also be able to set clearer goals and find motivation to work towards them effectively. Spending time assessing your thoughts on important issues is worth spending some extra time on.
The truth is…
If you’re not used to being introspective, you may have to consciously make it a habit. Keeping a journal where you can assess your thoughts and behaviors is an easy way to do this. Furthermore, by developing your own self-analysis skills, it is indeed a great investment for your future success.
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