What is an Introspection Journey?
The introspection process, observes your mental, emotional, and even spiritual state and examines your thoughts and feelings. Introspection is a process that develops methods and techniques that can help you improve and grow as you set about on this journey.
Meta-cognition translates to mean “beyond thinking” and measures your awareness of your own experience and thinking.
Psychologists describe it as stepping outside of the experience and refraining from judging or attaching emotions to it, but rather viewing it from the outside looking in. It offers you the chance to observe yourself and your experience from a place where you can isolate yourself from the distracting mental chatter and emotional turmoil to get a more objective understanding (Newman, 2017).
2. Ask Questions
Asking questions is an integral part of the introspection process. Questions are a great way to tease out your true self. The key is prompting questions is to access your core self. The questions should be tough and challenging to explore, whether you are progressing, reaching goals, and transforming positively.
Examples might include: “Am I living my truth? If not, what can I do to get there?” “Am I using my time wisely? What can I cut out to make more time?” “Who are the folks in my life who genuinely love and support me?” Asking questions such as these will help you root out those not serving you and make necessary changes (Morris, 2018).
Observing yourself can help you gain clarity about who you are, particularly strengths. Understanding your core strengths allows you to tap into them to help point you towards your purpose and passions.
It’s a lack of understanding of our strengths that can lead us down the wrong path and towards a pursuit of things that don’t serve us in our lives. Thus, taking time to observe ourselves, our habits, patterns, and strengths will give us essential information that will help us tailor our efforts more effectively (Deanna, 2018).
4. Create Distance from Emotions
Genuine introspective requires you to distance yourself from thoughts and emotions, not to influence the process. It ensures a deeper level of awareness of the mind’s inner working and its influence on behavior.
It relates to meta-cognition, whereby one can identify a feeling or thought and then set it aside not to influence how you apply reflection and greater awareness regarding an experience (Newman, 2017). It can enable detachment from destructive and draining mental processes that can sometimes do more harm than good.
5. Create Quiet Space
Creating quiet space involves being intentional about making time to be introspective. The serene space or time can be specific to the individual. There is no particular activity or length of time that is required. It’s more about getting in a regular pattern of consistently reflecting (Wood, 2013).
To track thoughts, reflections, and experiences, it would help a lot get into the habit of journaling. By putting them down on paper, you can separate thoughts and emotions from experiences to view the experiences objectively. Journaling is also an excellent way to write out answers to thoughtful questions you might be asking and tracking responses as a means of monitoring self-development and progress (Wood, 2013).
Meditation can be a great tool in the introspection journey. Rather than focusing on breathing or sensations for it to be useful in introspection, one would need to channel the meditation into a directed thinking practice. That would mean ensuring one is in the space of contemplation- a structured form of reflection versus rumination.
Thus, you never wander too deeply into a given emotion or thought that might lead you too deeply down a negative path. Instead, you’re aware of your thoughts and feelings, but you control them instead of letting them control you (Baer, 2016).
Visualization can be a great way to help you gain clarity about the next steps for your future. Visualization is about setting intentional time aside to reflect on life desires and whether current life choices and actions lead to or away from those desires. Visualization can help you clarify your goals and what matters at the end of the day (Deanna, 2018).
9. Avoid Judgment
As one goes about the process of introspection, it is crucial to avoid Judgment. When something arises, whether good or bad, we should not allow our judgments to block it from coming up. Whatever comes up is a part of you, and it should embrace it entirely to gain all the necessary input/feedback from it. (Wood, 2013).
Exploration is a final tip to be used on the introspection journey. Exploration is about doing something outside of the norm as a means of discovery. When you do something new, you can uncover new passions and desires.
Thus, trying new things can be an uncomfortable but great way to learn more things and new things about yourself (Wood, 2013). The tips outlined are ways you can begin your introspection journey. Using the methods outlined, you can observe more about your mental, emotional, and even spiritual state to gain more in-depth insight and clarity about yourself.
Using that information, you can clarify the path you desire to take in the future and how to get yourself best there.