An Introspection Series: Daily Behaviors
I feel that most people have good hearts, however we are not explicitly taught how to create behaviors for ourselves that enable us to make decisions that we are happy with. For example, how often do we ask ourselves, “Why did I say that stupid thing?” “Why wasn’t I thinking ahead?” “How could I be so dumb?”
Here are some things I do every day so that I do not end up with regrets: (I lowkey do not believe in regrets)
- Introspect with Care
Those questions I stated earlier? Don’t ask those. Those questions are full of self-judgment. More than likely, you will feel worse about yourself if you ask and answer those. If you feel bad for a decision, give yourself the space to explore what brought you to that decision. Was it an impulse? Were you emotionally depleted? Did you feel wrongfully obligated? Were you leading with hurt? If yes to any of these, how can you avoid that situation in the future? Ask yourself questions that will enable you to change your habits productively. AKA: Be kind to yourself.
2. Set Intentions
When I am in conflict with someone, I do my best to take a moment before I act to give them the benefit of the doubt. This gives me the strength to be kind and not make a decision that I could be unhappy with later. This also allows me to visualize how I would feel about an outcome. “Will I like this consequence later?” We can’t plan for everything, but this can be a good question to start with.
3. Check In With Yourself
There’s a well known phrase, “nothing changes if nothing changes.” If you want something more for yourself, it starts from within. And you have to start somewhere! If appropriate for the day, I will ask myself, “How do I feel about myself today?” This is to prompt a healthy self-examination. If you do not have the emotional capacity to dive into that, then don’t. It’s not worth the spiraling. When I’m in a good headspace, I will pay attention to anything that feels particularly off or particularly good and examine what my actions were.
I cannot stress this enough, THIS TAKES PRACTICE. I get disconnected from myself from time to time. I see actions that I took a long time ago that appear to me now as immature. This means I have grown, that I recognize that I don’t want to do those same behaviors again. Of course I wish I could have recognized it at that moment, but I didn’t, and there’s nothing I can do to change that. AND THAT’S OKAY. The more kind I am in my self-awareness, the better decisions I make.