Self-introspection or simply put introspection is the examination of one’s self-thoughts, feelings, and analyzing them over time.
No external force is involved, the person learns from experience and keeps a check on their mental and spiritual self.
It is a continuous state of learning where the person reflects on their actions and tries to understand the reason behind them. Suppose a person has anger issues and is usually short-tempered, after self-introspection, they will realize their short-temper and also what situations might lead them to be that way and learning how to keep their anger in check.
You are constantly learning about yourself in the process of introspecting and how to control their emotions and actions based on the circumstances and improve as a human being.
If we refer psychologically then introspection will be examining one’s mental health while spiritually it will refer to the examination of one’s inner self and soul. It is like you are giving yourself therapy and receiving it at the same time.
The best way to perform self-introspection is to talk to yourself every day, talk about goals, and ask questions regarding your behavior.
Example of Self-Introspection:
- Acknowledging your performance. Suppose you are aware that you did not work hard yet got a decent score or vice-versa. Being able to see positive performance despite failure or negative performance despite success.
- Using your flaws as a utility, as to how stress can help someone produce better results and accepting this flaw despite the positive results.
- Being able to overcome and detect emotions, such as feeling depressed during the exam period but accepting that it is due to stress from the exam and the feeling would soon go away.
- Keeping a check on yourself biologically, for example how your body might react towards certain things and how your senses might react during certain times of the day.
- Noticing a behavior towards someone else for example remembering how you were rude towards a certain person whereas you are friendly and jolly in general.
- Being aware and noticeable about your behavior and keeping in check how you would react in a certain situation to prevent poor behavior from your side.
- Keeping in check with your character, suppose you come off as a short-tempered person, yet you are aware of the state and constantly trying to manage it.
Benefits of Self-Introspection:
- Self-Introspection’s first step is Self-Questioning and the most crucial one too. Self-Questioning helps you figure out who you are as a person and help answer things about yourself that you unconsciously ignore.
- It also helps you boost Self-Confidence since you know who you are and your pros and cons. Being knowledgeable about such things is an important step which many people are unaware of.
- You start to self-reflect upon yourself that helps you think maturely and handle situations the same way. You get to know more about your nature and how you would react in a scenario and learn from your mistakes.
- You also experience a change in perspective since you start to think with a broader and mature mind. You learn from your mistakes and act on them, analyzing your actions and what led to such mistakes in the first place.
- All of this leads to new thoughts and then you start to look at the world with a better view. Self-Introspection reminds you of embarrassing moments but also those moments you felt guilty but it was not your mistake and that it is okay to make such mistakes.
Limitations of Self- Introspection
Even though Self-Introspection is an amazing method, but it does have few limitations due to various experimental techniques such as:
- Various schools have tried to use this method on students but it gave a negative result due to lack of knowledge about this subject.
- It is difficult for children to follow this since they are still in their development and lack experience in many aspects of life. Even with proper guidance, Self-Introspection cannot be practiced by them.
- Even with highly trained observers, it is difficult for them to give out a clear response regarding the situation since the human mind is complex.
- Sometimes the same scenario can bring out different responses that might confuse the person on how to act on them and come up with a clear response, living in dilemma can bring out a negative impact on the person.
- Not everything can be solved with Self-Introspection such as mental disorder. It is something that requires professional help because self-diagnosis and treatment can worsen the situation more.
- Not everyone is adept at Self-Introspection because it requires a life-changing decision that is not easy for everyone to make. Few people might not even be aware of their actions and continue to act on them. In short, we call them stubborn and Self-Introspection on people who could never change is a near to impossible task.
What is the Importance of Self-Introspection?
- But even with the criticism it receives, Self-Introspection is a crucial part of one’s life and something everyone should be aware of.
- You will never be able to grow as a human being unless and until you know who you are as a person.
- Ignorance is not the same as innocence. Being unaware of your surroundings, behavior and mental states are alarming for everyone else around you because you don’t even understand yourself.
- It becomes hard for such people to live their lives since they will make a clown of themselves.
- With the help of Self-Introspection, you give yourself a second chance, a chance to improve and get reborn as a better person.
- It will help you increase your productivity, enhance life perception, improve focus, morale, and human values.
Ques. What are the steps for Self-Introspection?
Ans. First, you need to think about all your past actions and particular thinking you grew up with, whether it was due to Society, Family, or Friends. Then, think about what led to those actions and thoughts. Next, think of how you can improve them, in what ways, and how it would affect your surroundings. Don’t decide in haste, take your time, and don’t let any external force affect you.
Ques. What are the most powerful tools of practice for Introspection or getting to know oneself?
Ans. There is not a physical tool that will help you with Self-Introspection since it is all in your head and only your thinking and actions will help you with it. You would need to have an unbiased opinion about yourself, even if the judge made was positive or negative towards yourself. First try to be more understanding rather than making impulsive decisions since a better mind of thoughts will automatically lead to better decisions.
Ques. When does Self-Introspection become necessary?
Ans. It becomes a necessity when you start to get irritated and annoyed by your actions and that is when you start to realize that you are in a serious need to change yourself and that is when Self-Introspection comes into play. It’s better late than never the sooner you realize the need for Self-Introspection in your life. You can also be aware of changing yourself when your friends and family start to bring out your actions and thoughts. The people close to you can also be a better judge of you but always remember that you are the best judge of yourself.
Ques. Is Introspection the only way to develop self-awareness?
Ans. Self-awareness is incredibly difficult to achieve but Self-Introspection is not the only way to develop self-awareness. Sometimes you can develop self-awareness by getting involved with external forces such as a mentor or someone close to you. You can’t completely achieve self-awareness because to put it simply, self-awareness is more like an illusion. No one is perfect, everybody has their flaws but we can still develop a small percentage of self-awareness to help us grow.