Why it’s good to be self introspective

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Kevin Mangelschots

It’s positive to be self introspective from time to time. Regardless of your personality, age, sex, or position in the social hierarchy.

Looking inwards allows us to figure out what is currently working for us, but more importantly, what isn’t functioning as intended, or what we can improve in order to live a happier, more successful life.

Advantages of introspection

Young woman giving a double thumbs up.

  • Allows you to figure out your strengths and weaknesses

    Knowing what your strengths are is fun, strokes our ego, and is important to figure out what path to take to become successful.

    But even more essential is that thinking introspectively allows you to realize what you’re not all that good at and thus, need to become more proficient at, or need assistance for. That’s why we need to self-reflect from time to time.

    Of course, becoming aware of our weaknesses is not fun, not always something we desire, and can make us feel inadequate as a result. Yet, it is absolutely vital to know our imperfections and blind spots in order to do better in the future.

  • Deciphering why you failed or what you can do to improve

     

    The quote, “we don't grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges” written in white letters on a wooden background.

    One of the advantages of introspection is that it allows us to learn new knowledge.

    Throughout our life, failure is not an option, but a given. So it’s best to taste defeat and difficulty early on when growing up in order to get used to it.

    However, failure and making mistakes is not the end of the world. On the contrary, it’s trying to teach us something valuable. That something went wrong or is simply put not working optimally and needs improvement.

    People capable of honest introspection have the advantage of being able to decode more quickly and more accurately what went wrong or suboptimal.

    That’s why reflective individuals have an easier time fixing their faults and, thus, improving at a faster, more efficient rate.

  • Makes it easier to figure out what you want in life

    Illustration of a dog thinking, “where am I going? What am I doing? What is the meaning of life?”

    Thinking introspectively allows you to figure out what you want in life. Unfortunately, that’s something that nobody can ever do for you. It’s entirely up to you to solve that complicated puzzle along the way.

    And while figuring out what to do with your life is hard for most of us, self introspection and being analytical will probably make you more aware at an accelerated rate. And we know that understanding your perks and failings combined with what you enjoy and don’t like in life is vital to become thriving.

    That’s precisely why I believe that every person should take some time to think about what they’re doing, and why they’re acting that way, in order to get to know what they want to do and become in life.

  • Makes you reach your goals faster and more effectively

    Being self introspective probably means having an increased awareness of your strengths and imperfectness. It means you’re more likely to be attuned to where you failed, and what you’re already doing just fine.

    As a result, you can effectively fix your mistakes more rapidly and much more proficiently than people who never take the time to turn inwards to figure out what went/is going wrong.

Possible self introspection pitfalls

A boy giving two thumbs down in disapproval.

  • Overthinking behavior

    All this introspective analyzing and, thus, time spent in our own mind can put the self-examining person at risk for developing overthinking behavior. Especially if that person is highly introverted and/or neurotic by nature.

    This means that becoming more self-examining and living more introspectively is walking a fine line between overthinking and no self-contemplation at all. And so a balance must be struck to gain the benefits while reducing, or eliminating, the downsides entirely.

  • Procrastinating

    Reflecting about your actions regularly means you’ll become more aware of your imperfections, the dangers of life, and all the things we have no control over. Regrettably, this can cause suffering from an increased amount of anxiety or, even worse, phobia.

    This anxiousness and fear might immobilize us completely by preventing us from taking action. Hence, anxiety can lead to procrastinating about all the things that might go wrong. And most of the time, there’s a large variety of stuff that can go haywire.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How to do self introspection?

Multiple possible questions being written on a wooden board.
 
You can learn to do self introspection by asking yourself essential questions to gain a better understanding of yourself, what you value, what you’re content about, and what you wish to change.
 
I would advise writing down the questions you’re asking yourself in addition to the answers, so you can journal your progress as your life advances.
 
It’s critical that you ask inquiries about your past, present, but also future to get a holistic view that’s both insightful and motivating to you.
 

Self introspection questions

Possible critical thinking questions.

 
Think of questions such as:
 
  1. Who am I?
  2. Who do I want to be in the future?
  3. Am I living true to myself?
  4. What’s critical to my happiness?
  5. What makes me feel fulfilled?

These are just some possible questions to practice self introspection, but many more exist. So don’t be afraid to experiment and to be creative! There are no bad questions, only bad answers.

Self introspection skills

Illustration about critical and analytical thinking skills.
 
There are some self introspection skills that we must master before being able to examine ourselves optimally.
 
These skills are:
 
  1. The capacity to look inward
  2. The ability to be honest with ourselves
  3. The capability to understand ourselves holistically
  4. The willingness to grow from that process

This self reflection will give you a better understanding of yourself, and our heightened awareness will make it easier to control our emotions.

What does self introspection mean?

Self introspection can be defined as the examination and analyzing of oneself. It means looking at your own motivations, actions, and personality.

Looking inwards includes being aware and consciously thinking about your own behavior and thoughts.

Is self introspection inherited?

I believe that self introspection is partly inherited, and partially learned behavior.

There are numerous individual differences among people. Even though it should be noted that we are all more alike than we are different.

For example, some folks seemingly live more inside their own head than in the real, physical world. Fascinated and occupied by the rich inner world of their own mind. These people are often called introverts.

On the other hand, there are also those who can’t get enough of the outside, physical world. Preferring to interact with others and the real world in an attempt to make sense of our existence and the many wonderful things happening in this universe. These people are typically called extroverts or people high in personality trait extroversion.

And while it’s not a case of “which one is better, introverts or extroverts?” Because both are personality traits and have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, it can be valuable to be self reflective from time to time.

But since introverts tend to live inside their own mind so much, they generally lean more toward introspection than extroverts do.

Self introspection example

Image of the word “example” being written with a blue marker by someone's hand.

A possible self introspection example could be that you tend to get more irritated when you’re sleep-deprived due to not sleeping well, or long enough.

Not only is this vital to know and understand, but it also means that you can do something about it to resolve that issue. Think of solutions such as going to bed sooner, or practicing better sleep hygiene to sleep through the night more easily.

Self introspection synonyms

Self introspection has many synonyms, such as:

  • Self-meditation
  • Self-contemplation
  • Self-observation
  • Soul-searching
  • Self-reflection
  • Self-analysis
  • Self-scrutiny
  • Self-examination
  • Self-questioning
  • Heart-searching

While the wording is different, the meaning remains by and large the same.

Final note

Image of the word, “conclusions” written on a black backboard with white chalk.

The profits of being introspective outweigh the possible liabilities more often than not.

I do realize that every person is different and that some people are naturally more inclined toward looking inwards than others. Still, I think that consciously being more self reflective occasionally leads to a better life in a variety of ways.

Once in a while, try taking the time to explore your own mind in an attempt to figure out your life, and what you need to change to achieve your dreams and goals.