Self-Reflection For Self-Improvement
Posted on June 15th, 2013
According to Lewin’s and Kolb’s adult learning theory, you can use self-reflection to improve your thoughts and behaviours in four steps.1 For learning to be effective, it needs to move through all four stages of the cycle:
- Observation - observe on their experiences
- Reflection - develop new understandings of your problems
- Planning - synthesise new possibilities and ways forward
Question: How did I feel?
Answer: Pretty anxious: I was scared.
Q: And what was running through my mind?
A: I thought that I would embarrass myself – look like a fool.
Q: So what did I do?
A: I told my boss that I couldn’t do the presentation because I would be on annual leave – I then booked in annual leave.
Q: So I got out of doing the presentation: how did that leave me feeling and what was going through my mind then?
A: After the initial relief, I felt even worse. I still hadn’t faced my anxiety of public speaking and now I had the fear that my boss would realise that I’d lied to her.
Q: It seems that I felt scared and I thought that I would embarrass my-self; so I avoided what frightened I but soon regretted it.
A: Well, yes.
Q: So, what might I learn from this?
A: I suppose it’s obvious really: if I get scared, I should face up to my fears. Running away is only making me feel worse about myself and I think that it makes me more anxious.
Q: Facing up to my fears … do I have any thoughts on how I might go about doing that?
Westbrook, D. E., Kennerley, H., & Kirk, J. (2011). An introduction to cognitive behaviour therapy: skills and applications (2nd ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE. ↩
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