Time for reflection

Last year I was challenged to write a series of blogposts on hope for the 12 days of Christmas. To my surprise I felt that I had a lot to write about that topic. Some days the inspiration came easy, other days it took a while, and each day I found something to write about that felt right.

I was considering, if I should do something similar this year or just chill for the holidays. And I decided to go for the challenge.

I couldn’t figure out which topic to choose, so I asked on twitter for suggestions, which I got a bunch of. Sitting here this evening and trying to decide, I found it hard to choose even from those, so I decided to change my rules. I will choose a new topic each days instead. After all life is full of experiments – or at least it is more fun when it is… 🙂

For the first day of Christmas I pick “reflection” suggested by Tobias Geyer 🙂

I am good at helping others reflect and learn. It is something that I really focus on in my work and that I hope to inspire people to do more of.

Our strongest tool at work (and beyond?) is reflection followed by actions and experimenting. Yet this is not something we have a lot of time for in our busy world.

Even for retrospectives I find that many fall into the trap of “what went wrong, let’s do this” almost in one breath, which might be efficient, but not effective. It very easily becomes treatment of symptoms instead of looking at the root of the issue. I have yet to consult in a company without working on retrospectives at some point. 🙂

Taking the time to reflect in retrospectives, meetings, or any other setting may not be efficient – it takes time, but it is what we need to move, grow, and learn.

We need to take that deep breath, take a step back and look at things, consider things, feel things, and stop up long enough to see what is there instead of guessing and assuming. Then and only then can we act on what is.

And how am I doing on this myself?
I am not good at reflecting at least not on my own and not about myself. Last time I really tried was a while ago with my good friend Morgan, where I had suggested that we reflected on our own years just doing it together. Strangely enough I cannot recall if this was one or two years ago. I do remember how I felt.

Morgan asked “Why would you like to reflect?” and that triggered a lot inside: much sadness, frustration and feeling helpless and very small. I broke a little and cried a lot. This happens sometimes and for once, I was lucky enough to be with someone and not just someone. A friend where I am able to let all guards down and be what I am in that moment. This is a rare things for me as I almost always keep an element of control; not deliberately, but still I do. (Thank you Morgan for always being there)

So what about now? If anything this is a year to reflect, to consider what it is important in life, what is important to me, what is important to the world.

I still struggle reflecting and that is something I will work on in the new year. Not so much the reflection I think, but how to open that next layer of my emotional onion without breaking. Or maybe find someone professional, who can help me open and break in a safe setting, and get up again, put the pieces together and be stronger ,because I am embrace that new layer. I guess this counts as reflection – it is a start, and that is what I can do now.

I started this reflection post by thinking I would reflect in my last Christmas days post from last year: “What are my hopes?” and yet my writing took me elsewhere as it tends to do. My reflection on that is this:I still have the same hopes; they were not fulfilled and I still hope they will be.

What are things you want to reflect on? Or things that you are afraid to look it? What would make you feel safe enough to look at it and reflect?

Blogpost for the second day of Christmas 20/21: Unicorns
Blogpost for the third day of Christmas 20/21: Raining again
Blogpost for the fourth day of Christmas 20/21: Being or doing
Blogpost for the fifth day of Christmas 20/21: Gratefulness
Blogpost for the sixth day of Christmas 20/21: Having people in my space
Blogpost for the seventh day of Christmas 20/21: Family
Blogpost for the eight day of Christmas 20/21: Uninspiration
Blogpost for the ninth day of Christmas 20/21: Fear (and courage?)
Blogpost for the tenth day of Christmas 20/21: Jumping in puddles
Blogpost for the eleventh day of Christmas 20/21: The choice is yours
Blogpost for the twelfth day of Christmas 20/21: Anticipation

4 thoughts on “Time for reflection”

  1. I feel like I can only reflect by having a conversation with someone. The other day a friend asked me what did I think I had changed in myself in the last few months and trying to answer helped me reflect. Otherwise I don’t take think about things like that in a lot of depth. I think what I need is more time!

      1. For me I find conversations make it easier to reflect because left alone my thoughts can follow the same paths they often follow. When someone asks me to define something, or asks a clarifying question, then I *have* to engage more deeply with the thought.
        Often I can dig further after, but the conversation shows me more blind spots.

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Gitte. I am curious to know more about how you encourage people to reflect at meetings/retrospectives – allowing deeper conversations.

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