Reflection gives us power.

Research suggests that enhancing our ability to understand ourselves and our motivations and learn more about our own values helps us take the power away from the distractions of our modern, fast-paced life, and bring our focus back where it belongs. When we see ourselves clearly, we are more confident and more creative. We make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively. We’re less likely to lie, cheat, and steal. We are better workers who get more promotions. And we’re more-effective leaders with more-satisfied employees and more-profitable companies.

If we’re not self-aware, it’s almost impossible to master the skills that make us stronger team players, superior leaders and better relationship builders, either at work or in the rest of our lives.

Don’t ask yourself why, ask what.

Asking what could keep us open to discovering new information about ourselves, even if that information is negative or in conflict with our existing beliefs. Asking why might have the opposite effect.


Paul J. Silvia, Maureen E. O'Brien (2004). Self-Awareness and Constructive Functioning: Revisiting “the Human Dilemma”. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology: Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 475-489.

J. Gregory Hixon and William B. Swann, Jr. When Does Introspection Bear Fruit? Self-Reflection, Self-Insight, and Interpersonal Choices. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1993. Vol.64, No. 1,35-43