The Basics of Reflection

For this week, we sat down with Ben Woodman of Alpha Canada to chat self-reflection, and establishing a vision of self. Ben has helped countless youth navigate difficult parts of their lives, and knowing yourself during adversity can help make all the difference.

Tyler: For beginners, what are some tips/things to keep in mind when reflecting?

Ben: Deciding who you are wanting to become is vital - that becomes the measuring stick. And then all of our actions can be measured in terms of whether or not they are taking you closer or further away from that vision. 

T: What is your goal when it comes to self-reflection?

Ben: We all have a skewed view of ourselves - that's just life. But I really want to shrink the gap between who I actually am and how I perceive myself to be.  This means big adjustments in negative ways and positive ways. 

T: To you, is keeping a journal/notes an important part of reflection?

Ben: I've journaled a bunch through the years. It helps me sort out my thoughts. One of the things that I do in my journal is to write down the things I want to stop doing and other things I want to start doing.

T: For you, how did your vision of self develop?

Ben: Like most people, I've often connected who I am in a larger sense to what I do for work or how many things I've accomplished. In some ways that is totally natural, but in a lot of ways it can be negative. So for me, growing in a personal faith and putting my trust in something bigger than myself has given me the freedom to shift the balance from DOING to BEING.

T: Is creating and maintaining an accurate vision of self important to you?

Ben: Having an accurate vision of yourself allows for both humility and confidence. You never have to pretend to be something you are not and yet can be totally confident in all the good stuff you do bring to the room.

T: Is a group of friends a good asset for these exercises? How have they affected your own reflection?

Ben: I have a few good friends who can call me out on stuff if I'm getting too far off track. I don't know where I'd be without them.  

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