If you look at an ancient piece of meteorite under a microscope, it has layers upon layers of different materials that have travelled through space and time to produce a dazzlingly colourful and unique piece. A bit like you and me.

Our constituent parts get formed over time, yet our lives are a dynamic interaction between mind, body, spirit, and daily experience.  Some of this solidifies into our character, other parts change as they interact with something new. Like snakes, we shed our skin and renew.

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. Anon

Put yourself under the microscope

Do you know what you are made of?  How did you get to be the person you are today? How do you interact with the world?

Here are 3 ways to find out who you are:

  1. Reflecting on yourself, including the use of personality profiles, journaling, and the support of a coach or mentor
  2. Asking other people what they observe or experience of you
  3. Testing yourself through new and different experiences (then reflecting again)


Reflecting on ourselves can be an uncomfortable experience. It’s a skill we don’t tend to spend much time on in our hectic daily lives and it can seem indulgent or even embarrassing. However, it’s essential!

If you feel there isn’t time for reflecting, ask yourself ‘how important to me is my goal?’ You’ll find the time (and improve your skills in managing how you spend your time) if it’s important enough to you.

The Value of Reflecting

Why do you need to reflect in the workplace? Because it helps you to understand how well you are doing or not doing, make sense of complex issues, resolve problems, and come up with new ideas. And it stops you making kneejerk decisions you later regret.

Do you recognise these reasons people give for not spending time reflecting?

  •  ‘I’m too busy solving today’s problem’
  • ‘My boss will think I’m lazy’
  • ‘Why would I want to do that?’
  • ‘It’s not how I learn’
  • ‘It’s boring’
  • ‘I don’t know how‘

It doesn’t have to be this way.  The Digital Age is providing new opportunities for the way we reflect that is highly proactive and challenges the stereotypical image of sitting alone in a darkened room with a towel over your head. And it’s being enhanced by technology and social media. Many of us are only just beginning to learn how to learn with these new tools.

Reflecting in today’s digital world is more about being collaborative, rather than solitary; active rather than passive; energising rather than dull 

How do I personally reflect? I blog, tweet, belong to online and face-to-face communities for business and professional development, engaging in conversations about my own and other people’s reflections. That way I learn, have new ideas, and solve problems.  I build it into my daily workflow so I reflect in real-time about the issues that really matter to me and my clients.

How can you make reflection a natural part of the way you work in the digital age? Read this online journal from learning technology expert, Sue Beckingham, for some great choices!  And this article on the value of journaling from Mindtools.com.

Are you prepared to put yourself under the microscope for your personal learning and growth, to periodically renew and reinvent yourself for changing circumstances in your life?  Do you need to update your reflective skills for the fast-paced world we live in?