Self-reflection is a great art. Because honestly… being honest is hard. And being honest to oneself is the greatest challenge. It may sound easy but many cyclist fail, when it counts to be 100% true to ourselves.
But the thing is, if applied right one can improve both: Being an athlete and being the person one wants to be, privately as well as in career. The following questions will help you to challenge your own actions and believes and move towards who you want to become.
The Doom Loop of Self-Reflection
Who doesn’t know it? The club buddy that has excessive overestimation of his abilities. The boss that somehow lost the plot, but thinks he’s done all right. Or do you remember those classmates claiming to completely failed the exam, but in the end came away with full points. All these people have one thing in common: They can’t realistically assess their actions.
However, the consequences of lacking self-awareness are not just annoyed peers, but most often stagnation and regress. It’s by all means no accident that self-relfection and self-awareness are the tools entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos or Karen Lynch use to reach their goals and visions.
I’m incredibly impressed by those people that know what they want and who they are. That can guide others and themselves to reach individual success. Nevertheless, it’s not natural talent that keeps them thriving in their doing. It’s the ability to assess our capability viable, to admit mistakes to ourselves, but also to acknowledge positive progess in ourselves!
Now, being effective and efficient in our doing are not only important for a career, but especially for us cyclists. It can have a massive impact on our stamina. I mean the basic goal for us athletes is simple: Be better tomorrow than you’ve been yesterday. So, the following should help to become aware about ones potentials, get closer to goals and visions and ultimately not being the pill everyone is upset about.
Self-Awareness: The greatest Psychological Trait
Simply put, self-awareness is our skill to determine our thoughts, feelings and impulses precisely and notice their relation in reality.
Developing a high degree of self-awareness will help you in managing your emotions in dispute, understanding your weaknesses in cycling or being real about on what you’re able to accomplish.
Because the big problem of lacking self-awareness is that we’re no longer in control of our actions like habits routines or even our impulses. Vice versa they control us. But becoming self-aware isn’t a thing to learn once. On the contrary it’s a long process we need to practice consistently. Similar as training in cycling.
As there’s not a lot we can control in our lives, one thing we can control for sure are our thoughts.
If you want to build lasting self-awareness there are a few steps to follow even though the one solution with the one outcome doesn’t exist. It depends on where you are.
- Increase your focus and recognise what’s going on in your and body and around
- Focus on what you’re thinking and feeling at given moments
- Reach out to people you fully trust to receive honest feedback about yourself
- Accept yourself the way you are and don’t judge yourself for stuff you do wrong
- Write things down in a journal to gain clarity about what’s going on in your head
If you implement these strategies and work on the questions below you will feel the gain in self-awareness week after week.
Now, take your time at rest to answer the following questions at the start of the week, if you want to progress yourself and get potential problems out of the way.
The Ultimate Self Reflection Questions to Conquer Yourself
What was my biggest success as an athlete last week?
Relive all the training sessions in your head and find one workout that worked really well and you’re very satisfied with. Find the reasons why this session went so well and reconsider if you can adapt that to the other sessions to make them better.
Where did I waste pointless time?
Same shit different day? Way too long scrolling on socials like Instagram and unable to get your ass of the couch? Keep track of all these time consuming useless stuff and try to find ways to minimize the loss of time.
Which moment created the greatest joy last week?
Joy and happiness are both great drivers of motivation to achieve progress. In addition, getting things done that create positive emotions are far easier to accomplish. So, think about opportunities to get joy next week.
Did I train efficently and effectively?
There are lots of stressors these days, but training shouldn’t belong to it. Therefore, finding out what kind of sessions are easy to integrate and which ones are done under lots of stress. Find the root cause and try to wipe them out.
Which Person really impressed me last week?
Learning from others can be worth a mint. In day to day live, at work, in the gym or in cycling we always meet some inspiring guys that are really good at their thing, that have strong charisma or are just empowering and pleasant by being simply them. Which person left a lasting impression and what can you learn from them?
Some more questions to consider:
With what kind of pictures did I visualize my goals last week?
What kind of new chances revealed last week and which did I grab?
What new stuff did I learn last week?
For what kind of event am I deeply grateful?
What did I do better last week than the week before?
See: Mark Manson – The 3 levels of self-awareness: https://markmanson.net/self-awareness
Effects of Reflection to Improve Goal-Directed Self-Talk on Endurance Performance: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6027548/
Self-Awareness and Constructive Functioning: Revisiting “the Human Dilemma” https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/10.1521/jscp.23.4.475.40307