Dear Highly-Reflective One,

April 7, 2017

Self-Reflection Benefits

Always learning
Always tweaking your practice
Seeking feedback to do/be better
Never reaching a plateau
Gives very REAL feedback to others
Usually, has a vivid imagination
Viewed as creative
Everything is a learning opportunity
Others see you as having accomplished many goals

Self-Reflection Flaws

Doesn’t get a lot of critical feedback but craves it
Overanalyzes lack of feedback
Rarely celebrates success
As soon as a project ends, on to next steps for something new
Struggles to accept compliments
Feels there is always room for growth
Must master the task–even if it about kills you
Making time to rest is not a priority

If the above description describes you (or someone you know), you (they) might be a “highly reflective” person.

Dear Highly-Reflective One,

Because you are your own competition, it seems as though there is nothing to compare where you are and where you’re going. However, the positive piece to this character trait is that you are always learning and growing.

In fact, no matter what life brings you, you view it as a learning opportunity–always drawing from past experiences. The highly reflective person is constantly considering what went well and what needs improvement. Even when you have no control over the situation, you’re always thinking, “One day, if I’m in that position I definitely don’t want to do this, or I certainly want to grab that practice and implement it.” So, being highly reflective isn’t altogether bad, but at some point, you will need some balance. There will rarely be times where you will feel you’ve mastered anything because you’re always considering the next steps for something new.

However, I’m not 100% there’s a cure, but I can unquestionably relate to the highly reflective person.

A few lessons I’ve learned (or am currently learning) are:

• The world doesn’t know the standards you set for yourself.

• Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t meet your lofty goals.

• Ask for clarification.

• When feeling defeated, don’t act. Pause.

• Wait. Process. Weigh out the perceived good and bad.

• If you are aren’t receiving the critical feedback you crave, find other outlets to fill your bucket.

• Don’t allow self-doubt to paralyze you. Keep going!

If others perceive you as weird, it’s ok. You are weird. But, you’re also an overcomer who chases BIG dreams. Be persistent. Find some balance. Draw energy and strength from past experiences. In fact, muster up the gumption to keep setting goals and reaching new heights. You’ve got this, and the highly reflective staff and students you serve NEED you to model how to handle this character trait. Encourage others–especially other highly reflective people, and press on! Remember, your value isn’t determined by someone’s opinion of you–even if that someone is YOU or worse, your self-doubt.


A Fellow HRP

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  • Marisa Dahl April 19, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Thank you for writing this, I too feel like you were writing this about me!

    • Tara M Martin April 20, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Marisa. It’s nice to know we are not alone. 🙂

  • Vicki Den Ouden April 11, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    I’m weird too! LOL Thanks, Tara! This describes me to a tee. Were you reading my journal? Always on to the next thing, worried about the opinion of others, and self-doubt. Well, through all of that, we get a lot done along the way. This I know for sure!

    • Tara M Martin April 12, 2017 at 7:45 am

      Hehe…love this Vicki. Sounds like our journals might mirror each other. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Keep ROCKIN’!