Being introspective has proven to be one of the most powerful modalities for positive change in my life. This does not come naturally, but with practice, ‘introspecting’ your way through a situation can help you keep an open mind about yourself and others.
My husband often compliments me on being introspective, I never used to think of this trait as strength, I only saw it as the way I process life. To a man, like my wonderful husband, it is magical to have a partner who sees their own misgivings. It saves our relationship a lot of heartache; he does not have to criticize me because I can see my own flaws. We rarely ever fight, because fortunately, he also happens to be introspective. So, in short, we don’t spend 55% of the time arguing about who’s right and who’s wrong because we are not blinded by selfish pride. We bring up our shortcomings to one another, asking for advice on how to make ourselves better.
Obviously, nobody is perfect, I sometimes judge myself inaccurately and pride gets in the way. Every fight my husband and I have ever had was for this reason… ego.
Some folks have a lot stronger of an ego than others. Mine has never been a pungent one but the times my ego has reared its head never served my greater good. My husband and I never compete with one another because of the competitiveness feeding our egos. We save the competition for our friends and workplace so that we avoid the complications of tearing each other down with ego.
So how do we change our entire mentality to be introspective?
I’ll tell you about my personal journey in hopes to keep you from bumbling around in the dark like I did. I kept finding myself being depressed and miserable with men and with taking job after job without satisfaction. I never looked into myself, I would say “I’m not happy here, I don’t fit in with my coworkers” but then couldn’t figure out why I didn’t fit in with my coworkers.
Prior to marrying my husband, what opened my eyes was dating an introspective man with an immense ego who bounced back and forth between rocket blasts of introspection driven self-improvement, to be followed by an equitable crash in self-esteem caused by his ego inhibiting the ability to see his flaws, work through them and continue growing. This pattern was volatile and unpredictable, and everyone else could see that his confidence crashes were slowing this unstoppable force down.
We did not work out as a couple, but I am gracious for the learning and self-growth that he caused in my life. Seeing his tug of war between pride and personal growth caused me to look at how I was living, and I saw the same pride causing misery in my love life and career. I started to think thoughts like, “Why does she bother me so much?” and “What is it about this job that doesn’t align with my career goals?” I saw an immediate change in the way that I handled life.
As a result of seeing myself in a new light, in my career, I made bold switch moving from a well-paying financial job, to an abysmally paying job where I helped others. I had discovered that I was passionate about serving others, and that’s why I didn’t fit in with my colleagues and hated the job I was doing. Despite the poverty level wages, I had never been happier working, or in life.
Since then, I’ve made another career switch thanks to being an ever mobile military wife, but I know what to look for in my work— helping others. I’ve been fortunate enough to find a new job that I’m equally happy doing, and will always hold the same criteria for my career search.
Thanks to my hard won lessons on being introspective, I have been able to identify and ferociously change the things about myself that were making me unhappy before. Now, I feel an urgent need to continue growing and to inspire others to do the same. Try taking a look at your reactions to situations that make you feel icky, is your ego getting in the way? Is something that your doing in-congruent with attaining the life that you dream of having?
There’s only one way to change your life and you must begin within yourself, be introspective and take positive action.
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