Reflection Is Great but It’s No Match for Action

Reflection Is Great but It’s No Match for Action

It pays to reflect periodically on your past actions, but there’s no great need to keep lingering in the moment.

The trouble with reflection is that it’s a small step away from what psychologists call rumination. Rumination quickly drops you into a state of distress because you become obsessed with your past problems and what caused them. A much healthier approach than this is to analyze decisively your mistakes with a particular intent to solve the underlying problem.

People who use the problem-solving approach to dealing with past failures find better ways to do things. They improve on outdated skills so that fast upward movement once again becomes possible. Those who delve directly into goal-directed action tend to do very well, whereas people stuck in the cycle of rumination stay mired in mediocrity. As always, your mindset is incredibly important to your desired outcome.

Take Aim and Then Take Action

Negative self-thinking over a long enough period hurts your chances of success, whether your intentions are good or not. Many people have been taught to “learn from their mistakes.” That’s a valid lesson, and it’s well worth following. However, it shouldn’t take you that long to extract the meaning from failure. Analyze what went wrong and vow to never let it happen again. After you’ve done that, let it all go!

Take Aim Before Your Fire
Take Aim Before Your Fire

Taking action has an enormous advantage over reflection because it gets you closer to a goal. Reflection should be used to modify your current plan of action, not to stop you from acting altogether.

Reflect on your progress, alter your current strategy of action-taking, and then make the right moves consistently Reviewing your current actions and what kinds of results are coming in will give you the data needed to make the right tweaks.

The process is not a complicated one. What matters most is whether your remain consistent in your efforts or not. As soon as your level of activity diminishes, your results are pushed further into the future.


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