I've always been a self-reflective person. I used to think that my ability to self-reflect automatically meant that I was giving myself effective feedback. However, the journey that became The Formative Feedback Project revealed just how wrong I was. As a teacher, I teach my students to trust themselves and their instincts, that mistakes lead to growth and knowledge and to enjoy the fantastic struggles (thanks to Carol Dweck for that one). As a human, I tend to be my own worst critic; over-analyzing every move, fretting over mistakes and generally being way too hard on myself.
Honestly, I have a hard time taking credit for anything I do well and never take credit for anything my students do well - I think I have the opposite of the lucky fool syndrome. In order to give myself effective feedback I also have to reflect on the things that worked. Accomplishments. Ideas that were successful. The thought of this is overwhelming. When my students give feedback, providing one heart (love) and one brain (think about) is non-negotiable. I must make this part of my self-reflective feedback practice.
Then my husband sent me this article from The New York Times and it drove this point home. I found this passage especially powerful:
Everyone is born with a mind, he writes, but it is only through introspection, observation, connecting the head and the heart, making meaning of experience and finding an organizing purpose that you build a unique individual self.
In order to grow and remain true to myself, in all facets, I have to make this connection. At this point I am trying to keep the self-reflective feedback focused on professional and personal goals I have set for myself. Keeping my feedback simple (one thing that went well and one thing I could try in a different way) allows my reflections to feed forward. Work in progress.
I would love to know, how do you self-reflect?