The power of self-examination

By Diana Russell

“Excuse me, Ms. Your slip is showing.” Have you ever heard this, turned and looked at your dress hem and wondered why you didn’t see or feel that two inches of your slip were hanging down below your dress before someone else pointed it out to you? Or maybe you went three hours at work, sitting in boardroom meetings, without knowing that you had a coffee stain on your shirt.

Focus on what matters

It’s easy to miss what you would love to notice if you’re not in the habit of glancing in mirrors, checking out your appearance. However, appearance isn’t the only time when you could be making mistakes or slipping up and not knowing it. Journalists and bloggers should know this best.

As a journalist or blogger, you can scan an article you wrote two or more times, and still miss grammatical and spelling errors. Get in the habit of finding errors in order to improve your work, and errors might start jumping out at you. Point is, self-acceptance, not self-depreciation and judgment, is a key to a successful self-examination.

This means appreciating and caring for yourself. Forget comparing yourself to others. They aren’t you. Be sincere as you perform self-examination. Mencius put it this way, ” There is no greater delight than to be conscious of sincerity on self-examination.”

Self examination is never ending

As you perform self-examination, also be patient with yourself. After all, you’re on a journey, one that truly never ends.

Think of what Rainer Maria Rilke shares in Letters to  Young Poet, “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue.  Do not seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer.”

The power of self-examination could reveal new insights, giving you clues about the next steps you should take. It can also let you finally see how powerful, resilient, loving and bright you really are. This leads to self-confidence, the very thing you need to succeed in art and business.

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The power of self-examination

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