Mirroring and Reflecting: My Own Reflection Process (Part 2)

5 Step Reflection Process Revealed Healing Health Coach

What makes you angry? What triggers you and gets you fired up? What brings you to tears and the depths of depression? What ignites any form of strong negative emotion within you? In Part 1 last week, I wrote about the importance of 1) looking in the mirror and honestly seeing who you are and 2) reflecting on how you’re showing up in the world. I outlined a 5 Step Reflection Process for uncovering your triggers and understanding how to navigate life in a more meaningful way that welcomes more of what you want into your life. Getting curious about our reflections opens up a world of possibility and more of what we desire.

Since this is a process I recommend you try out, I wanted to give you an inside look into what this process looked like for me. I had described a moment of experiencing extreme anger in a restaurant a few months ago, as I watched an upset customer berate a waiter for a minor oversight in his meal. I described how I expressed the same level of disproportionate anger internally that the upset customer was expressing externally.

Below you will find my own 5 Step Reflection Process as I engaged interactions that were triggering me in the restaurant that day.

If you haven’t read Part 1 of this process yet, you can do so here.

A Real Life Example: My own 5 Step Reflection Process

1. Looking in the Mirror:

More often I find myself getting angry internally when someone else expresses their anger externally. I was afraid of owning my anger because I had been shamed for showing anger before throughout my childhood. Sometimes, my strong emotions were shamed or belittled, so I learned how to suppress them at a young age. Instead of looking at it and owning it, I became jealous of others who were “allowing” themselves to show anger outwardly, while my anger festered inside of me. Seeing this, recognizing it as it shows up in my life, and owning it was crucial for me.

2. Naming My Reflection:

I get amped when I feel stress of any kind. If my to-do list is too long, I suddenly feel a tired “jittery-ness” in my body and emotionally angry and sad. When people are upset with each other or with me, my body becomes hot, lightheaded. Inwardly, I am furious, especially if the anger is unwarranted or extreme in scale.

3. Examining My Reflection:

I want to feel accomplished, happy, and at peace, and when I don’t feel that way, my body responds with the physical cues I mentioned previously. There is a gap between what I want (calm, peace, accomplishment) and where I am (stressed, angry, sad). Whether the gap is an inch wide or a mile long, my expectations are not being met, which leads to dissatisfaction.

4. Getting Curious about My Reflection: 

When I am not taking ownership of my feelings, I deflect and make up stories that make the situation worse. I often get caught up in my head, isolate, and catastrophize the situation. When I’m engaged in negative conflict, I feel worthless – like my feelings don’t matter to anyone. In health, I reach out to friends who understand me and can gently walk me through my own feelings. When I can engage in this form of habit change, my feelings matter to me, and I can trust myself to let the negative feelings I create pass through me. I can release my hold on the catastrophic stories I create that are no longer serving me.

5. Reflecting Differently: 

The risk in not making up stories and not spiraling down into depression is that I won’t be safe. I won’t be in control. I’m accustomed to assuming the worst, preparing for the worst, and seeing everyone’s mistakes (including my own.) If I see everything “bad” that could happen, then nothing will surprise me. If something “good” happens, then I get skeptical. “Good” things are nice surprises that I don’t expect to last long. But what happens when I release the notions of “good” and “bad?” What happens when I let life happen and release judgments that are leading me to categorize my experiences as “good” and “bad?” What happens when I practice letting out my anger in a healthy way? I may not know all the answers to these questions right now, but once I try something different, I will come to a new, healthier way of living that is more free and closer to the calm and peace that I have been searching for.

I would love to hear if you choose to engage in your own reflection process as you encounter strong negative emotions. It is essential to approach this process with a sense of curiosity and wanting to learn. Questioning how and why your emotions are triggered.

Trust that there is revelation in reflection.

To your health,

Brandie Nicole

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