Reflective Practice as a personal growth tool

According to Wikipedia, reflective practice (RP) is the ability to reflect on one’s actions so as to engage in a process of continuous learning. RP involves paying critical and deliberate attention not only on past actions and events, but is taking a conscious look at emotions, experiences, actions, and responses, and using that information to add to his or her existing knowledge base and reach a higher level of understanding which will lead to developmental insights.

I find this to fall short in explaining what RP is because it only involves the present and past domain but not of the future.

At this juncture, you must be saying to yourself “How can you reflect on the future? It sounds like an oxymoron!”

Well, yes and no. Yes, if you are looking at reflection in its purest sense of the word. And No if you are taking reflection in its context. Contextually, reflection is contemplation. It involves looking at something that bounces off some form of surface or platform. It has a connotation of relating what you ‘see’ to yourself. And in this instance that you can reflect on your future by bouncing a notion to yourself regarding a future state. An example would be reflecting on your values and idealism within a contemplation sphere of what might be. This might involve reflecting on a question such as “What would your ideal day look like?” This kind of RP can be really powerful especially in designing a future state; personal growth tool.

This will fit in nicely with the Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle where there is an element of future state in it.

Therefore, RP covers the three domain of what we call the ownership model of Past, Present and Future.

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