CW #9: INTROSPECTION
What does your inner voice tell you?
Sometimes it feels as if we were trapped in this shell called body. Sometimes we want to escape from it because it causes discomfort. However most of the times we are missing appropriate tools to create a unity of our body, mind and soul. It is nothing we learn in schools, nothing we focus on in everyday life, and most definite we refuse to exchange personal thoughts regarding inner circumstances within peer groups or a close circle of friends. Instead we sweep lots of inconsistencies under the carpet, a carpet to the outside appearing as unique and colorful as we truly wished to exist, only for the sake of being undercover and coping with daily routines. So how about we start listening to what we have buried under multiple layers of protection. WELCOME TO CW #9: INTROSPECTION!
This week´s blog post is going to make the term introspection a topic of discussion. On the one hand we will focus on its terminology, on the other hand we will have a closer look on its appearance in psychology and its development towards a recognized method of observation. In a final step we will discuss its reference to personal growth and combine its approach to CW´s #8 topic DISTRACTIONS.
The word introspection derives from the Latin term introspicere. Its present structure makes use of two main words of Latin origin, -intro referring to “inward” and -specere, meaning “to look at”. Since Middle Ages it has been understood as the actions “to look into”, “look at”, “examine” and “observe attentively”. According to its linguistic derivation, introspection implies an act of inward looking in order to encounter our inner being. In science it has been described as the action of searching one´s feelings or thoughts. In Psychology it is seen as the examination or observation of one´s own mental and emotional processes. As a whole, the method of introspection aims to achieve the analysis of personal thoughts and ideas, feelings, motives, individual attitudes towards habits as well as the establishment and connection of self-perception.
When talking about introspection we might think of the terms “self-analysis”, “soul-searching”, “heart-searching” and “self-observation”. Therefore its approach is considered to rather be one dimensional, concentrating on personal impressions and perceptions. In Psychology it helps create an upfront access to one’s own awareness and experiences. In other words, introspection establishes a connection between a person and its reality. Therefore it is indispensable when talking about personal observation and personal growth. However, due to its one-dimensionality its effectiveness is hardly criticized since applying introspection as a scientific method lacks clear verifiability when monitored by others. In terms of the above example, objective acquisition fails to result because of insufficient identification caused by an incalculable degree of subjective falsification. For this purpose, in science there is a distinction between introspection and self-observation. Whereas self-observation aims to fulfill its goals by pursuing monitored introspection, followed by systematic reporting and secondary evaluable databases, for instance by means of “loud thinking”.
“Deep in our soul we have intuitively buried knowledge that tells us who we really are.” This is a quotation by Carl Gustav Jung, a renowned Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of Analytic Psychology. What Jung is referring to is what we nowadays often see on social media platforms as the action of spiritual growth, meaning creating a connection to spirit and therefore enabling communication to one´s inner self. Generally, there is nothing wrong about exchanging ideas and techniques concerning spirituality. At the end of the day, this is what CAACTUS Effect is for, a virtual place of exchanging ideas and encouraging interaction regarding not openly spoken issues. However marketing on spirituality, the term itself, commercializing spiritual growth and personal development as a higher power, distinguishing between the ones that have reached the levels of enlightenment and the others still wandering, calling oneself a life coach, as if one life is comparable to another, is totally wrong, misunderstood and misused in terms of humanity, and especially in terms of spiritual as well as personal growth.
What is personal growth really about and how can introspection as a solid technique help initiate and support the process of development? Science has shown that there are many different approaches understanding and operating in terms of personal development. Considering CAACTUS Effect‘s comprehension of personal growth, the two main aspects are the personal development of individuality and identification. The following paragraph will try to narrow down both terms in order to establish a more complex comprehension.
Sum of characteristics. Traits that make up an individual’s special features. It leads to distinction among personalities. Individuality appears as a system of thoughts and values, whereas individuals find themselves creating and leading the process of perception and realization.
Self-esteem: Features based on evaluation of one’s individual comprehension
Self-confidence: Based on conscious perception of one’s personal traits.
Literal meaning: “equating”. The process of identification includes the act of comparison, creating attractiveness and personal interests concerning lifestyles and mindsets. Identity describes traits of self-image. Lastly, its goal is to create bonding and sense of belonging. Identification can only survive and be experienced within society and processes of socialization.
Self-regulation: Personal development by being aware of one’s personality and desires.
Self-reference: Recognition of oneself.
Personal growth is about getting to know one’s background, traits and desires. Beyond that we want to encourage the formation process of individuality and identity since their main elements represent a neccasity concerning self-realization and self-fulfillment. With that in mind, each and every growth process performs in its unique and independent manner. In terms of personal development, there is no comparison. Although, we may apply a certain sequence in order to trigger an individual growth series. By seeking personal development, its key focus is to create self-awareness and self-acceptance, while entering self-transformative actions. At this point introspection appears to be not only useful but rather necessary, since it allows clear and profound statements regarding the growth process itself. Keeping track of one’s personal experiences and decisions by using observation techniques enables later analysis and thus a higher probability of positive treatment.
To combine this week’s topic to main points of last week’s essence, introspection requires the absence of distractions. In order to get into stages of introspection and to allow our insides to uncover its knowledge, that carries valuable information concerning ourselves referring to Carl Gustav Jung’s statement, we are in need of space. Therefore our primary focus is to get rid of as many distractions as possible and create vacuity. Start with items inside your apartment. You will detect these by sitting on your couch or a chair and by looking around the living area slowly but attentively. Next, try to send off all objects that carry no relevant meaning in terms of usage. How often do you really use these items? May I then refer to it as being a piece of decoration? Our goal is to release from distractions with the aim of achieving emptiness, or so-called potential space for expressions. As a last step, but no hurry because this part takes more time, we want to adjust our thinking to the emptiness of the room. This act is of great relevance since it allows our mind to proceed its “work” on a natural basis. Meaning there is room for personal wishes to arise, individual thoughts to establish and future ideas to create. This is the moment you create space for your inner voice to speak. This is the key to personal growth. Take the liberty of entering the process of introspection to realize self-fulfillment. The main purpose is to decorate the inside areas of our existence, meaning our mind and soul.
Let’s do it together within a year of CAACTUS Effects!