#40 Reflection makes room for growth

empowerment Dec 19, 2019




Do you get to the end of the year and feel a hesitance to reflect? Like somewhere in your catalog of memories from the past 12 months you know you’ll find a theme of discontent? Like maybe something got “left on the table” and there’s a sense of disappointment or frustration with yourself?

Looking back is a typical and natural activity of the Holidays. And when there’s a bipolar disorder, chances are it re-arranged and re-directed something critical or important this year and you missed out to tend to symptoms instead.

But as you’ll see in this episode of The Bipolar Now Podcast, you don’t need a winning streak to embrace the New Year. You can develop a habit of reflection to get you anything you want, as long as you can learn to “reflect forward”. And that’s just what you’ll get as Mike shares today.


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  • “Dynamic reflection” is the activity of seeing the past in light of what must be done in the future.
  • The ability to reflect forward is something that cannot be done while experiencing mental illness. Before you plan anything in a “New Year’s Style”, first let yourself get well.
  • Reflecting consistently is the gateway to living consistently. Don’t wait for New Years to roll around if you want to take action and make powerful decisions and commitments.


Lifer Discussion Guide

Use the questions in today’s Lifer guide to help you look for ways that you’ve given up on your plans and self-beliefs lately. “Lifers” are special people who have the kind of faithfulness to you that assures you they’ll be there when called upon. If you haven’t nominated a Lifer as part of your non-medical support team, what are you waiting for? :-)

1) Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution? / What was your most memorable one?

2) Describe your enthusiasm for making big or long term plans.

3) Mike shared the three basic questions he asks when doing reflection—1) what went right, 2) what needs to continue and be defended, and 3) what was left on the table that will still light me up. / Can we talk these through right now and share with each other about this past year?


Join the Tribe!

Once you’ve had a chance to talk or journal about these things you might have a question from this episode. If so make sure you head on over to The Bipolar Now Podcast Group on Facebook! We’re all looking to get better at action planning through reflection, and we’d love for you to practice with us. So don’t miss out!


Other ways to enjoy this episode

Download a transcript