A few ways I use to be ruthlessly honest with myself:
1/ Vipassana Meditation
Every morning I sit in my room, and spend an hour paying attention to the breath and then scanning the body for sensations.
First I narrow the focus of the mind, then I become aware of the subtlest sensations, and how they signal my emotions.
Vipassana is the ultimate simulation of everyday life, inside your body. You learn to sit with discomfort and to look at yourself without judgement.
2/ 30 days challenges
This mini essay is part of a 30 day writing challenge with my brother. It forces me to reflect on my thoughts daily and it keeps me accountable for it. Instead of letting learning experiences go by, I write them down.
30 day challenges create a temporary window of opportunity to objectively look at your habits.
3/ Permission slips
Anytime I’m struggling with looking at myself and what I do objectively, I write down a permission slip.
Until X date or for Y number of days, I’m allowed to act a certain way as long as it’s written down and I’m aware of it. After the permission slip expires, I have to change that behavior.
It gives me space to set boundaries and test assumptions.
4/ Decision making journal
Learned this from Shane Parrish, it gives me the chance of looking at every decision as a lab experiment and learning experience.
It removes the heat and pressure from the thought process.
All of these are different ways of changing perspective and stepping out of your busy monkey mind.