It never fails that as we come down from an exciting event we begin to look back at our actions, words and results. Sometimes the event is positive and the reflection seems less necessary. It is when the event is negative that we begin to look back and begin to realize how hindsight is 20/20.
Reflection, in short, SUCKS! We almost always realize we could have done something different. We feel regret some of the words we said or the actions we took. We begin to get defensive and rationalize our behavior, which only enables it further.
It is easy to blame someone else for our actions because we all have our triggers.
Once we have been set off by those triggers, it is without thought that we blame the trigger for the actions we took or the words we used. After all, emotions can come on so fast we don't feel as though we have enough time to stop and think, only react. It is that reaction that we have trouble with because we feel guilty about it. That feeling is what will encourage us to avoid it. And then we do it over and over again.
It takes a lot of courage to accept the mistakes that we make. We don't want to be the responsible party because that means we are the ones to change. Unless we want to change we don't want to hear about how we need to change.
That is what makes feedback so difficult to hear. And reflection is looking for feedback about ourselves from ourselves.
Reflection should not be able blaming and rationalizing but it is far easier to do that.
What is difficult is realizing the power we had to make a different decision. See, feeling guilty, honestly and truly guilty, it usually means we could have made a different decision but didn't allow ourselves to. This doesn't make any one of us bad; it means we all have opportunity to grow. It is all in how you look at it.
Don't use reflection to continue to feel bad about things. Don't use reflection to look into the "why" of a problem or event but rather use reflection to learn "how" to do better next time. Give yourself that opportunity to learn and grow from yourself. Allow yourself to learn from your mistakes. Be okay with making mistakes. Use reflection to make you better; not bitter.
You can do it!