Reflection: An Important Executive Function Skill

“The practice itself is all about learning, looking back on the day (without bias or regret) to contemplate your behavior and its consequences. It requires sitting with yourself, taking an honest moment to think about what transpired, what worked, what didn’t, what can be done, and what can’t. Reflection requires courage. It’s thoughtful and deliberate. Being at the “top of your game” only comes when you extract from your past how to engage the future.”*

I read the passage and the words spoke to me. I practice mindfulness and reflect, but do I “extract from the past how to engage in the future?”

I stepped away from Instagram, gathered my journal, and carved time to reflect. I challenged myself to engage in a process of daily intentional reflection.

This is what I realized: 

  1. Throughout the past 14 years I’ve partnered with clients (mostly students) to help them explore their strengths, manage difficulties, gain awareness, and have fun in the process.
  2. I truly believe my clients are creative, resourceful, and fully capable of deciding what’s best for them. I’m here to offer support, share strategies, and celebrate them along the way! Together as partners we build a foundation that makes gaining skills and embracing strengths possible.
  3. For the past four years I’ve been noticing a shift in my practice. Externally, the individuals seeking my services are now college and grad school students and working adults. Internally, I am enjoying the shift in energy they’ve brought to my practice.
  4. The intersection between adults, work, and neurodiversity is complex in many different levels. The challenges of life don’t stop once a career goal is achieved, or a business is established. Sometimes these milestones and adulthood trigger new challenges.

In this newsletter space I’ve often shared the importance of silence, of quieting the mind and the body to listen to what’s next? What’s possible? The above cited study states:

“Head, heart, and hands. These parts of you are constantly in motion, and if you don’t give them time to rest, they will surely fatigue. Like a muscle, your mind needs reflection to reenergize and grow stronger.”

The opportunity to reflect allowed me to “extract from the past how to engage in the future.” I am now officially working with adults. As a certified ADHD/Executive Function (EF) life coach, I have partnered with adults who aspire to continue learning and growing. In our collaboration they realize their potential and find a way forward with practical tools, mindful support, and techniques tailored to their individual needs and wants. 

Adult ADHD/EF coaching unlocks a world of benefits that extend beyond achieving goals. Just like some of the world’s most successful athletes, entrepreneurs and politicians, having a coach can keep you focused when gaining self-awareness and overcoming difficulties. My clients focus on creating silence and establishing a habit of nonjudgmental self-reflection to help them gain greater self-awareness. With questions like: “What thoughts keep showing up in my mind? What are my options? What’s the opportunity here? How do I want to show up in this situation?” my clients are learning how to metacognate. This is being aware and taking control of their thinking process while allowing themselves to make changes and ultimately learn. 

I’m challenging you to journal or find a quiet corner to reflect. To notice what’s swirling on your mind and to use it as feedback to your "what’s next".

With gratitude,

Ana Isabel Sánchez  

Bailey, J. R., & Rehman, S. (2022, March 21). Don't underestimate the power of self-reflection. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from