How to assess yourself honestly

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critical-thinking-3Have you ever had that niggling feeling at the back of your mind, telling you that you are not being truthful with yourself?

Maybe you are deceiving yourself into believing your career or relationship is great, when it is not. Or maybe you beat yourself up over your finances, when you are actually doing a great job.

Either way, being honest with yourself is a great opportunity to build life skills, rise above challenges, gain self-acceptance and improve authenticity.

Get into the right mindset

Be open to doing a self-assessment, which could be a useful problem-solving tool. You should approach it without shame or blame. You do not  have to be brutally honest with yourself.

Instead, be gentle and kind while still being honest.Think of yourself as a friend providing advice to yourself. This will keep you from being too rough on yourself.

Identify an area for self-evaluation

You do not  need to evaluate every aspect of your life in order to start being honest with yourself.

Think about things that cause you discomfort and can be changed, choices for focus include goals, career, money, family, spirituality and love.

You could also examine how you spend your time. For example, who do you spend your time with? What is the quality of the time you spend with others?

You could look at choices you make for yourself. For example, what are your goals, your exercise, eating, drinking, or work habits?

You could also look at your performance in a role you fulfil, such as a worker, a parent, a child, a partner, etc. Evaluate your goals and progress towards them.

Be courageous

A good place to start is with issues you do feel comfortable approaching, then working your way up to the issues that make you feel uncomfortable.

As you gain confidence in your ability to be honest with yourself, continue to challenge yourself by approaching topics you feel less comfortable addressing.

Be careful not to pick and choose what you assess based only on how comfortable you feel about the topic. If you avoid things that make you uncomfortable, you may be avoiding the most important issues of all.

Set some time aside for yourself

Get up earlier or later than your family, or find a quiet space where you can sit and think. Some people think better while doing some other simple task (such as laundry) or while walking. Find out what works for you.

Write things down 

Putting something in words helps you to be specific. You can write in whatever way you feel comfortable, be it lists, notes, cartoons, drawings, or maps. If you are not a writer, consider talking into a tape recorder or recording your thoughts some other way.

Instead of vague, broad assessments, come up with specific strengths and areas for improvement. This will help you when the time comes to take action.

Be gentle on yourself and maintain perspective

Through all of this remember to separate your behaviours from who you are as a person. You are not your actions and your actions do not define your self worth.

As you focus on areas of improvement, it can seem like all you are ever doing is “improving” yourself. So make sure to focus on areas where you do not need improvement.

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ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow (YALI) who studied at Clark Atlanta University on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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