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Do You Accurately Self-Assess?

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  • Do you sometimes feel that you’re in out of your depth and find yourself in stressful situations?
  • Do you feel frustrated and start to blame others?
  • Do you sometimes have to make up stories to cover your weaknesses or errors?

If so, this article will help you understand why that is – and, more importantly, how you can start to feel better about yourself.

In my previous article, we looked at emotional self-awareness as one of the keys to developing emotional intelligence.

Becoming more aware of your emotions, of how you manage these emotions, and of how you respond in various situations is one of the ‘gateways’ that leads to more positive outcomes.

Greater awareness also leads to more accurate self-assessment


This inner awareness of your own strengths and limitations can help you exert more control and work towards more of the positive situations in your life and fewer of the negative ones.

What are the signs of accurate self-assessment?


Emotionally intelligent people have the confidence of knowing precisely what they’re capable of. They fully understand their strengths and weak points.

This does not mean that they always stay in their comfort zone and fear outside influence or change; they are comfortable with new opportunities but they won’t bite off more than they can chew.

They will actively place themselves in situations where they can bring benefit for themselves and others.

They are also keen to learn from their experiences. They invite honest feedback and perspectives from others so that they can develop their weaknesses and work on improving their all-round talents and abilities.

They believe in consistent self-development.


How do you recognise such people in day-today life?


Following are some characteristics to look out for:

    •    Frequently take courses and look for opportunities to learn?
    •    Embrace opportunities to grow their knowledge?
    •    Often read about self-development?
    •    Request help from those they can learn from – mentors, leaders, managers, colleagues?
    •    Seek out opportunities to collaborate and exchange views?
    •    Realistic about their goals and modest about their achievements?
    •    Take responsibility for mistakes?
    •    Can laugh at themselves when they mess up?
    •    Keep things in perspective and do not get stressed in difficult situations?

If you are not very proficient at self-assessment, you are likely to exhibit some of the following characteristics:

    •    Go to great lengths to prove that you’re right?
    •    Take ‘failure’ or mistakes seriously?
    •    Rarely ask for assistance from others ?
    •    Prefer competition to collaboration?
    •    May be seen as ‘egotistical’ or a ‘show off’?
    •    Set overly optimistic personal goals and expect too much from others ?
    •    Micromanage others?
    •    Blame others when things go wrong?
    •    Take criticism badly and avoid getting feedback?


How to assess yourself more accurately


If you aspire to achieving more of the positive qualities that come with the ability to accurately self-assess, here are a few ideas to try:

    •    Meditate – give yourself time to learn mindfulness techniques that will help you step back from the clutter and pace of modern life and start to gain more clarity on who you are.?
    •    Self-reflect more – start to consider your life and your own personal qualities more; think about what you’re good at and what can be improved. Revisit situations where you have become upset, frustrated, or stressed and try to learn why they happened.?
    •    Make lists – write down all your skills and talents; then, separately note down what you would like to improve.?
    •    Take a breath –when you feel negative emotions take over, learn to take a breath before repeating negative patterns of behaviour. ?
    •    Take psychometric tests – tests like Myers-Briggs and Predictive Index may provide valuable insight and help you consider your personal qualities in more detail.?
    •    Seek out honest feedback – compare how you see yourself with how trusted friends see you. Sit down with them and compare notes; you can then start assessing if your own view of yourself is similar to how other see you. This may be quite challenging but it will benefit you in the long run.?

It is all connected!

Aa accurate self-assessment does not stand alone: it is closely connected with the other aspects of emotional intelligence that will be discussed in this series.

Ushma Dhanak

Ushma Dhanak

Social & Emotional Intelligence Coach & Trainer


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