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Do you know yourself?
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The so-called “understanding” is to clearly know what you can do, what you are suitable for, and what you are good at, so as to better leverage your own advantages and build an effective development channel.
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The problem is that when many people plan their own development, they often don’t know exactly what they can do to find their place in the torrent of society.
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That is to say, they do not have a clear understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, resulting in them being placed in an unsuitable place and wasting too much time.
Understanding our capabilities and shortcomings not only enables us to develop better plans to achieve our goals, but also to deal with possible challenges, resulting in smoother development, rather than giving up when difficulties arise.
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By following these five steps, you’ll be able to increase your awareness of your strengths and weaknesses so you can make decisions that are appropriate for your own development.
When judging your own strengths and weaknesses, consider the specific situation
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A mistake many people make is to have an incorrect understanding of their character.
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For example, the two personality traits of introversion and extroversion are not good or bad, and only reflect advantages and disadvantages in specific situations.
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Take myself for example. I’m an introvert myself, and being an introvert is an advantage when writing articles. In this case, I don’t need to be extroverted and talkative. Otherwise, it will make it impossible for me to stay in one place quietly and concentrate on writing articles.
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However, my full-time job is in business development, and I often have to deal with people and talk about business. At this point, I need to be outgoing, approachable, and have the ability to communicate with people.
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In this case, introversion is a weakness. I had to put in the time, energy and perseverance to adjust myself to get what the job needed.
That said, strengths and weaknesses are largely situation-specific and depend on a mix of our values, goals, interests, and situational factors.
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Our goals may require you to apply different skills and knowledge to varying degrees. Whichever method you choose, you will need to make the following assessments:
- Identify which skills, knowledge and styles of doing things lead to desired results and outcomes.
- See what skills, knowledge and style you have.
- Evaluate the gap between the skills, knowledge, and style of doing things you have, and the requirements (eg, 10 may be perfect, 0 means no skills, knowledge, or ability to apply).
- For a score where you rate yourself above zero, ask yourself how easy or challenging it is to apply your skills, knowledge and understanding.
- Ask yourself: “What do I like the most?” and “What do I enjoy the most?”
Rather than purely categorizing your traits, skills, or attributes as strengths or weaknesses, a continuous assessment of yourself may be more accurate and helpful. After all, in some areas, you may be better at it, and in others, you may be rusty.
When doing something, you might also consider replacing the language of “strengths” and “weaknesses” with:
- Easiest to hardest
- Ineffective to efficient
- Totally unfamiliar
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This distinction, rather than the strong-weak dichotomy, will give you a more appropriate evaluation result.
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Of course, self-assessment alone is not an effective way to discover your strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes you have low self-confidence and it is easy to be biased against your own abilities.
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At this point, a second evaluation tool is required.
Find clues in trial and failure
As we get older, we should become more “self-aware.”
What do you mean?
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That is, we should think more about our interactions with the outside world. People who lack self-awareness, even when they encounter obstacles, do not know how to think about the connection between their performance and results.
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And a person with self-awareness will always think about which methods he should use and which behaviors have a good interaction with the outside world.
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So, when we have always experienced life in a one-way way, we should try to learn something different by failing.
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For example, when we experience failure in a relationship, we can learn to live with it and let it go. When you get fired by your boss, you should be aware of your inadequacies and what needs to be fixed. When your words fail to arouse the interest of others, you should be aware of the adjustment of your eloquence skills.
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Failure, sometimes, is indeed the foundation upon which long-term success is built.
Through reflection and exploration of failure, we become better able to identify future dangers and be able to incorporate these lessons into our systems of action so that we can see the benefits of past losses.
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If you lack self-awareness, it’s easy to fail to see these lessons in the process of failure. You don’t realize your abilities and performance until after the storm, so it may be a waste of time to look for corresponding learning courses.
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So when you encounter failure, you must know how to ask yourself:
- Why did things turn out this way? What caused the failure?
- What countermeasures can I take to change this bad outcome?
- What skills, knowledge and practical experience do I lack from the desired result?
- Where can I learn these skills, knowledge and practical experience?
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Always consciously ask yourself questions and dig out the areas of failure that may allow you to improve, so that you can know your own shortcomings and areas that need to be improved.
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The important thing to remember is that in failure, any moment of failure, if you pay enough attention, you may be able to identify the weaknesses in yourself that led to failure in the first place.
If you’re smart enough, you’ll start trying to learn how to minimize these problems and maximize your talents.
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In this case, you will naturally be able to clearly know your strengths and weaknesses.
Consult someone with experience and worthy of your trust
Now ask you, what kind of person do you think a friend around you is, can you easily answer it?
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But when you’re asked what kind of person you are, it’s often difficult for us to objectively and accurately name our strengths and weaknesses; sometimes we focus on our weaknesses more than we can dig out.
We ourselves, arguably, are the biggest and often the harshest critics, very obsessed with our own inadequacies.
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Of course, the Duck effect sometimes does the opposite – you may think you are better than you really are.
A foreign survey once pointed out that there are obvious differences between men and women. Compared with men, women underestimate their skills, convey a lower sense of self-efficacy, and strive for lower goals. For example, men who buy a house should be more qualified and capable than women.
But with men, they are influenced by the Duck effect and think they do what men do.
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Of course, in some things, women can certainly do what men do, but not in everything, women have this ability.
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Because of these (often unconscious) biases, it’s critical to get feedback on you from qualified people. After all, you don’t ask someone who has never run a business for advice on how to run a business, and you don’t ask a dentist to assess your heart health.
American education writer Barbara Sher suggests that a better way to identify your strengths is to “ask a friend and name three of your strengths.” For example:
- What kind of person do you think I am?
- What do you think I am more powerful and good at?
- From what things can I reflect the advantage of my ability?
- What shortcomings prevent me from making better use of this ability?
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This method of consulting a friend removes the tendency for personal biases to influence your own self-assessment.
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Of course, we must also remember that other people have their own biases, conscious and unconscious. They see the world through a different perspective than ours, so the likelihood of projection is high.
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Even our parents are no more likely to see flaws in us than those who are entitled.
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Believe that we have more or less the experience of being suspected by our parents, who think we will never succeed in anything, but if you stay objective, you will feel that our parents actually know nothing about us.
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So, by consulting different people, you need to collate feedback from different “qualified sources” and find common advice and insights. Never ask one person.
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Also, it’s best to avoid one person’s feedback on you, “polluting” another person’s feedback on you. If you want pure and independent insights into your strengths and weaknesses, you need to be independent of those opinions.
As long as you do this, not only will you get broader feedback, but this feedback will also be more comprehensive and accurate.
Test yourself appropriately
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Testing ourselves is something we rarely do.
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We do not consciously seek opportunities to test our skills, abilities, and character traits. However, doing so allows us to more purely discover and recognize our strengths and weaknesses.
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Various assessments are conducted to test you in several ways:
- Personality and Traits
- Breadth and depth of applicable knowledge
Consciously placing yourself in a situation to test your skills and knowledge will help you address your weaknesses.
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Not only do you think about what to do in a situation, but when you start to realize that you want to make some changes, your actions will bring you the most immediate rewards.
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For example, if you are not social and eloquent, then when you allow yourself to participate in certain activities and be in them, you will understand how you react and how you interact with your surroundings, so as to get a clear assessment of yourself.
While you can sit at home and think about your own coping styles, the downsides of this passive approach are:
- When you highlight and emphasize your weaknesses, you ignore the corresponding emotional and psychological discomfort.
- You subconsciously deny your ability to get the opportunities and experiences you really want.
- You will miss opportunities to recognize and use your strengths.
- You’ll waste more time and keep yourself stuck.
- Your mentality is not effectively adjusted and adjusted to adapt to unfavorable situations.
- The best test is to let yourself “be in it”.
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So, before taking the exercise self-test, you must face up to your expectations. Although you are eager to be validated and hope to boost your self-esteem, you may also feel challenged, disappointed, embarrassed or humiliated at the same time. It is important to approach the test with a healthy mindset.
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Also, choosing wisely when and how to test yourself is an important lesson. You don’t need to do everything at the same time, after all, too much feedback can be overwhelming mentally and emotionally.
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As the dynamics develop around your own strengths and weaknesses, you need to allow yourself time to accept and familiarize yourself with the information you just discovered.
Give yourself time to consider and adapt to possible changes, and then address them one by one.
Repeat different assessment processes and revisit
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At different times in your life, it is also important to review the previous assessment steps of yourself over and over again.
The better we are at assessing and testing our strengths and weaknesses, the more it can become a normal and healthy part of our lives.
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Repeating this assessment process has many benefits. Not only will you achieve your goals faster, but you will also improve your mental resilience.
By constantly reviewing your strengths and weaknesses, you will slowly discover that there are no real strengths and real weaknesses.
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You will be more aware that the various strengths and weaknesses in you can at some point merge into unique skills and turn into your dominant attributes, and at some point, the skills and knowledge in you are weaknesses, and you can avoid yourself in danger.
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By identifying your strengths and weaknesses through the above methods, you will know how to solve your own problems and find your own development direction.
So, if you’re not sure who you are, follow these five steps to start your self-assessment now!