ERI: Accurate Self-Assessment

Accurate self-assessment is having an honest and unbiased perception of your own strengths and weaknesses.   This means being able to step back and evaluate who you are and what you’ve done.

This can be difficult, as our perceptions of ourselves are often colored by our experiences. For example, a student who constantly receives negative feedback about math performance may grow up into an adult who thinks that math is difficult.

It’s important to be aware of factors that affect how we view ourselves and our emotions. Common factors include:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Family of origin
  • Religion/spirituality
  • Ethnicity
  • Personality type
  • Education
  • Life Experience

Why Accurate Self-Assessment Matters

Our ability to relate with others in healthy ways is dependent upon having an accurate perspective of who we are and what we do. An inaccurate self-assessment can bias your opinion of yourself and lead you in ways that become what are called “self-fulfilling prophecies,” i.e., you think they’ll come true so you act in ways that make them come true.

Understanding yourself is a significant factor in being able to understand others. By knowing who you are, you increase the likelihood that you can empathically connect with someone else – particularly when you recognize a little of yourself in the other person.

Improving the Accuracy of Your Self-Assessment

You might consider taking any of a number of personality profile assessments, like the MBTI or DISC. These tools allow you to identify patterns in your behavior that you might previously overlooked. If you do go down this path, remember that these assessments aren’t your destiny. They can help you understand yourself better, but they don’t define you.

To help yourself better assess yourself, answer the questions in the following table. Then ask someone you trust to give you feedback on your answers. Don’t get defensive; just listen to the other person’s perspective. Other people often see things in us that we don’t see. So the only way to verify the accuracy of your self-assessment is to ask someone you can trust to tell you how accurate it really is.

What are your strengths?What are your weaknesses?What are your growth areas?

Gary J. Oliver, ThM, PhD
Executive Director at Center for Healthy Relationships | + posts

Dr. Oliver is the Executive Director of The Center for Healthy Relationships, and professor of Psychology and Practical Theology at John Brown University.  He has authored over 20 books and more than 350 professional and popular articles.  Dr. Oliver has over 40 years’ experience as a Clinical Psychologist, Marriage  & Family Therapist and Spiritual Director.  He leads seminars & workshops both nationally and internationally on a variety of counseling-related issues, healthy relationships as well as Emotional & Relational Intelligence (ERI).

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