3 Action Steps for an Honest Self-Assessment

UPDATED: January 3, 2024
PUBLISHED: September 24, 2022
3 Action Steps for an Honest Self-Assessment

Do you believe in yourself? In your abilities? Whether you do or don’t, now is a good time for a self-assessment. As a matter of fact, it’s always a good time.

Self-assessment is an ongoing process that requires being connected to your inner voice. These days, many people appear so plugged into the world through their devices and social media that they’re not connected to themselves, and that is no way to help make better decisions. Self-assessment means being your own counselor, developing your own views and cultivating the ability to look closely at where you are so you can think through your problems.

Use the following action steps to effectively assess yourself:

1. Develop confidence.

You must develop confidence to take actions that will advance you and your business or career. But building confidence is not as simple as it sounds. The most successful people are those who can manage the contradictions of life, who are aware of—but not constrained by—their limitations. Insecurity disables us from conquering our inner demons and making something of our lives. Arrogance makes us come off as know-it-alls, which erodes our level of influence and eventually causes people to stop listening to us. Confidence is a constant work in progress to maintain the balancing act between pride and uncertainty.

2. Talk it out.

You need to surround yourself with trusted friends and mentors who will be honest with you about your performance and what areas need improvement. Listen to them. Listen to yourself.

This ability to simultaneously doubt and trust yourself is at the core of effective self-assessment. For example, many people find themselves repeatedly crashing into the same brick wall, never changing course. If I find myself blocked at every turn—whether because of people above me or perhaps by some competitive situation—I step back and regroup. When we encounter multiple failures, our nature is to blame circumstances, other people, the equity of the universe. But we also have to step back and ask, Could it be me?

This is where the ability to have an internal discussion with yourself comes in, where you can disengage and take an objective look at the situation. That perspective is critical to determining whether your actions are helping or hurting you and your organization.

3. Make your move.

You can carefully plot your own success and evaluate your effectiveness as you go along, but at the end of the day, you have to get out there and play in traffic. You are never going to be totally trained or prepared; there is no schedule of required classes. You have to meet people, develop relationships and swap best practices. You have to make things happen. Trust your healthy self-confidence and inner gyroscope to keep you on the right course.

This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine and has been updated. Photo by JacobLund/Shutterstock

John Addison is the Leadership Editor for SUCCESS and the author of Real Leadership: 9 Simple Practices for Leading and Living with Purpose,aWall Street Journal and USA Todaybest-seller. Renowned for his insight and wisdom on leadership, personal development and success, John is a sought-after speaker and motivator. Read more on his blog, and follow John on Facebook and Twitter.