Here comes the third step; the most valuable and difficult one: self-evaluation. Pull out your self-examination list and grab some Band-Aids because you are about to be cut up! That’s if you are honest with yourself. Separate your list into three categories: interests, strengths and areas of required growth.
Let’s look at the first category: interests. Think of all of the things that interests you; things that you may do for amusement, good or bad. For example: church, social clubs, dining out, partying, drinking, etc. We’ll evaluate them later. This category requires two subcategories: keep it and trash it. If we are honest with ourselves, we do have some interests that lead to self-destructive behavior; be it over-eating, over-drinking or any other abusive habits. Obviously, we need to trash those items without a doubt.
The next category is strengths; again, honesty is required here. We all would love to believe that we are good at anything and everything that we do, but we shouldn’t fool ourselves. It just isn’t so! I have encountered so many people who are delusional in this regard. Again, honesty is your best tool here. At what are you good? What skills do you possess? What things have provided you some measure of success? This list can encompass tangible skills- things you can create or do with your hands or soft-skills, those non-tangible people skills, for example: communication, customer service, listening, etc.
Finally, the third self-evaluation category: areas of growth; these areas are usually related to personality issues, psychological or physical deficiencies. Often times as adults, we are still dealing with issues and pain from childhood. We need to address those issues within ourselves. And some cases with the aid of counselors and/or religious leaders. We need to release our childhood baggage that is holding us back from accomplishing our dreams and goals. One, a thirty year old, should not have the same mentality that one did as a twenty year old.
Additionally, as we conduct this evaluation in light of our economic environment, we should also consider tangible and non-tangible skills related to employment. For example: lack of computer skills or skills that would foster on-the-job growth. More meditation and prayer just might be needed again at this point in the process.
Authored by Natasha Hughes Smith