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Scott H Young
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Over 850 articles devoted to one idea: how to get more from life. Whether that involves doubling your reading rate, learning more with less studying, beating procrastination or just understanding other people— and yourself.
Few skills are more important to self-improvement than being able to take a step back and honestly evaluate yourself. Self-reflection allows you to expose problems early, before they become too painful to ignore. Unfortunately, honest self-evaluation is one of the hardest skills to master. People tend to be self-serving in their thoughts. For most people, self-reflection involves looking into a carnival mirror, with all the information warped and distorted until it barely resembles reality. One of the reasons I’m cautious to recommend faith, optimism or confidence as a solution to problems is because it distorts honest self-evaluation. The benefits are outweighed by the extra distortions you face when looking in the mirror. The Power of Truthful Reflection Honest self-evaluation is a skill I must consistently use when running this website. Feedback that comes to me is warped, I only receive comments from a tiny fraction of the readers of this website. Often what works in the short-term to generate attention, sacrifices value in the long-term. If I distort my self-evaluation towards confidence, I will become ineffective. When I ignore flaws in the value I deliver, I can’t fix those mistakes. If I distort my reflection towards pessimism, I may not take the bold actions to market myself and my ideas that could deliver more value. Only truthful reflection can give me the best results. Truthful reflection also impacts my health, finances and relationships. Any distortions, however minor, corrupt my thinking and my ability to make changes. If I believe I’m in better physical shape than I am, I
You need to make sure you are removed from the situation enough so that prior emotions won’t overwhelm your impressions. but its easier to filter through them consciously when they have been written on paper. Gaining Emotional Distance Uncensored writing removes the distortions to honest feedback that occur after you have an impression. I don’t really have a need for that. But it still doesn’t remove the distortions that occur before an impression. http://www. you can break off that layer of distortion. Honesty doesn’t mean pessimism. you’ve just added one distortion to another.com/blog/2009/03/12/honest-self-evaluation/ 3/16/2011 . But having a space where I can write uncensored.scotthyoung. Whenever I try to learn a new skill. mild over-confidence swings to extreme under-confidence. The impact honesty has on your self-improvement outweighs the impact of false confidence by a factor of ten. but I do so right after I receive a negative comment from a reader. If you’re still under the illusion that false confidence and blind optimism are the correct path. ruthless honesty is my entire goal in self-evaluation. I simply can’t afford to distort the reflection. my entire evaluation will be colored. Removing the pre-impression distortions from your self-evaluations is more difficult than the post-impression distortions.Honest Self-Evaluation « Scott H Young Page 2 of 10 may be cutting myself from being more fit and energetic. Few people are willing to spend the effort needed to strip away all the distortions and arrive at the truth. allows honest reflections I hadn’t considered to properly surface. My goal isn’t to write down my thoughts and feelings about current events. a lot of the ideas are still garbage. This sounds easy. If you’re trying to evaluate whether your current product is delivering the value you hope. By forcing yourself to write down an idea without evaluating it. Achieving an Honest Perspective The best way to achieve a greater level of honesty in your self-evaluations is to demand it. If I feel my finances are too low. Often we censor immediate ideas because they don’t fit our constraints of what a solution must look like. I keep a journal for exactly this purpose. Honesty is a mental step that involves evaluating things before you have time to alter that evaluation. you remove those constraints and get better ideas. that’s going to corrupt your perception. Pessimism isn’t a tool for self-evaluation because it is easy to distort too far. but it’s hard to practice. If I use the uncensored writing approach to evaluate a business strategy. which doesn’t fit your self-image. especially when it is negative. Of course. Honesty. Your mood has a profound effect on channeling your ideas in a particular direction. Some. so you distort that gut reaction to fit the self-image. immediately write down your first intuition. is uncomfortable. I may waste time scrambling for money when I should be focusing on other goals. distortions occur after you’ve spent some time thinking about an issue. If you recently went to the gym and felt out of shape. If you respond to over-confidence by giving up hope. If you get in the habit of writing things without censorship. although not all. no matter the result. you scrap any hope of an honest evaluation. Brainstorming functions on the same principle. Writing Uncensored A good exercise to get more a more honest reaction to a given situation is to write whatever immediately comes to mind. You have a gut reaction. You need to gain a level of emotional distance.
Glen 2. honest thinking allows you to spend less time on dead ends and more energy towards the right path. I strive to do this as much as possible. frankly I don’t think it really coincides with the way humans communicate. What creates eventual success.scotthyoung. even though it’s so…honest Great post Scott! Cheers. Honesty is the Best Weapon All progress is filled with wrong paths. Taking a week off just to be in complete silence.Honest Self-Evaluation « Scott H Young Page 3 of 10 A great tool for gaining emotional distance is to take one day off per week and to do a weekly review. by affiliate arrangements (usually Amazon). << Previous Post Next Post >> This website is supported. isn’t avoiding those failures. because completely removing myself from my goals for one day allows me more honest self-evaluations. Glen Allsopp says: March 12. 2009 at 2:11 pm Glen. in part. mistakes and failures. If you’re trying to make even larger decisions that can impact your life for years. In the few times I’ve been able to do this. broken from your routines. Reading more into linguistics and psychology. 2009 at 11:41 am I’ve been researching the subject of ‘radical honesty’ recently which looks at being completely honest at all times. Affiliate relationships are always marked by bolded links. Scott Young says: March 12. can give you a higher level of clarity. Radical honesty is an interesting concept. http://www. 9 Responses to “Honest Self-Evaluation” 1. Always saying what is on your mind and never lying to people. but still a neat idea. you realize that much (if not most) of communication isn’t to deliver information. it’s your ability to recover from them. but other social goals. -Scott .com/blog/2009/03/12/honest-self-evaluation/ 3/16/2011 . It’s actually quite daunting. Clear. I think the importance of emotional distance is even greater. I’ve found it to be enormously helpful in getting back to honesty.
s’times i feel its important to hear it form someone else . Evaluation focuses on actions: how can I improve this. Anca says: March 19. 2009 at 9:07 am I would say that the closer you are to honest release of that which is in on your mind. it doesn’t go anywhere but down. there is a definite barrier that has to be crossed when looking to be honest in self-evaluation or expression. A certain amount of avoidance for unsolvable problems is necessary to focus on the problems that can be solved. adjust my strategy or tactics? Criticism focuses on problems. 2009 at 11:12 am Laurie. about the weekly review point. 2009 at 3:08 am Hey Scott well yeah its important for everyone to do self-evaluation . Also.Honest Self-Evaluation « Scott H Young Page 4 of 10 3. Laurie | Express Yourself to Success says: March 13. when it’s just self-criticism (and this does happen). it reminds me of David Allen’s concept of taking time out once a week to check up on occurrences and completions. the closer you are to optimal success rates. 4.com/blog/2009/03/12/honest-self-evaluation/ 3/16/2011 . Scott Young says: March 13. Get moving and motivation and inspiration will follow. 7. act anyway. but that person got to be fair and honest !! -Nouf 6.scotthyoung. At the same time. When evaluation is directed to the goal of self-improvement it’s effective. change this. 2009 at 1:29 am Here is an advice I read these day and I totally agree with “If you feel unmotivated and uninspired. Success tends to come when the general public wants you to succeed due to your openness and truthfulness about your abilities. although it was mixed in with so many of his strong points that it was hard to remember many. -Scott 5. because it requires comfort with certain information being released.” This is so true http://www. Armen Shirvanian says: March 17. AD_Queen says: March 14. 2009 at 7:21 am I agree with you that self-evaluation and reflection are really important. The difference between self-evaluation and negative self-criticism is the focus. however. which may or may not be solvable.
the closer you are to optimal success rates. That means I enjoy constructive criticism and polite suggestions. there is a definite barrier that has to be crossed when looking to be honest in self-evaluation or expression. Debate is fine.com http://www.scotthyoung. Leave a Reply Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website Submit Comment Popular Posts by Categories Free EBooks • How to Get More From Life • Holistic Learning • Best of ScottHYoung.Corporate Training. although it was mixed in with so many of his strong points that it was hard to remember many.. Personal attacks. it reminds me of David Allen’s concept of taking time out once a week to check up on occurrences and completions.] 9. 2010 at 11:06 pm I would say that the closer you are to honest release of that which is in on your mind. It [. How to Write a Professional Development Plan | Dale Carnegie Blog .] know what you are doing and what you want to do. because it requires comfort with certain information being released.. Focus not on goals or weaknesses. about the weekly review point.. Pretend that this comment form is a discussion taking place in my house.Honest Self-Evaluation « Scott H Young 8. Success tends to come when the general public wants you to succeed due to your openness and truthfulness about your abilities. Also. 2010 at 1:43 pm Page 5 of 10 [.. Leadership Training. but rather on strengths. insults and all-purpose nastiness will be removed especially if it is directed at other readers. flaming is not. At the same time.com/blog/2009/03/12/honest-self-evaluation/ 3/16/2011 . hermes handbags says: July 7. and Sales Training from Dale Carnegie Training® says: March 17.The first step you will want to take is to take a self evaluation. Think about what you are good at.
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