• A Self-Knowledge Reality Check

    by  • February 8, 2012 • Organising Your Life

    Occasional self-knowledge reality checks are every bit as important as health checks. This set of self-help exercises will guide you though the process.

    1. Identify your current level of self-knowledge

    The Personality Test at http://www.learnmyself.com will give you a clear picture of what you think about yourself. You will do the test in about six minutes. And get an email report in seconds. Your answer will show just how much you know about yourself.


    a. Note the areas you scored highest in the test since these are probably your areas of greatest certainty.

    b. Reflect on the range and depth of your self-knowledge and how it extends into each area of your life.

     2. Highlight areas of self-knowledge you need to focus on

    You need to focus on the most important areas in your life. Since these change from time to time you need to adjust your list of them accordingly. Then you need to work at bringing your self-knowledge of these areas up to speed.


    a. Reflect on the key areas in your life at present.

    b. Select seven of these to think more clearly about.

    For example, the seven I choose are: 1. Strengths; 2. Weaknesses that inhibit my use of strengths; 3. Relationships; 4. Health; 5. Personal Development; 6. Happiness; 7. Work/Life Balance.

    3. How accurate is your self-knowledge?

    We distort our self-knowledge. We do so to show ourselves in the best possible light. Which leads us to think more highly of ourselves than other people do. We all distort how we think about ourselves in this way. And since our need for the good opinion of others makes us wary of criticism we edit out comments that could give us a more balanced view.

    Even very successful business people fall into this trap claims Marshal Goldsmith in his book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. They make  the great mistake of attributing their success solely to their own ability. Which in many cases leads to their downfall and the failure of their enterprise.

    We need to become more aware of how well we think of ourselves. Our first step should be to accept how we distort our abilities. Then we should question our judgement and sense of certainty. We should also check the accuracy of our information. And we should consult people whose judgement we can rely on.


    a. Learn to accept the short-comings of our self-knowledge.

    b. Always seek other people’s opinions.

    c. Find new and more effective ways of doing this.

    4. Get other people’s views

    Well formed self-knowledge reflects how other people see us. So it makes sense to consult people we work with and close to. As does checking things out with bosses, spouses, and major clients. It also helps to consider how organisations we are members of view these issues.


    a. Reflect on how well you consult each of the above three sources at present.

    b. Identify better ways of doing so in the future.



    References and URLS

    Burkeman, O. (2011) HELP! How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done

    Goldsmith, M. (2008) What Got You Here Won’t Get You There





    We can use positive psychology to improve how we live our lives. So I love to share my understanding of it with others. To help them grow and flourish as I have. The posts on this blog set out to do just that. You need a lot of skill to make a relationship a happy one. So I write about relationship skills. Skills you can learn how to use in your own relationship. To keep it in good shape. To solve problems that may arise in it. And to improve the quality of your relationship. To make both of you happy.