Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An Honest Self-Assessment – Being Proactive Versus Reactive

Having feedback on how you are seen by others will provide you some great information, but only to a point. It is important to then take stock on your own experience to really catapult those insights to the next level. As a continuation of the previous entry on collecting 360 feedback from people in your life, consider who you are, what you want, and how satisfied you are with how you are experiencing your life.
1. Start with the Wheel of Life assessment and print it out for your own reference. Follow it up with the questions from the Results section. That could be enough to get you started.

2. Then sit down and write out at least 10 responses to complete each of these sentences. They are simply rough cuts. Don’t censor yourself – just put it all down and you can refine later. Refer to the Wheel categories to help you to think about all areas of your life.
Part A. One of my strengths is that…
Part B. Things don’t work well when…
3. Once done, take a break and allow yourself to digest what you’ve done so far. Take a walk, or even sleep on it. Celebrate that even getting this far will spark some new thoughts. It is a major achievement for you to be honest with yourself and to take a direct look at what’s going on with you.

4. Return to your Wheel and lists. Review what you have created; toss out those statements that don’t seem to fit or make sense, revise where appropriate, and add anything new that comes to mind.

5. Review your strengths from Part A regularly, especially when you are feeling stuck or discouraged. Add to your list as you realize additional ones. Ideally, your list will grow and grow over time as you become more conscious of what you bring to the table of life.

6. Look again at the list from Part B. Rewrite your most limiting problems as goals (HERE is a post that can help). It is possible to transform these problems into possible solutions. For example, the statement, “I tend to overdraw my checking account every month” could become a goal of, “I will monitor my account balances daily and decrease my spending so that I do not overdraw my checking account.”

7. Finally, do what you say you’re going to do. Take action and celebrate the results. Return to this exercise regularly so you can keep things in check.
Take stock and regain your power. By being honest with yourself and acknowledging both your strengths and areas you'd like to transform, you are placing yourself in the position to make some choices that will best serve you. In life, being proactive and not just reactive opens up so many possibilities.

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