Self-assessment, one of the most important tools for growth ever! Do this any time, alone or with a colleague, but before going to sleep at night take time to at least go over the day. Was the day as productive as it could have been? Were tense situations handled the best way possible? Honesty here is so important, who else will be honest with you if you can’t?

When first beginning with self-assessment though, think back on your life as far back as possible; on turning points, on reoccurring events you find tapping on your shoulder once again. Why is this happening yet again? Maybe even for the 3rd or 4th time no less. We say it is because everything is cyclical, but handling events the same way each time, results in the same outcome. There is just no way around it. Break the cycle, change the result!

Honest self-assessment can really help. Key word, honest, be brutally honest. Maybe someone else was blamed instead of accepting responsibility for your own bad choice. Instead of assigning blame, look at the problem, really look at it. Ask yourself what choices you made and why. Go all the way back to the first time you can remember experiencing a similar event and look at all the surrounding circumstances. Who taught you this was the right way, you or someone else you looked up to, and see the truth of it. Regardless of who said what or did what, you made the choice of action, reaction, or non-action.

If you made a mistake, admit it and feel regret. Think about what other possibilities might end in a better more positive outcome. If this same instance repeats itself, you will be prepared to try a different tact and not be stuck in the old way of acting and repeat the mistake. You learned and grew instead. And, if you really learned, it very likely may never reoccur. If it does, you are ready.

For those of you in sports or the corporate world you may recognize this as something similar to best practices. However, this goes deeper and if you made a stupid mistake, admit it, feel regret, and then move on. Self-assessment isn’t about beating yourself up forever. It is about learning from your mistakes and your successes.

Look at your successes the same way you look at your mistakes. Learn from them and see if they can be carried over to some other part of your life.

It’s never too late to change and improve the way we live in the world. You know you made the right or wrong choice by the outcome; trust the outcome to be your guide.

Failure and destruction come to most of us easily, but opportunities, real opportunities are rare. Keep your awareness sharp, pay attention, recognize, and seize those wonderful opportunities when they knock on your door.

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