You have the capacity for self-evaluation.
Every human being comes with a self-correcting mechanism – if we will but use it. We have the capacity to take inventory of our life.
All intentional change starts here. And there is no intentional change without it.
When you use such statements as:
- “I’m going to start…,” or
- “I’m going to quit…,” or
- “I need to begin to…,
you imply an evaluation has taken place.
As I tell my clients (I don’t mean this literally, of course,) each of us is born with an evaluation gene.
But there’s a problem with that, isn’t there. It seems we often use that gene to evaluate others, not ourselves. And many do it as a way of life.
Ever met anyone who is a master at telling you what you should do, but never seem to turn that same searchlight on him or herself.
I actually had a client long ago – an adult woman, mind you – whose mother told her, “I feel it’s my job to tell you what’s wrong with you.”
I’m going to bypass talking about the obvious irony in that. Let me simply say that, by-and-large, the evaluation gene is there for us to use in our own life. It is a critical part of our self-correcting mechanism.
And it’s important to note… we are going to use our evaluation gene. I’ve never known a person so utterly phlegmatic – except perhaps the Dude (if you’re a Big Lebowski fan) – that they evaluate neither themselves nor others.
There are two problems when it comes to self-evaluation… history and ego.
Historically, most of us carry a scar or two from our developmental years. It’s likely that an authority figure in your early years put a searing burn on your psyche while exposing some flaw or mistake. (And some, unfortunately, experienced so much of this their psyche looks like it belongs in a burn unit.)
A reaction to this can cause us to avoid any further examination – even self-examination.
The second problem is ego. The ego is the internal enemy of personal development. It is to genuine growth what a skateboard is to fish. Useless.
When I was in my late 20s a woman approached me at a gathering and asked to speak to me privately. We took seats on the periphery of the crowd, where the following took place:
“I have said some things about you that I feel bad about. I want you to know I’m sorry.”
I was stunned… and amazed. This woman had the reputation of being a bit of a bull in a china shop and a gossip to boot.
I was blown away by her apology. I was just about to tell her how moved I was by her apology when her ego stepped center stage and delivered the following mic drop:
“But I feel like you have wronged me too… so I guess I don’t really feel too bad about it.” With that, she got up and walked away.
Huh? I was gob smacked. To this day I have no idea what in the world she was referring to or what I had supposedly done to her. Not a clue.
We each have to make sure that scars from history and our ego aren’t given the power of keeping us away from something as important as self-analysis.
Each of us has the capacity for self-evaluation… and we are wise to use it.
This capacity is one of the things that makes you great. And it is the starting point for all positive change.