The Challenge of Accurate Self-Evaluation
How often do you hear someone—whether he’s a doctor, waiter, plumber or accountant—say that he isn’t very good at his job?
A recent study asked therapists to evaluate their abilities as clinicians. About 80% of therapists surveyed, ranked themselves within the top 10% of therapists! Obviously, this phenomenon of flattering self-evaluation doesn’t just apply to therapists. It applies to people, in general, in their self-assessments of their roles as employees, bosses, spouses, friends and family members.
Next time you’re criticized by a co-worker or loved one, be mindful of your knee-jerk tendency to jump to your own defense. (This usually involves pointing the finger at another person or situation.) As contrary to human nature as it may seem, try to ask yourself a difficult question: Is there truth to this feedback? Even if the feedback was offered in a less than ideal manner, can I actually learn something useful about myself from this information?
People who are skilled at integrating both pleasant and unpleasant information about themselves tend to be more growth-oriented, less likely to “get stuck” in life.