“Self-evaluation is humanity’s most basic and important learning tool”
~~ Ken Pierce
illiam Glasser passed this week in Los Angeles. He will be missed. But his legacy lives on in his work and those who use his methods. He was considered by many one of the last “Fathers of Modern Psychology.” He was certainly one of the ‘wise guys’ in psychology. One of the most important principles of his successful approach to working with others was his use of self evaluation.
I think Bill considered
“The perspective of others is colored by their own value system!”self evaluation as one of our most important learning tools. He use to say so in many different ways. One I remember was, “The most important opinion in life is the one you have of yourself.” Another was, “Self evaluation is nature’s primary learning tool for our survival.” And still another was, “Our opinion of ourselves is primary.”
Dr. John Demartini, in my opinion another Father of Modern Psychology, also recognizes this principle but says it this way (with tongue planted firmly in his cheek), “Nobody beats you up as well as you do” or, “The mirror is always our greatest challenger.” His work relies exclusively on our perception of ourselves as the greatest tool for leading a purposeful and balanced life.
The principle of self evaluation has even been taken into public education. One form I experienced was in CBE which stands for Competency Based Education. I had the privilege of being a learning manager for a number of years in Holland College, a CBE community college.
CBE required the student to learn theory then practice the related skills and self evaluate their level of competency. Then they had to demonstrate their knowledge and skill level for professionals. It was a demanding educational environment but accelerated the student’s learning, primarily because they had to apply their knowledge and skills and had to self evaluate. Let’s see how we can use it in our life.
Self evaluating your goal setting skills
Do you set goals you never accomplish? Do you get overwhelmed by what you want to achieve? Do you wonder if your goals are really what you want? Do you keep losing your focus?
Setting and achieving goals is an art and requires a true understanding of yourself and the ability to ask questions that link your goals to what is truly most important to you. Any goal you set that is clearly aligned to your highest, most important values will begin to unfold. This is an application of the self evaluation process.
Without a clear understanding of your values, of what is most important to you and a clear connection of each goal to one of those values, your goal setting will be a disaster because the goals will lack your inspiration, your energy and your commitment.
“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.”
Use an unachieved goal to learn.
Let’s use an example. Identify one of your unachieved goals you set in the past. Now, answer the “Twelve Tell The Tale Questions” below to determine how masterful you are at setting personal goals. The key here is to use an honest and truthful self evaluation.
“Twelve Tell The Tale Questions”
- Do you know which of the seven areas of life are the most important right now?
- Can you see clearly how this goal is tied directly to one of those areas?
- Can you see the goal clearly in your own mind?
- Do you have a detailed plan written out to achieve your goal?
- Can you see the specific steps required to achieve your goal?
- Did you set realistic time frames to achieve your goal?
- Are you regularly taking specific actions towards the goal?
- Can you articulate the goal to others with simple, clear, fluid language?
- Do you feel inspired and enthusiastic about the work required to achieve your goal?
- Are you seeing evidence of progress toward your goal?
- When you assess your progress do you have an internal dialogue of certainty?
- Do you revise your plan to your goal as needed?
At least eight “Yes!” responses …
If you didn’t answer a definitive ‘Yes’ to at least eight of these questions, the accelerated learning available to you from your self evaluation has probably been too small for goal achievement. In other words your self evaluation skills need immediate attention.
“Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.”
When the ‘why’ is big enough, the ‘how’ takes care of itself.
Your self evaluation process uncovers the “why” of your goal. Without a clear, conscious connection of “why” you want to achieve the goal, you will not have the self motivation to give it the detailed attention it needs for success.
If someone offers you $10 million dollars, or conversely points, a gun at you and says, “I want you to run a marathon right now and I am going to follow you to make sure!”… you run the marathon or pass out in the process. Either way you are highly motivated because the ‘why’ is big enough inside your value system. When the why of your goal is big enough and clearly connected to your values your motivation is very high. Then the inspiration, energy and commitment are provided to you. As the saying goes, “If the why is big enough, the how takes care of itself!”
“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.”
So check out our “Take Away Tool” for a way to boost your goal setting skills.
If you don’t design your own destiny, someone else who loves you will try to do it for you. Since they don’t know you, their efforts are futile!”
POINTS TO PONDER AND REMEMBER are:
1. Self evaluation is a constant in human learning.
2. Self evaluation is one of your most important learning tools.
3. Self evaluation is critical to your goal setting and goal achievement.
4. Self evaluation is the basis of your self motivation, commitment and purpose.
5. Self evaluating enables you to connect your goals to your values.
6. Without self evaluation your learning and evolution is hampered.
7. Self evaluation is one of your keys to a purposeful life.
YOUR TAKE AWAY TOOL:
“Using The ‘Twelve Tell The Tale Questions’ for Goals”
First, pick a goal you have been procrastinating about for a long time.
Then follow the 12 steps carefully and completely.
Step 1: Identify the area of your
most neglected right now: spiritual – mental – vocational – financial – social – familial – physical
Step 2: Find the connection between that goal and this area of your life. The human brain can connect any two things so avoid wasting time assuming there is no link.
Step 3: Create a clear image in your mind of achieving your goal with all the sensory details your imagination can create. Include how it would look, sound, smell, taste and feel achieving your goal. The more details the better. Ensure you can experience your goal fully.
Step 4: Write down a detailed plan of how to achieve your goal. Be specific.
Step 5: Write down the specific steps required to achieve your goal in a logical, sequential, manageable order
Step 6: Write down a realistic time-frame for each step to your goal
Step 7: Using the first specific step to your goal, identify exactly: What you are going to do; When you are going to do it, Where you are going to do it, Who it involves, and How you are going to do it. (Asking Why you are going to do it is redundant since you already know it honors your values.)
Step 8: Create a sentence in simple and clear language for anyone who asks you why you are doing it. (E.g. “It is something very important to me!” or “I am honoring my values!” or “I am doing something for myself!”)
Step 9: Self-evaluate if you feel inspired and enthusiastic about working toward your goal? If not adjust your plan to create more energy for your work ahead.
Step 10: Self-evaluate regularly, at least weekly, for evidence of progress toward your goal. Write down your progress.
Step 11: As you self-evaluate your progress monitor your internal dialogue for certainty and self confidence. Remember you have genius, the same brain as Einstein. You are only limited by your own imagination. If you can imagine it you can probably do it.
Step 12: Be prepared to revise your plan as needed to respond to things over which you have no control. Stick to your goal, simply adjust your steps accordingly.
Watch yourself grow and evolve a more balanced, purposeful life.