It’s time for a little self-reflection!
Self-reflection can be difficult, especially when you’re trying to figure out your own strengths and weaknesses. But, when you know what you’re capable of, it can help you shape your goals and turn them into reality. Knowing this information about yourself can help you create the most effective and direct path to reaching the full potential you see and set for yourself. And isn’t that what we all want? To meet our own healthy expectations?
Just by knowing what you need to work on or what your strengths are, you can work toward improvement in those areas, boost your self-confidence, and learn how to be most effective at what you do.
Step #1: Ask yourself the hard questions.
Take some time and reflect; by yourself, about yourself. This is not always the easiest thing to do. Sit someplace quiet with no distractions, a piece of paper or a notebook, a pen, and focus on you. Having trouble staying focused? Check out our post on distraction blasters!
If you aren’t sure what to ask yourself, here are a few ideas:
- Are there things I know I’m good at? What are they?
- When someone compliments me, what is it that I’m complimented for?
- What’s something you wish others knew about you?
- What do I have difficulty doing, or what are some things I generally need to ask help when doing?
- What type of projects tend to make me feel tired or like I have to expend more energy than others?
- What am I able to do for long periods of time and not feel tired?
- What are my hobbies, and why do I like doing them?
- What are things around me that inspire me?
- Do I use my time wisely or do I waste time?
- How many of my self-set goals have I achieved?
- Do I have a hard time setting goals? Why?
- What matters most in my life?
- What am I most afraid of?
- What do I want more than anything in life?
- How do I want the people in my life to remember me?
- What would your body say to you if it could talk?
Finish the sentence:
- I struggle when …
- I wish I were more …
- I want my life to be about …
- I am the most like myself when I …
- Sometimes I miss a time in my life when …
- I enjoy …
- I love my life when …
Phew, that’s a mental workout for sure! It’s hard work but there’s nothing quite like understanding yourself a little better.
Step #2: Talk to people who know you.
Once you’ve self-reflected (maybe more than you were hoping for), pick a few people you’re close with and ask them to get real with you. (This exercise just keeps getting better and better!) Make sure you pick people whose opinions you value. Ask them to share what they view as your top few strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t want to have the conversation in person, email them explaining why you’re asking and ask them to respond via email. Bonus points for face-to-face conversation!
Step #3: Try out a personality test.
Get the most out of one of many personality tests out there by first doing all of the things listed above. There are a million different tests out there online, many of which are free! Most of them will help point you in the right direction when it comes to identifying basics of your personality. While they might be generalized, the point is to access multiple pathways to finding out your strengths, weaknesses, emotional intelligence, and more (see above items 1 & 2)!
Here are a couple of our favorite personality tests. Pick one and try it out!
- Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): An introspective questionnaire helping individuals identify how they perceive the world based on self-reported questions.
- Enneagram Test: A system that helps describe patterns in how people see the world and manage their emotions based on personality types.
- Here’s a link to 14 other free personality tests!
Each of these activities we’ve discussed can be helpful on their own, but if you take the time to put all three together, you have a powerful tool to help you grow as a person, a leader, and as a business owner.
If you’re looking for more ways to explore self-reflection and your strengths and weaknesses, check out this fun exercise we found!