How to Become a Master Strategist and Fulfill Your Potential through Self-awareness. ( 3 min read)
Self-evaluation is the process by which our sense of self is explored, and when needed, modified. The desire for self-improvement is a strong motivation to self-evaluate and is central to personal development, self-improvement, and self-awareness.
Self-improvement motivations influence the ways in which we select self-relevant information, gauge its importance, draw inferences about ourselves, and make plans for the future.
Experientially-oriented researchers have identified and investigated 3 cardinal self-evaluation motives (or self-motives) relevant to the development, maintenance, and modification of our beliefs concerning ourselves. These are:
Let’s explore each.
- Self-Enhancement: With this motivation, there is a desire to improve the positivity of one’s sense of self, and to protect the self from negative influences. This motive influences people to engage in self-evaluation.
For instance, people process information important to the self in a selective manner, focusing on information that has favorable implications to the self and discarding information with unfavorable implications. People also choose to compare themselves socially to others so as to have greater status and to be placed in a favorable position. By doing this, people seek to boost the (self-evaluated) positivity of themselves or to decrease its negativity. This enables them to increase their levels of self-esteem with the aim of having others see them as more socially desirable.
- Self-Assessment: The Self-assessment motive is based on the assumption that people want to have an accurate and objective evaluation of themselves. To achieve this goal, they work so as to reduce any uncertainty about their abilities or personality traits. Feedback is sought to increase the accuracy and objectivity of previously formed self-conceptions. This is regardless of whether the new information confirms or challenges the previously existing self-conceptions.
Self-assessment is one of the motives that drive self-evaluation, along with self-verification and self-enhancement. Many personal growth experts believe that a self-assessment motive will prompt people to seek information to confirm their uncertain self-concept rather than their certain self-concept. At the same time, people can use self-assessment to enhance the certainty of their own self-knowledge.
Still one must always keep in mind that the self-assessment motive could be seen as quite different from other self-evaluation motives. Unlike other motives, through self-assessment people are interested in the accuracy of their current self-view, rather than improving their self-view. This makes self-assessment a self-evaluative motive, and one of the few motives that may cause a person’s self-esteem to be damaged.
- Self-Verification: Here the motive asserts that what motivates people to engage in the self-evaluation process is the desire to verify their pre-existing self-conceptions, maintaining consistency between their previously formed self-conceptions and any new information that could be important to the self (feedback). By doing this, people get a sense of control and predictability in the social world.
Research has shown self-assessment to be an extremely important tool for self-improvement and personal development. There are, of course, a wide variety of techniques and mechanisms through which learners describe (i.e., assess) and possibly evaluate the qualities of their own learning and growth processes).
One thing is clear — without some form of self-evaluation, there is no moving forward in life.
Author: Lewis Harrison is a student of Zen and Taoist thought and is the Senior Teacher in the Wisdom Path Community, a social media group exploring the spiritual path in all its forms. He is a regular practitioner of meditation, contemplation, and ruthless self-assessment.
His website is AskLewis.com and he can be emailed directly at LewisCoaches@gmail.com
Learn more about his Master Strategist Course at AskLewisGameTheory.com