Our guest editor, Mr Brian Saunders, took the challenge…to take himself on
Have you ever tried out those personal assessments of character, dispositions, skills or attitudes? You know, the tests where you answer all sorts of questions about your deepest self. Scary, eh? One organisation I’m part of asked me to try out a ‘test’. Then a blog I’ve been following suggested one and after that I rather got into the idea myself. In some cases, I have been amazed at how accurate they’ve proven to be. Asking me to prioritise statements about feelings and get beyond the everyday rush of life helped me search the deeper parts of me, but in a gentle way, because nobody else was looking. It has been a kind of therapy. A way of probing beneath the surface to seek out more of ME. Taking me on.
But, the trouble is, after doing the ‘tests’, we all tend to reach the ‘what next’ phase. I’ve done the digging and uncovering, so what should happen now? Should I get a life-coach to take me on? Perhaps a good friend could help me. Should I go to classes? But then I wonder, how hard can it be to set up a cycle of self-development that is kind to me, focused on feeding my strengths and effective at working on the development needs that were revealed in the tests? Maybe there are some things that I can do myself, before I get help from outside. Here’s two simple ideas that I’m now trying out. They seem to be working.
First, I collected the positive statements about me and wrote them down where I could see them. Hey, we listen to so much negative talk from others and even from ourselves; I felt it would be a good idea to listen to something positive. No hype, no shouted affirmations, no ‘name it and claim it’… I just wrote out the positives in my journal and started ‘feeding’ a little. I’m even thinking I might record them to listen to while walking! Result? I feel more at ease with me.
Second, I wanted to look at the development ideas, but I didn’t want to get overwhelmed. So, I’ve decided on a plan to review one development idea a week. Each Sunday I sit down for an hour, review the week gone and think ahead. Into that time, I’m feeding one challenge each week. Have I had instant, amazing progress on each one? NO! But did some of them take me on to do more? YES – FOR SURE!
Personal assessments are not just meant for life-coaches, psychologists or HR departments, they are energy sources to lift all of us. They encourage our positives and boost self-esteem and at the same time present a manageable way to tackle developments without being overloaded with challenges, negatives or unhealthy introspection. Why not ‘take on’ yourself and see what you can build that’s new in the last quarter of 2017?