The importance of self-assessment in the workplace

Like ice cube said ‘check yourself before you wreck yourself’.

So we recently had our annual performance reviews at work and something I took from it was that it’s important to assess yourself throughout the year.

When you let a year go by without assessing how you’re doing there’s a higher chance you’ll be surprised by what your manager tells you at the end of the year.

I think assessing yourself quarterly (or even monthly) will help you better understand how you’re doing and what you need to work on. It doesn’t have to be with your manager, it could be with another colleague or you could do it alone.

That way you can pick up on the things you need to work on, make changes and then later reassess.

You should work on getting better, expanding your knowledge and trying new things for you. Not to appease your boss or because you know it’s ‘just part of the process’.

This is one of those ‘you get out what you put in’ kinda circumstances.

Managing stress and deadlines

Been there done that, felt awful.

So, these are three little things that work for me because sometimes I need to remind myself that putting things off will never be helpful.

Start
Beginning as soon as possible gives you the most amount of time to work on your thing. I’ve found that it’s often when I leave things until the last minute I don’t have time to work through the challenging bit which shows up as things being too difficult when maybe what I needed was more time.

Plan
So I’m a planner. I find that it helps me feel less overwhelmed and gives me the structure I need. Otherwise I get caught up in my thoughts and nothing gets done. It also makes things easier for when you’re doing the work and leaves less room for distraction.

Talk
A recent lesson I’ve learnt. If you’ve started and made some plans but are still finding things difficult or maybe if it’s just stressful, talking helps . You might not think it’s true but you might be surprised. Voicing how you feel can be freeing and also depending on who you speak to you might get some helpful advice or a fresh perspective.

What works for you?

Advice from your past self

Do you remember when you were your most confident self?

Common advice in challenging situations when we’re afraid is to ask ‘what would [insert name of inspirational person] do?’

I think that’s a really helpful tool but it can also just emphasise the gap between where you’re at and where you want to be instead of bridging it.

So, what if you consult your past self at peak confidence instead. If you were confidence once you can be confident again.

When you find yourself facing a challenge think of a time you were confident or did something difficult in the past. Close your eyes, visualise it, feel that feeling and keep it with you for when you need it.

Maybe it’s the memory of the solo you did in a school play that you can apply to leading your first client meeting.

When you’re caught in fear or your confidence is low it can be easy to forget that you once felt otherwise and that it’s possible to overcome that thing that scares you and feel confident again.

Scary but worth it

Don’t apply this to horror movies.

It can be difficult to get past the thing that scares you. The longer you put it off the more your reasons not to do it grow.

You come up with excuses like:

I won’t be good at it.

People will laugh.

Someone else would be better suited.

I’ll do it next time.

I didn’t have enough time.

And sometimes those excuses are totally valid but sometimes they’re just easy ways for you to hide away and tell yourself that it’s not possible for you.

If you think you won’t be good at it that’s normal when you’re doing something new and ‘anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well’ so give yourself time.

If you think people will laugh, let them laugh. The only reason it doesn’t feel good is because you’re paying attention to it, so stop.

If you think someone else would be better, ask yourself why. It’s easy to believe that others are more talented or more capable than you are when the truth could be that you’re just more consumed by fear.

Don’t be so reliant on next time as that time might never come. Plus to quote a song from Cheetah Girls 2 ‘why wait, now is the right time’.

Lastly, not to make you wanna through up by being cliche but we all have 24 hours in a day. Granted you might have kids, a full-time job, be in education and also be a carer to a family member so things might seem impossible but life is as life does.

You have to make the best of your circumstances and find a way to make them work for you.

If not let the dream go.

And so there’s no denying that overcoming your fears can be scary but it’s also worth it.

If that’s not a reason to try, I don’t know what is.

 

Worth seeking advice from

Just because someone is older than you doesn’t mean they’re the best person to seek advice from.

I think there’s a level of vulnerability that comes with asking for advice, to be open and honest enough to say ‘Hey, so I’m going through xyz and I just wanted to get some advice from you asĀ I’m not really sure how to move forward.’

Something I’ve learnt is that when I have a difficult decision to make it helps to view the situation from a different perspective and sometimes that happens quickest when you talk to someone.

However, it’s important to make sure that you’re talking to the right person.

For me that would be:

Someone I trust.

Someone I look up to.

Someone I admire.

Someone who has my best interests at heart.

Someone who will give impartial advice.

Someone with experience.

When you feel stuck and want some advice you probably want it from someone who can help steer you in the right direction rather than someone who leaves you feeling stressed or further fuels your indecision.

Whilst recently asking for advice I realised that often the main thing I want is someone who can shift my perspective.

Perhaps to not even advise on my specific situation but to remind me that I’m capable of making the ‘right’ decision.

Problems and solutions

A simple but useful exercise

Get a piece of paper and split it in 2 (or create a word document or excel spreadsheet). On one side write all your problems, the big, small and in-between.

Then the other side come up with a solution to each one.

In my experience, I’ve found that this lowers the feeling of overwhelm because once your problem has a solution it’s no longer such a big deal.

The problem could be that you’ve been feeling really tired lately. The solution to that could be getting more sleep by going to bed earlier or eating more nourishing food so that you have more energy throughout the day.

Or perhaps you don’t have enough time to work on your side projects. The solution could be to commit to setting 1hr aside every day. And to cut out or reduce other things that are taking up your time that aren’t important like Netflix.

Once you’re done you’ll have an action plan in front of you and if those problems are really bothering you’ll do something about it.

Why it’s so hard to be yourself

It’s easier said than done.

We grow up having people tell us to be more or less of ourselves.

And for many at a young age you follow the words of those older than you. That’s fine when it comes to things like eating a balanced diet, doing your homework and being kind to people.

But on the flip-side when you’re being told to what career path to pursue or who you should be, I think that’s a problem.

How are you ever going to figure out who you are and be yourself if you’re always listening to other people? Sure this person might mean well and think they’re being helpful but they could also be projecting.

You’ll get told not to pursue something creative because it’s risky, to get a job in a particular sector because it’s more stable, to dress in differently… the list goes on. But often this advice has nothing to do with your happiness or life goals, it’s about conformity, a lack of belief, other peoples discomfort or even control.

And if you listen to all these voices and follow along with what you’re told you slowly start being less and less yourself and therefore less happy.

It’s not much fun living your life as an actor and allowing everyone else to direct.

And so in order to ‘simply’ be yourself you have to let go of all that stuff and be okay with other people being frustrated that you won’t do what they say.

In exchange for that, you get to be you.