Looking at Yourself: Part One

Adversity in life.

Woman rests on mirrored surface gazing at her reflection.In this blog post, we’re going to be talking about the skills and the attitudes that you have to deal with adversity in your life. I’m going to ask you to rate yourself on a five-point scale as to how good or not so good you are at being able to exercise the skills that I will be asking you about.

Here’s the first one: Talking to other people. This is about communication and being able to communicate with people effectively. It involves being clear and perhaps precise when this is required and being able to assert yourself in your communication with others.

I would like for you to rate yourself on a five-point scale. But before you do that, give some thought to this particular skill and perhaps ask others for some feedback on how well they feel you are in communicating with them. Here’s the scale:

  1. Bad at it.
  2. Not so good.
  3. Okay.
  4. Good at it.
  5. Very good at it.

Now here’s the second question. This has to do with being able to make and maintain friendships.

How good are you at being able to connect with others? Look at the friendships that you have in your life, how you established them, and how you have maintained them over time. Again, ask other people (specifically your friends) how they see you in terms of this skill. Rate yourself:

  1. Bad at it.
  2. Not so good.
  3. Okay.
  4. Good at it.
  5. Very good at it.

The third area has to do with flexibility and with being able to make changes in your life when you need to. This is often very difficult for us. We are creatures of habit and we tend to try to solve problems in the way in which we have solved them in the past. Unfortunately, many situations require that we try in a different way.

So how good are you at being able to be flexible in both your thinking and in your behavior?

  1. Bad at it.
  2. Not so good.
  3. Okay.
  4. Good at it.
  5. Very good at it.

The fourth area relates to how you feel about yourself. Do you give yourself credit for your accomplishments? How well do you take a compliment from others? Do you discount accomplishments or things that you should be pleased with and proud of? How good are you at feeling good about yourself?

  1. Bad at it.
  2. Not so good.
  3. Okay.
  4. Good at it.
  5. Very good at it.

The last one has to do with being able to control your emotions, especially strong emotions; specifically, emotions that others or you yourself may label as negative:  anger. How good are you at controlling what you do and say when you’re angry?  Take some time and think about this. Think about a situation that you have been in when you lost your temper and think about the last time that you felt angry. What did you do?  How did you deal with the strong emotion? Rate yourself.

  1. Bad at it, meaning that you let go of your anger in ways that probably damage the relationship that you have with other people or don’t achieve the goals that you’re trying to achieve.
  2. Not so good at it.
  3. Okay.
  4. Good at it.
  5. Very good at it, meaning that you can really be assertive in situations, speak up for yourself, and discharge your anger in ways that are productive and not destructive.

In the next post, we will spend some more time on asking you to look at yourself and evaluate the skills and the attitudes that you have that can help you be resilient and deal with adversity in your life.

Ron Breazeale, PhD