The Importance of Being Able to Recognize Your Own Shortcomings

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The Importance of Being Able to Recognize Your Own Shortcomings

Focusing on all of the things that you’re good at is important. Indeed, doing so allows for positive self-affirmation, something that is key for happiness, wellbeing, and energy levels. But being too confident in yourself isn’t always a good thing.
What’s more, studies show that when it comes to recognizing our own flaws or shortcomings, we’re pretty terrible at assessing our competence and abilities. Rather than making a negative assessment, though, we tend to overestimate the things we’re worst at. Picture: the person who loves to sing (and does so publicly with pride) but is tone deaf, or the self-proclaimed linguist who loves showing off their French (but is actually fumbling over it).

Overestimating and Underestimating

As explained by an article in The New York Times, while we may overestimate the things we’re bad at, we tend to underestimate our abilities when it comes to things we’re good at. This is because with things we’re good at, we have more of an ability to see how much improvement there is to be had, resulting in giving ourselves a hard time about reaching that level of improvement rather than being happy with how far we’ve already come.
But being able to recognizing one’s own shortcomings or accurately assess one’s skills or abilities is important. Without doing this, having true self-awareness will be impossible, and self-improvement will be an ill-defined (and ill-informed) goal and process.

So How Do We Figure Out What We’re Not-So-Good At?

If people have an inability to see themselves objectively and often assume that they’re better at something than they really are, then how can one learn what they’re really good at, and where they need to make improvements?

  • Ask someone you trust. Ask someone whom you trust to tell you the truth for their honest opinion regarding a skill or ability that you think you’re pretty good at. Feedback can be hard to hear, but it is an essential step for self-actualizing and working towards the most productive version of yourself.


  • Keep working at it. Think you’re good at something but aren’t sure? Don’t just make an assumption; instead, keep working at it. Taking voice lessons or signing up for a French class will only help you to refine those skills.


  • Watch for other signs of feedback. Another way to learn whether or not that thing you think you’re so good at is really as impressive to other people is to learn how to read people and their body language. Do people ask for you to play the piano at every event, or cringe slightly when you sit down to the keys? This can be applied in the workplace as well – do people seek out your advice and skill set for a particular issue?

Improve Your Self-Awareness and Start Improving Yourself Today

Self-improvement and self-awareness go hand-in-hand, but the process can be difficult to begin if you’re not even sure where you need to improve. For feedback from a trusted professional who can guide you in making positive life changes, reach out to Nadia Khalil today. You can contact Nadia online to schedule your consultation.