top of page

Self-evaluation: concept, structure, correction

What is self-assessment?

Self-assessment is the way we perceive our personality, activities, successes or failures, positive or negative features and feelings, position in the society and the world. One’s perception is formed when comparing himself to the others. Self-assessment is always based on values having a certain social significance here and now.

Self-assessment can change under the influence of circumstances or a purposeful work provided by a person himself, although it does not depend on the momentary attitude to oneself and specific actions performed.

Types and levels of self-assessment

The level of self-assessment makes a direct influence on the behavior and actions of a man, his relationship with relatives and the rest of the society. His self-criticism, self-demanding, thoughtful attitude to life victories and defeats are formed.

Psychologists usually distinguish types of self-assessment: an adequate and a distorted one.

An adequate self-assessment reflects the real abilities and qualities of the individual. In other words, their objective assessment takes place.

A distorted self-assessment may be both overestimated and underestimated.

People possessing a high self-assessment really want to seem better than others, but in fact, a fear of failure hides deep inside of them. People with an underestimated self-assessment demonstrate to others their vulnerability based on existing complexes.

In any case, a distorted self-assessment harms the person himself greatly and prevents him from communicating with others, solving problems without getting involved into unnecessary conflicts and achieving success. Very often, due to problems with self-assessment, a person behaves inappropriately.

Self-assessment structure

Two main components can be distinguished In the structure of self-assessment: the cognitive and the emotional one:

1. The cognitive component

(coming from the Latin word “cognition” - knowledge) is what a person knows about himself, about what weaknesses or strengths he possesses, what he knows how to do well and what he can never do. The distorted self-assessment appears when a person does not fully understand what to expect from himself.

2. The emotional component

is a person's attitude to himself and how he manages to show his personality to others. People experience the whole palette of emotions in relation to themselves and it may be difficult to understand and accept them.

Of course, the fact a person knows about himself is always emotionally colored for the reason he has been experiencing emotions all the way when gaining experience and knowledge.

Factors affecting the formation of self-assessment

The foundations of self-assessment are formed in childhood under the parents’ and adults’ influence. Those are the so-called social factors:

  • Too many comments or praise

  • Constant comparison with other children or, worse, adults

  • Understatement or exaggeration of achievements

Even in adulthood, a person is influenced by the socially significant people’s opinions. However, individual characteristics of a person are also more important: the way he perceives reality, criticism or compliments, how his psychological state is adequate in general, and what kind of person has formed his temperament. Those all are personal factors.

There is such a concept as the level of claims.

As well as self-assessment, the level of claims can be adequate and completely corresponding to the capabilities, including psychological, of a person, or it may also appear to be a distorted one.

The level of claims, our life goals and the ways in which they are achieved, greatly affect self-assessment. In this case, it is better to overstate the level of claims than have a reduced one. It is difficult to talk about any adequate self-assessment of a person having no goals.

Self-assessment correction

Self-assessment is quite amenable to correction, however, if a person's self-assessment is lowered, he knows it well. With an increased self-assessment, this does not happen often.

The person believes that he assesses himself quite adequately and does not want to change, without considering this as a necessity. It also happens that a self-assessment drops sharply after painful incidents or losses, but such a path can hardly be called suitable.

If a person realizes that he has got an overestimated self-assessment, then he would be able to look at himself critically, this is already a worthy start.

How to increase self-assessment:

  • Do not compare yourself to anyone else. You are yourself. Your achievements are yours only, and you can be proud of them.

  • Do not allow negative thoughts

  • Thank the world for what you have already got

  • Focus on success in any business, even on the most modest one

  • Write down all your positive qualities and successes and add this list more often

  • Demonstrate your success to others

  • Stop criticizing yourself

  • Never make excuses, but know how to admit a mistake

  • Be realistic in expectations, but do not diminish your dignity

  • Treat errors as lessons

  • Learn to Speak - No

  • Make friends with your inner critic

In order to change your self-assessment, you need to learn to notice all the good things taking place in your life. Note that you are also succeeding in what is not quite coming out. Learn, develop, encourage yourself for success, and never act to the detriment of yourself, because such tactics do not bring worthy results. Accept yourself as you are, learn to talk about your merits and shortcomings honestly at least to yourself, only then your self-assessment will become stable and healthy.

By Mary Bohan


bottom of page