Evaluation is a fact of life. Whether at work, at home, at school, or at the mall, we are constantly being evaluated by others on some level. Others assess everything about us from our performance, our appearance, and our personality.
Our awareness of this fact can motivate our behaviors in a positive direction. Knowing that your boss will be reviewing your numbers at the end of every month probably enters your mind when you are considering packing up early for the day before you have made all of your prospecting calls. Knowing that your high school reunion is approaching may give you pause before you reach for the extra slice of pizza.
Evaluation from others plays a huge role in our behaviors, but what about evaluation from ourselves?
Most people are afraid to ask themselves how they are doing. This requires that you recognize and act on what you could be improving. It is normal human behavior to simply maintain an easy, stagnant state, but the highly successful try to avoid stagnancy at all costs.
I have learned that the highly successful are relentless about evaluating themselves on a consistent basis. They are constantly asking themselves how they are doing, and what they can be doing to improve. How can you expect to improve if you don't assess where you are currently?
High achieves are not only not afraid to assess how they are doing, but they count on it as part of their process. This habit of the highly successful is integral to growth and success, but ONLY if done in the right way.
A common evaluation mistake is to evaluate the negative instead of positive. Evaluating the negative is counterproductive to performance, yet it is what comes most naturally to us. It is totally normal to want to evaluate what went wrong. Think about it--how common is it for you to leave work and replay the mistakes or shortcomings of the day on the drive home? Evaluating yourself in this way can lead to underperforming, rather than an increase in performance.
Simply put, when you focus on what you are doing poorly, you are likely to do even more things poorly because your confidence is taking a huge hit, and you are meanwhile NOT focusing on what you can do to improve. When you focus on what you are doing well, you are likely to continue to succeed in those areas. That success and confidence is likely to spread to other areas, as well.
The habits of the extremely successful are abnormal in that they require effort beyond where our brain naturally tries to take us. These habits, however, can be learned and implemented through a simple daily exercise.
Take two minutes each day to evaluate yourself in a positive way by asking yourself the following two question:
1. What 3 things did I do well today?
2. What is 1 thing I want to improve tomorrow?
Take the time to schedule this two-minute block in your calendar, or it is likely you will forget it. Remember that your brain wants to focus on what you are doing poorly, so it will probably not feel natural at first to recognize your done-wells. If you commit to spending two minutes each day answering these questions, I am confident that these will become the most impactful two minutes of your day.