How insightful are you about yourself? Have you ever had therapy? Are you curious about knowing the inner workings of your psychology? The more you know about yourself, the more able you are to make the types of changes required for real success and growth.

According to David Dunning, a social psychologist at Cornell University, "There are many reasons why it's hard to 'know ourselves.' In a subjective area like intelligence, for example, people tend to perceive their competence in self-serving ways. A student talented in math, for instance, may emphasize math and analytical skills in her definition of intelligence, while a student gifted in other areas might highlight verbal ability or creativity."

Obtaining feedback can be helpful, Dunning says, but we often disregard critical feedback by nature. And people are prone to overestimate themselves out of ignorance: "Take the ironic example of an elderly man who thinks he's an excellent driver but is a hazard on the road, or the woman who reads a book about the stock market and is ready to compete with a professional stockbroker."

The bottom line? It's hard to know for sure if we are as knowledgeable of ourselves as we may think we are. So here are 10 statements to help you access your insightfulness about your career and life. Answer yes or no and tally the number of times you say yes.

1. I know my greatest strength and purpose and use them to navigate my career.

2. I am aware of my psychological baggage and understand the repetitive patterns I create for myself in relationships and in my career.

3. I am aware of the negative self-talk I create in my mind and how different that is from reality.

4. I know why I have failed and can identify lessons I have learned from each of those failures.

5. I am often more curious than decisive.

6. I don't succumb to fearful thoughts often because I feel confident in my ability to work with fear and face it when necessary to conquer key goals.

7. I ask for feedback from my colleagues, partners, and friends, and I don't get defensive when I hear critical statements they may share.

8. I enjoy pushing my comfort zone and proactively seek opportunities that are part of my future vision but also scare me, in a good way.

9. I am a good listener, and in conversations end up doing more listening and asking more questions than talking.

10. I am open to hiring support to help me take my career, my relationships, or my personal awareness to another level.

If you answered yes:

8-10 times: You are not only self-aware, but you are also curious, thoughtful, and have a growth mindset. Being open to change, being collaborative, and working well with others are all considered superstar qualities from some top companies. Continue to strive to be your best self and, honestly, the sky's the limit.

4-7 times: You are on the path to self-awareness and being insightful about your strengths and weaknesses and how you engage with others. You have potentially just started thinking about how you impact others and what that impact is. It could be that you have recently had a life event that has prompted some deeper understanding of yourself, or you are contemplating a big career change and need to figure out a plan of action. Either way, you are on the right track, and the more aware you are of yourself, the more positive your career and life will be. You may consider asking your colleagues, partners, or friends for some pointed feedback on how they perceive your impact. This could be a powerful step toward getting more self-insight and having a bigger impact on others.

0-3 times: You have little, if any, insight into yourself, your potential, or how others experience you. It may be time to think about the value you would gain by knowing yourself more and the influence that is possible when others feel seen and heard by you. You may not be open to getting support, but it could mean no longer running up against the same challenges and having less-than-satisfying relationships. Getting support now could be a game changer for you: a life you love, instead of one spent feeling like there could be something more.

Published on: Jun 10, 2015