The Daily Stoic for the 2nd of March. “Accurate self-assessment”.
“Above all, it is necessary for a person to have a true self-estimate, for we commonly think we can do more than we really can.”
—SENECA, ON TRANQUILITY OF MIND, 5.2
It’s usually hard for us to do an honest, accurate self-assessment of our own worth. Contrarily to what Seneca affirms, in my experience, most people tend to underestimate themselves, their skills, or what they can achieve.
Of course, there’s also a lot of people that think they can do anything they want. They may seem selfish or pretentious but, in my opinion, it’s better to err on the optimistic side of things, trying something but failing, than undervaluing yourself
Social media is full of bullshit about our own expectations. Hollow quotes and overused empty phrases plague the timeline of internet “gurus”: “I’m only comfortable when I’m out of my comfort zone”, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear”, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”, etc.
(Yes, the “comfort zone” gets the prize for the most cliché element of cheesy motivational quotes.)
In my opinion, you only become aware of your strengths and your weaknesses over time. At least, that’s how it happened in my case. When I was in my twenties, I had an idealized view of myself.
As the years pass, and you learn from your own mistakes, you finally come to realize who you are, and what are your limits. Not only that, but you learn what you don’t want in your life. Then, you are ready to start discovering what makes you happy.
The good news is that you will eventually get there, no matter what.
I actually don’t think you need thirty years of your life to find out your own value. While it’s true that time helps, you just need to be honest and invest some time getting to know yourself better.
Today’s Daily Stoic: “Accurate self-assessment” talks about the need of getting to know ourselves in a honest, humble way. I think this eventually comes with time, but we can get there faster by being sincere about who we are and spending some time analyzing our weaknesses and strengths.
Even if we don’t get to a conclusion, it’s time well spent.