1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

The illusion of self-assessment? March 13, 2011

Filed under: thoughts — axinia @ 10:55 pm


image by axinia

In my work I often have to do with people’s self-assessments, either at the job-interviews or later at the appraisal of employees. And the thing that strikes me most is how often people believe to be something they are actually not!

I don’t mean a certain quality is not being clearly seen, I mean that often it’s just the opposite of what they think of themselves. Example: a young woman considers being reliable as one of her strengths – at the same time she is notoriously famous among colleagues for being totally unreliable and irresponsible. And that’s quite a common case, my practice shows. Even in the online world I meet people who claims to be something/to possess certain qualities but what they post looks far away from being that… Puzzling, isn’t it?

Psychology teaches us that the self-portrait differs from what others see in us but I wonder how can that differ to that extend? Normally we make conclusion about ourselves based on repeated experiences. The same works for the opinions other people make about us. It is also well-known that each of us lives in some unique “Universe” and of course sees the reality and himself/herself different. But still… People often either overestimate or underestimate themselves and this creates such a confusion! It is possible to reduce this gap in perceptions? It is possible to be what one really is for both  – the inside and outside world?…

I wonder if you have also experienced this phenomenon and why do think this happens?

Thanks and LOVE, axinia


23 Responses to “The illusion of self-assessment?”

  1. Ruthvick Says:

    A study of 360 degree assessments, a popular assessment tool, showed different nationals over-estimate or under-estimate their confidence, abilities and achievements based on country they are brought up in. Guess which nation was always found over-estimating?

  2. Triveni Says:

    Yes, this is so true. Another such example i see is ppl who cant see what is wrong with themselves and keep finding faults in others. For ex: A housewife starts thinking that she is perfect at what she does and keeps talking about neighbours or relatives as to how clean they keep their house are how they bring up their kids, but as a matter of fact she herself would not realise the many wrong doings she herself does at her own place. This is something she is either blind to or probably chooses to be blind to. This concept of illusion can be totally unintended or its like a bubble they create around to make them believe about themselves or surroundings. It can be the ego that wants you to believe something or the maya that stupifies some one that does not let you listen to the truth within you. I always believe that there is a small voice within us (in our nabhi/void – the self guru) that constantly tries to lead us and direct us to understand the truth. The trouble is when ppl dont want to listen to it for sake of ego or under the play of maya.

    • Triveni Says:

      In fact such situations always remind me of the following Doha of Santh Kabhir:
      Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Naa Milya Koye
      Jo Munn Khoja Apnaa, To Mujhse Bura Naa Koye

      When I went out to find the wrong ppl but could find none, but when I introspected withing me, i didnt find anyone as bad of me.

  3. I suppose people adjust to their surroundings by creating a compatible psychological profile for themselves. In order to make it work, they need to believe in the authenticity of this profile. This of course requires one to avoid confronting their true attributes, just self-trickery basically.

    If this goes on for a longer time, sooner or later this becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy and the person starts to become one with their profile, creating a permanent layer of illusion to match the assumed expectations of the outside world.

  4. Olga SE Says:

    An interesting question you’ve raised, Axinia! I think it results from childhood nurture – as many other things, though. 🙂 If parents praise their child for everything and approve each of his/her steps, then his/her self-esteem will tend to be high. If, on the contrary, parents blame the child for everything he/she does, the child’s self-esteem has every chance of becoming low.

    • axinia Says:

      thanks, Olga, but I guess this is not only the point of self-esteem, it is something more: may be the inability to evaluate own actions? Or to analize the reactions of others to own actions?

      • Olga SE Says:

        People who can see themselves objectively are quite rare. There is an opinion that if people notice something in the outside world, it means there’s a lot of it inside themselves. So, if the woman in your example is unreliable, she concentrates on this quality and starts to perceive others as unreliable. And now in comparison to them she thinks herself reliable.
        I’ve noticed it before. If a person thinks everyone else to be a liar, it means he is a liar himself! 🙂

  5. swaps Says:

    I considered myself a very friendly person, but people often said I am very aloof and unapproachable. Now I have realized they are right.

  6. Observing people assuming that they are the incarnation of spiritual wisdom, when they simply are escapists of their own society or psychological structure tells that!

  7. Liliya108 Says:

    Да, тема – животрепесчусчая. Частенько в жизни наблюдала, как бывают довольны собой никчемные людишки, и как незаметны и скромны действительно интересные люди. Мне сдаётся, что это комплексная проблема:
    свадистан (неверные представления) + вишудхи (комплекс самолюбования)+эго. Помогут только чистки, осознать (в этом случае) неверность своих представлений практически невозможно…

  8. A society based on narcissistic superficiality does not encourage the self of people but the marketing of their own image.
    It takes courage to take a stand for the own true self, but it gets a habit and is after all is a delight, even if one appears very visible by that in an ocean of wannabes.

  9. Mahesh chendake Says:

    realization of self includes critical self assessment. most of the time I see we simply don’t want here the truth and very much happy in illusion created by self. Initially i am knowing the fact afterword even I feel that is the truth ( illusion created by me) and i remain happy in that . the person doesn’t realize when he become nuisance to others some time extend to psychopathic. the only way remain to take self realization ( understand oneself and listen inner voice ) but this materialistic world and its attraction doesn’t allow me to do that…… many time people thinking that i am realized soul can trap in that…. and when he will step down from spiritual growth even he doesn’t understand….

    • Mahesh chendake Says:

      Here psychopathic means it includes all qualities like crudeness,cruality, money/sex/power/position hunger.extremely political …. still saying I am remain away from it and real worker of society/company/group .they create a situation in a such a way that many time others also get trapped .How to trap they knows very well.every situation they convert in their profit/gain of psychopathic origin. really i wonder how people come to their illusion even by understanding being used and cheated they can’t escape really i wonder for that. they are never useful to others but shows tobe useful. it is very hard to label them as psychopathic but reality is…. so they cant change or it is difficult to change their attitude.
      people like raman raghav are far better than this at list we can diagnose them ,they are so dangerous that we can not diagnose and spot them ….they are around us…..i hope I m not extream but I am experiencing such one …many.. and thinking seriously for solution …but cant have solution expect wait and watch.. believe me….

    • Mahesh chendake Says:

      …even he doesnt bother due to secondary psychological gain…

  10. Dmitri Says:

    in the case of low self esstem i dont know…it’s a deep subject but i can say something about high unbased self essteem i think if you wear a mask and present and act ilike something that looks higher (espcailly in ragarding the looks or some superficial quality couse thats the easiest) people fall for it and even like to see this caouse it looks more appiling and the person nourshis this in himself…wow im strating to get confused anyway its easyier but not more rewarding to ne something your not that be yourself whit all the weakness exposed

  11. Dmitri Says:

    i think it has to do with the fact thats its easiaer to look like something then to be something in reality

  12. Holly Says:


    I love your blog and am an avid reader. I also own my own company, and right now we are trying to heal and support Japan. We have designed beautiful healing mantra pinback buttons. $1 from every sale will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross. I am reaching out to you in hopes that you will help us spread healing energy and light to Japan and spread the word about our buttons. You can view our buttons here http://www.teardropweddings.com/products/buttons?page=1&search=&pagesize=60

    If you need any info to do a blog post, please let me know and I will be happy to send you anything you need. Thank you for your time.

    Holly Hatam

  13. Vinayakah Says:

    If we cant see ourselves in the mirror of our heart directly, the outside world will mirror our true nature to us, so we can see it and change it. But mostly we dont see this trick or blessing one can say, and we start to be angry with the situations and people that but reflect our state of being only….and we start to solve the outside reflection, instead of solving the original picture…but it is of course not possible. Funny isnt it? 🙂

    So, if this is true, how can we change the world situation from the “hell form” in which it is now, into opening our full potential as beautifull children of God, the flowers of Creation? By solving the outside things? Hmmm….lets not make the same fatal mistake again and again 🙂

    Than lets solve ourselves, the original picture, and the outside world – the reflection of our own beings – will change by itself. 😉

  14. Sam Says:

    “I wonder if you have also experienced this phenomenon”
    They are everywhere in India.In every corner of a street,in every room of a house.
    “why do think this happens?”
    Some do it for money,some do it for publicity and fame.But few of them know that this is an eternal sin.Many of the well-known false Gurus know that this is a sin against God almighty which will send them forever to hell.They just do it to ruin a seeker within people and to spread darkness over the entire world.But it won’t last long until God says-“Enough is Enough”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s