Understanding Yourself Using Core Self-Evaluations
Welcome to Mind Tools’ Video Learning Series.
How do you see yourself? Are you an optimist who comes to work feeling confident and capable, or do you feel more pessimistic? Do you dwell on your lack of success or tend to blame your problems on others?
We all make judgments about ourselves and our lives every day. These judgments are also known as Core Self-Evaluations, or CSEs for short, and they can have a direct impact on our performance and our mood.
People can have a high or low CSE. People with high CSE are generally better at coping with stress. They have a positive outlook, take ownership of their work, and often make great leaders. But people with low CSE tend to think of themselves negatively. They lack confidence and as a result, fear taking responsibility. This can often hold them back from progressing in the way they want to.
CSEs are based on four key dimensions of your personality. These are: your locus of control, neuroticism, self-efficacy, and self-esteem. Let’s take a look at these four dimensions in more detail.
When you have an internal locus of control, you know that your success is largely down to your own hard work and initiative, and not just luck. Develop your internal locus of control by paying attention to your self-talk. When you hear yourself saying things like, “I have no choice” or, “I can’t do anything about it,” remind yourself that actually you do, and you can.
Neuroticism refers to how well we deal with unwanted emotions, such as anxiety and anger. When you have high neuroticism, you’ll more likely suffer from low mood and experience feelings of helplessness. Overcome this by exploring techniques such as affirmations or mindfulness that can reduce anxious thinking.
When you have self-efficacy, you believe in yourself. You feel confident in your ability to meet new challenges and to learn new things. Develop your self-efficacy by focusing on your unique strengths and capabilities. If there are skills you want to improve on, ask your manager if you could be assigned a mentor, or sign up to a training course.
Finally, think about how you interact with others. Does your modesty sometimes tip into a concerning lack of self-worth? Boost your self-esteem by making small but impactful changes. Take pride in your accomplishments, set goals that you can easily track, and celebrate when you succeed. Avoid getting stuck in negative thought patterns. Be your own cheerleader.
To carry out your Core Self-Evaluation, read the article that accompanies this video.