For easier reading purposes abbreviations have been used.
This essay is a reflective writing using SWOB (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and barriers), that I was introduced to, from my lecturer of clinical practice 1.
Self-analysis is the prerequisite for good, healthy self-management. It`s essential to be able to identify not only the strengths, weaknesses of oneself as well as the opportunities and barriers that are presented, to be successful in today`s competitive world. There are always two sides, which are coined when you look at your personality. The strengths and weaknesses. Every characteristic has advantages and disadvantages. Weaknesses are often rated negative and strengths positive. The most important thing, however, is to realize that weaknesses can also be strengths. By being aware of these aspects, one can use it for advantages. One can give one’s own avoidable weaknesses a positive meaning and use them in a positive way. That means if I can identify and understand my strengths and opportunities I`ll know in which area I`m confident and secure. However, if I can realize weaknesses and barriers, not only can I focus on those areas to put more effort and improve myself to overcome an obstacle but also can I strengthen my personality. Every strength and weakness is part of my personality and must be accepted by me.
In the past, I was struggling with some health issues, which gave a big challenge in every-day life. I`ve tried many things to overcome it, but nothing seemed to work, I just had to accept it and go through it. When I`ve started this course, I was very enthusiastic and excited about it. After the first two weeks, I started getting overwhelmed and questioning myself, whether this is the right thing for me and whether I`m able to do it and so on. I`ve started feeling unconfident and insecure. The following week my health started to become worse and I kind of put myself back into a victim role by saying why do I have to deal with it, why is it never ending and so on. It made it worse by feeling sorry for myself and questioning everything. Nevertheless, I thought how is this going to work with such a negative attitude. I knew I had to change something. I`ve started searching for information about success, self-development, self-confidence etc. I`ve watched movies like The secret (Law of attraction), started reading books like Management (a practical introduction) and many short movies on Youtube and Ted talks. Once I`ve realised that many people felt the same way I did and had their own obstacles to overcome, I didn`t feel like a failure or a victim anymore. I knew I`m responsible for my own happiness and success in life so if I want to get out of this situation and achieve my goals I have to take action. What I did is actually exactly what we have to do in this module. I`ve started to look for my strengths, what am I good at and what I`m thankful for. I wrote them down as well as my weaknesses and barriers. Since it was not so easy for me to consider and “go inward”, I received support and feedback from my family, acquaintances and friends.
My personal strengths are mainly that I`m passionate, energized, motivated and punctual. I`m not giving up easily, that includes that I`m doing everything possible to achieve my goals. These parts can help me in advancing my career and enable me to work much more efficient and effective. I`m able to encounter people, cultures and religions with full respect. I`m an open-minded, enthusiastic person. It is an extremely good way to be open to new ideas and to be adaptive to new situations. Adaptation is very important in a world that is constantly changing and forming. My number one most important and main personal resource that I have is empathy and good communication skills. That means, I`m able to break down barriers, that people trust me and feel confident. I`ve also been told that I`m a good listener. These qualities are very useful in relation of becoming a herbalist. However sometimes I tend to forget my strengths, therefore I have to make sure I`m always being aware of it and being thankful for those qualities I have already. The key to success and achievements are the strengths.
Weaknesses are unavoidal and can be drawbacks and huge obstacles by achieving goals. But weaknesses are there to learn from and make them to your strengths. I`m still lacking self-confidence which means I`m comparing myself with others and see only the things I can`t do and I don`t know yet. In school, especially, by lacking language and difficulties with chemistry. I also tend to be a perfectionist by setting goals too high and being too critical of myself. Therefore I`m putting myself under too much pressure, which leads to overthinking and getting distracted easily. However, improving upon my weaknesses is only one way to deal with them. Sometimes overcoming or improving upon weaknesses in a short time of period is almost impossible and the best choice is to avoid them overall for a certain time and to focus on the strengths. Although avoidance is not usually the best way, it can help to stay away from negative effects. For instance, my language skills, it`s not worth it spending hours on studying grammar, since I`m reading, speaking and writing every day, it will improve by itself, which I can see as a positive side effect of improving on a weakness by studying the normal work I have to do. However, for some situations, I can`t always close my eyes. Chemistry, I have to face it and work on it to catch up. But as I`ve mentioned before only when I`m aware of my weaknesses I can see which are the most important to work on. Which is for me, managing my self-confidence otherwise it`ll give an endless ripple.
Barriers can not only be a negative factor, that affects the ability to compete with others, but also, can they stand in the way of accomplishing one`s goals. Barriers come in many different variations, some are internal, some are external. Every person faces their own threats and barriers which might come from a told situations or past experiences or even a physical handicap. For some people, thinking of their own strengths, weaknesses and their own barriers is not easy. Many have experienced that outsiders often think that barriers make them less efficient and therefore value their barrier as a weakness. But I`ve realized that I have learned a lot from my barriers. I have discovered new properties on me. For example, I had to fight a lot through my barriers to manage daily life, it wasn`t easy but I`ve learned to never give up, fighting and keep going. This can be very helpful during the study period as well as, I have to face many obstacles on my path to success in my future career. The largest two barriers for me are probably anxiety liked with finishing up my education and doing well in the process. But since I`m aware of it I`m not scared, I have learned to see my avoidable barriers as strengths and work on them.
Opportunities are “situations that present possibilities for exceeding existing goals” (Kinicki ; Williams, 2009). Opportunities can be presented in many different ways. One of the most popular used opportunities, for instance, is the use of the internet. Sometimes you can lose one resource by gaining an even better one. It is about constantly changing and trying to find the most appropriate and effective resource for yourself. The university has a great resource for self-development opportunities. For example, the maths support class which I`m joining to catch up with chemistry and maths. And the library is also always a good opportunity to benefit from, in any area. To be surrounded by lovely classmates is very supportive as well, as we can help and learn from each other. Moreover, I`m happy to get help from the personal tutor and good teachers. Other opportunities can be found in social opportunities to make connections, or generally any chance to gain benefit from a situation. For instance, last week I`ve joined a workshop about what it takes to grow confidence and self-esteem which was organized from the Alumni event series. It was very interesting and helpful even by seeing how many people have attended, which means that a lot of people are dealing with the same or similar obstacle. The Alumni event series offers different events every month, which I`m glad to take advantage of. Not to forget my family and friends are supportive in any way which is the most important thing I believe.
6. Smart goals
Description: When I`ve started writing this essay, I`ve realized that I`ve already learned so much in this few weeks of University in case of self-development, which will help me with any challenges during education and what life will bring in the future. In addition, setting goals not only gives me an ongoing journey to success, but it shows me the best alternatives I should need or desire a change along the way. Nevertheless, I still need to improve even more to get a greater knowledge about myself and self- development to grow and achieve goals.
Milestone: Not only by reviewing my goals on regular basis, which I do daily, which helps me to assess my progress and gives me the ability to make faster and more informed decisions. But also, by changing my habits, for example, getting up half an hour earlier to practice Yoga, which gives me a good start into the day and more balance in daily life.
Deadline: One of my next goals is to be able to feel confident and sure about what I`m doing when I have my first patient and not being shy, just because everybody is watching me.
Kinicki, A., ; Williams, B. K. (2009). Management: A Practical Introduction (4th ed.) Boston: McGraw-Hill
Rhonda Byrne, (2006) The secret: Law of attraction (1st ed.) Australia: Atria books