To Be or Not to Be? – How to Do a Self-appraisal


“The fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”

Pema Chodron*


Do you have a record of who you use to be, who you are now and who you are looking forward to being? Most times, we are unable to give a clear statement of where : we were, are now and  are looking forward to be. We fail to articulate what choices will take us to our desired end. Self appraisal help us to articulate all of these.

A self-appraisal is an assessment of ourselves and our performance within a certain period of time. It is about each of us and it requires time and effort – We need to think-through the period thoroughly.

During the appraisal, there is need for us to be as objective as possible. We do not have to be too harsh or too lenient with ourselves.

Below are Questions to provide answers to while writing an appraisal for yourself.

  • What were the goals you set for the period?

You need to pull out your goals, this would help you to identify where you have made progress by achievements of the goals you set for the period.

  • What did you achieve?

After you have pulled out your goals for the period you are writing a self-appraisal for, write your achievements next. You have to be objective about this, write every thing you have accomplished in the time, whether little or much. It helps to create segments and have the achievements segmented.

  • How did you achieve them?

What did you do achieve your goals? Review the activities you engaged in and how they helped you to achieve your goals in the period. Be specific and write clearly.

  • How did you perform in the activities?

Grade your performance in the activities you engaged in. don’t deceive yourself to grade yourself more highly than you should. You should know there must have been better ways to do them.

  • What were the challenges you faced?

You must have faced situations that apparently placed your back against the wall, write them also.

  • How did you surmount them?

Having thought about the challenges you were faced with, write the specific things you did to overcome them. Be honest to state the ones you couldn’t overcome and the reasons too.

  • What were your inadequacies?

Your self-appraisal shouldn’t be filled with only the positives, write the negatives too. When doing this, say what you are doing to develop yourself in those areas.

  • What would you need to do to improve your productivity?

This is very important. This is a major essence of writing a self-appraisal.

If you are able to answer the above questions well, you must have come up with a sound and well thought-through self-appraisal. We should encourage ourselves to do this periodically in order to monitor our progress and level of productivity.


*- Pema Chondron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times.


Chinedu is passionate about occupational safety and health. He keeps following trends in industrial safety. Chinedu currently lives in Ikare-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria.

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