Autonomy + Self-Evaluation
There’s lots of research out there trying to understand autonomy within the scope of youths—children and teens. Perhaps this focus is because this is a time period when autonomy is forming, holding influence on the way it shows up for the rest of our lives. But we can take some important information from these studies and apply them to our present, regardless of how autonomous we feel at the moment.
In these studies, researchers found that self-evaluation was key to building autonomy. So what exactly is self-evaluation? Self-evaluation is kind of a fancy way of saying self-awareness mixed with the ability to assess our performance in various areas.
Directly applied to this work we’re doing here, self-evaluation is the work we do rating our performance on all of the inner and outer work it takes to remove alcohol from our lives.
And the research tells us that there’s a strong correlation between autonomy and being able to self-evaluate well. We don’t need to have killer scores on all of these self-evaluations, we just have to be able to perform them. We need to have the awareness and introspection to be able to assess ourselves on a regular basis, and that alone builds autonomy.
The takeaway: even if we began this journey feeling shaking on our ability to make decisions and live without external validation, we can foster it, and increasing our ability to self-evaluate is one tool for doing so.
So how exactly do we begin to practice self-evaluation?