Knowing Yourself As Well As You Think You Do – What Would You Do If …?

Vantage Points Header Joel Elvesonby Joel Elveson, Columnist & Featured Contributor

[su_dropcap style=”flat”]W[/su_dropcap]E ALL LIKE TO THINK we know ourselves pretty well to the point we think we know how we would react in a particular situation and what we would do. The key word here is think as in we think we know. It takes a great deal of introspective thinking to fully understand yourself. With that in mind I am going to throw out some scenarios so you can test yourself on how well you know yourself. I will give a few choices for responses to each scenario and you can respond with your answers when you see the article published. Pease feel free to reject the choices while adding your own opinions or course of action.

Scenario #1 You have just been diagnosed with cancer (G-d Forbid) and were informed you have only a short time to live. Aside from seeking a second opinion (you would be foolish not to in that situation) would you simply break down and cry while asking G-d why you or would you try to make the most out of your life with the time you have left. If you are a person with a family how do you break this news to them while trying to maintain your composure?

Scenario #2 Out of the clear blue sky (as the saying goes) you find out either a missing relative is alive and well or somebody unexpectedly shows up at your door step claiming you are their father. Would you try to contact the relative with the idea of visiting or would you just be gratified to hear this person is alive and leave things at that? If this person claiming to be your son or daughter is not asking you for money but simply wants to have a relationship with you what would you do and in general what thoughts would be going through your mind?what if

Scenario #3 It has come to your attention that a Senior level Executive at the company you are working for is embezzling funds from the company 401K plan or misusing company money for their own personal uses. This Executive finds out you are aware of what he has been doing and offers you a bribe to keep quiet about the whole matter. Do you take the bribe or do you report him which could cost you your job and put you in the middle of a prolonged investigation for which you are needed as a witness. As this could also tarnish your reputation even though you have committed no crime or wrong doing the mere fact you were involved in this causes potential employers to avoid you where would you turn to for help?

Scenario #4 Congratulations! You have been elected to the Presidency of the United States of America! What priorities would you set for your administration and how would you go about getting them implemented if both The Congress and The Senate are dominated by members of the opposite political party as you and will do anything to block your initiatives so they can have their own agenda put into play? How would you assert yourself in a manner that will be enticing enough to make them want to be positive influence peddlers on your behalf?

Scenario #5 Your household is in a state of total disarray. The mortgage is behind and worse yet your children do not respect you as you are not their “real” father or mother and thusly are acting out. The school wants to report you to Children’s Protective Services as the kids have convinced their teacher that you are abusing them. How would you feel and what would you do to remedy both situations so that you come out of this ordeal unscathed? If CPS does show up and wants you to place the children into foster care would you comply or fight them for custody of your children in court?

You do not need me to tell you about all the unexpected challenges you will face during the course of a life time but you do need to know yourself inside and out (not think but know) as to what you would do if this or that should occur. There are bound to be moments of self-doubt when you discover that despite the fact you thought you knew yourself pretty well you are now facing a difficulty you never thought about with no self-developed answers forthcoming . What course of action will you follow?

The realization you will have to come to is that you did not in fact know enough about who you are or possess your own personal mental resource library to solve problems as they happen especially in those times when problems start accumulating. It is the realization that you can never be that self-assured where you feel that there is no solution you can’t come up with that would require you to reach out to others for support and/or help. “Sucking it up” by the way is a macho (male or female) response with no substance to it.


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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  1. Dear Joel, as you know, life certainly had always been a struggle in numerous aspects, personal & professional. I certainly won’t go in detail. Struggles can certainly be wicked challenges leading you to re-think decisions. Do I actually THINK I KNOW MYSELF, I do at particular times, dependent on the topic, situation, decisions, events and as I refer to “season’s/cycles”. I just had an ” Oh No I Didn’t Think/Self Assurance Moment” after reading yet another article referencing the right/wrong formats, use bullet points, don’t. How many tool boxes am I supposed to have? I thought I knew what I know, now the answer is No again. Setbacks either discourage one to move forward, or stay cemented without the jack hammer you wished for in the garage of many tools. Rest assured I will put in the work and consistent learn to improve. If I had scenario 1, second, third opinion, live life to its fullest extent, no doubt in this decision. Scenario re:Ethics & Vulnerability – I would not hesitate to put myself in jeopardy, media, harsh reciprocal actions. I’ve been through this process a hair close to being close to testify, never called, this short-stack job long ago back in day when I was very young. ..racketeering, falsely recording inventory, and more. I refused to participate as the investigation was underway. I did know to THINK SMART. I knew to get out of the toxic and unlawful criminal activity corporation asap.Family members. .cannot reply on that subject w/o family ties. President? I won’t touch that subject, there’s enough debate and turmoil, I know without thinking I cannot change the political world today, wrongful tactics over decade’s, shambles I as one cannot correct. I raise the white flag on this subject. Bottom line. …I will admit I don’t think I know what I thought I knew. I have no problem reaching out for support and I am the first to admit when I need help, suggestions, and yes, I was told to suck-it-up, interesting feedback from a Professional Master. My dilemma….who is the master? Can one really be a master and how in this wide world of brain overload on the Internet do you begin your path? Did I get off track here? It’s the overload and yet negative feedback tossed me in a whirlpool. If at the end, if any of this made sense, I always welcome your feedback and grateful for our connection and friendship.

    • Beckie, YOU are the master! We all have to try to be the masters of our destiny wherever possible. We have all made bad decisions in life and sometimes despite our best efforts a seemingly good decision suddenly turns into a bad one. There are numerous resume formats out there. As long as your resume highlights your experience along with a couple of achievements you should be fine. You can always e-mail me a copy for any suggestions. The crux of the question is how would we react if something unexpected should happen even if we think we know ourselves well. There are no right or wrong answers to the question but rather each of us on our own must answer ti internally. Thank you for your thought provoking commentary. Keep your chin up!

    • Thank you Joel for your kindness and I appreciate your feedback with my utmost gratitude. Yes, I had experienced unexpected events, emergency situation’s whence the “Fight /Flight” physiological sensory recepticles noted and documented by Erickson and Cannon kicked off in high gear. I didn’t know what the core outcome would evolve, I reacted, understanding fully I was capable of moving on, despite the physical, emotional, financial burdens set forth in front of me. We don’t react in this running train motion every day, though there are many different scenario’s for each of us. I reacted with dismay, yes……questioning my qualifications due to the email communications. After having time to think about the feedback from someone whom I do not even know, who are they to place judgemental burden on me with emails every 6 hrs? My decision’s had made me stronger, smarter, more aware, and allowed me to build MASTER another achievement. I will send off a separate email for your valuable feedback. Thank you for responding, My Best Always!

    • Beckie, I try to help as many people as I can. People can be judgemental even when they have never met you personally. By the same token we can be judgemental of others sometimes as well. If your decisions have made you stronger, smarter & more aware you have accomplished something big. As hard as it is (it’s tough as h-ll) it’s something we all have to do.

  2. Massimo, Without getting into details I will tell you there was a very difficult and painful time in my life during which I learned I did not know myself as well as I thought I did and when push came to shove I was clueless in this whole situation as nothing in life had prepared me for any of what I was now involved which was not related to committing a crime or any type of illegal activity. You are incredibly right about being scared and that from these experience it also made me realize I can go further. Out of respect I will not ask you to go into any details as I would not want to bring back any painful memories. From what I gather from your comments (thank you so much for them) is that our circumstances may have been different but the feelings and outcome were almost the same. All my best and thank you once again for reading and commenting on my article.

  3. Thank you Joel. As fo me, answering your questions would be nice.. but also painful in a way… down memory lane. The only thing I can say here.. is just a simple and humble advice… proving yourself in extreme situations… is not always pleasant…please believe me… but it’s the only way people can see whether or not they have the guts to hold on in very difficult circumstances… In all sincerity, sometimes I got really scared in my life… but it was useful… ’cause I realized something critical about myself. I realized just how much further I can go… So… you’re right… fine words are one thing… but being caught in difficult situations… is another… Thank you.