True Self/personal inventory

Personal Inventory

To begin to uncover, understand, and assess the story we tell ourselves about ourselves, consider the extent to which you agree or disagree with each of the statements below. First consider how true this statement is for how you are now. Score this from 1 to 5 in the “is” row for this statement. Then consider how you ought to be. Score this from 1 to 5 in the “ought” row for this statement. Finally, score how important this characteristic is to you. Use 1 if the characteristic is unimportant, and a number ranging through 5 for essential characteristics.

Score each of the following statements using these two scales:

Score: 1 2 3 4 5
If you: Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
Score: 1 2 3 4 5
If this is: Unimportant Somewhat Important Important Very Important Essential

Performance Virtues edit

  1. I am satisfied with my physical appearance. I am pleased when I see myself in the mirror and see myself in photos. I sometimes receive complements on my appearance. Although I pay attention to personal hygiene, grooming, and clothing, I am not bothered by concerns of weight gain or loss, blemishes, cosmetic surgery, makeup, jewelry, hair style, hair color, or fashion.
  2. I am satisfied with my health. I am usually healthy, and only rarely sick. When I do get sick the illnesses respond to treatment and are short lived. I do not suffer from chronic, debilitating, or life-threatening illnesses. It is unusual for me to miss work, cancel appointments, or change plans because of poor health. I generally feel good, and I rarely worry about my health. I rarely complain about my health.
  3. I am physically fit. I am able to complete my work and my daily activities without strain, pain, or undue fatigue. I am able to enjoy appropriate sports and recreational activities.
  4. I am physically strong. I am able to lift and carry items required at work, at home and at play. I can walk, run, and move with agility and strength. My muscle tone and overall musculature reflects my overall strength.
  5. I am intelligent. I am literate, and my reasoning is good. I am able to grasp concepts and perform abstract reasoning. I am adequately educated and curious. My quantitative skills are adequate for my needs at work and at home.
  6. I am literate. I am able to read at a level appropriate to my age. I can read adequately to perform well at work and meet my needs at home. I am able to read for enjoyment. I can use a dictionary to learn words I am unfamiliar with.
  7. My memory serves me well. I can recall events from the past, as well as recent events. I can remember what I did today, and the facts and events I need to remember to do my job, and live my life.
  8. I am fluent in the language used where I live. I am fluent in the language I need to perform my work, at home, and for enjoyment. Conversations are easy and pleasant for me.
  9. I am creative. I can generate and contribute ideas that are new and useful. This may be evident in work, daily activities, coping and problem solving, or in creative activities such as singing, painting, or writing.
  10. I am ambitious. I complete all my work at home and on the job, and often help others. I strive to do more and I am often able to do more. I do my best. I have a vision for a better future and I am working toward that vision.
  11. I am diligent. I consistently and earnestly work to accomplish whatever I have undertaken. I am persistent, tenacious, and reliable. When I decide to start something, you can count on me to finish it. I do not shy away from work, and I routinely overcome obstacles to get the job done.
  12. My life is sufficiently orderly. Everything has its place, and is often found in its place. I plan for upcoming events or duties and carry out those plans. Undue drama, chaos, emergencies, histrionics, and last minute changes of plans are rare.
  13. I am industrious. I make good use of time. I have well-chosen goals and I constantly work toward them. I am doing something useful every minute and I rarely waste time.
  14. I keep my body clean. I pay attention to my physical hygiene, wear clean clothes, bath regularly, brush my teeth, and control bad breath and body odors. I am pleasant to be around.
  15. I am energetic, alive and vital. I enjoy doing things and have plenty of energy. I would rather get up and go than lie around on the couch. I am wide awake, alert, and attentive. My posture is good, my eyes are clear and bright, and my speech is crisp and clear.
  16. I am satisfied with my leadership skills. Whenever I need or choose to lead others, I have an adequate vision of what needs to be done, I can express that vision, and I successfully engage others in moving toward that vision. (Note: for a detailed list of leadership skills, see these inventories of public, private, and technical leadership skills.)

Competency edit

  1. I am self-sufficient and able to care for myself. I am able to earn a living, provide for myself, and manage household chores. I obtain and prepare the food I need. I maintain a clean and safe household or living space. I can solve problems and overcome obstacles. I can travel, find my way around, and get to and from where I need to be. I manage money adequately; and get help when I need it. Although I enjoy company and have relationships I care about, I have no need to depend on others to live my life.
  2. I have attained skills that allow me to solve everyday problems. I routinely overcome obstacles and solve problems allowing me to get through the day without consternation or apprehension. When the unexpected happens, I figure out what to do to handle the situation without undue drama, anxiety, or alarm. Life’s little emergencies are expected and solved. I am effective at work, at home and even at play.
  3. I enjoy facing a new challenge. I enjoy facing the opportunity and excitement presented by a new or unsolved problem. I enjoy being tested physically, mentally, and emotionally by new problems, contests, puzzles, and opportunities. I engage in appropriate challenges, solve problems, and overcome obstacles.
  4. I am sufficiently educated. I have attained a level of education that allows me to live independently, converse easily with others, read materials I am interested in, write notes and letters, work with money, and continue to learn.
  5. I am able to cope with difficulties. I have the skills, drive, energy, judgment, and determination to overcome obstacles, problems, and everyday hassles. When emergencies, setbacks, and more serious problems arise, I have the strengths and capacity to overcome, persist, and endure.
  6. I have learned a specialized skill that I can get paid to use. I have mastered a talent, trade, skill, or profession that others are willing to pay me for. I earn an income based on the skills I have and use.
  7. I feel competent because I am competent. I get the job done fully, reliably, and expertly.

Basic Abilities edit

  1. My eyesight is satisfactory.
  2. My hearing is satisfactory.
  3. My speech is satisfactory.
  4. My physical body is whole and functions well.
  5. My cognitive development is satisfactory.
  6. My emotional development is satisfactory.

Moral Virtues edit

Moral virtue is excellence at being human; it is excellence in being for the good. For in-depth study of moral virtue, study the Wikiversity Course on Virtues. Each of the moral virtues studied in that course are listed below.

  1. I am polite and civil. I am considerate of others, tactful, and avoid disrupting social interchanges. In addition I strive to be just, tolerant, wise, and act in good faith.
  2. I am consistent in my thoughts, words, and deeds; I practice the virtue of fidelity. I do what I say I will and I abstain from hypocrisy.
  3. I am wise. I use good judgment and I am prudent. I seek well-being for myself and others. I am an intelligent, knowing, and pragmatic observer. I reflect to foster introspection and intuition based on a true and deep understanding of the world and human-based values. I am compassionate and at peace. My deep thought, reflection, and feeling is expressed through action that is always committed, passionate, and generous.
  4. I am temperate; I exercise self-control and live in moderation. I do not eat, drink, philander, shop, or indulge in damaging or frivolous behavior excessively.
  5. I am courageous. I am neither rash nor cowardly; I do not fear failure. I understand the danger and even then, I choose to overcome the fear and proceed to face the danger and act according to my values.
  6. I am just. I know what is fair and I strive to achieve it. I believe in equality for all people and equal protection for all people under the law.
  7. I am generous. I enjoy giving to another person something of my own as an act of freewill, without obligation. I practice random acts of kindness, and help whenever I can.
  8. I am compassionate. I am concerned for others and I regret for their suffering. I readily act for the benefit of others, especially to relieve their suffering. I refuse to inflict pain on others, speak or act violently, harass, exploit, or denigrate others. I refuse to hate.
  9. I am merciful. I readily forgive others, and do not hate or seek vengeance, even if I believe the others were wrong.
  10. I am grateful for all that is. I am thankful for my life, the lives of others, the world we live in, all that I am able to do, and all that I can experience.
  11. I am humble. I recognize that sun shines with equal brightness on each of us. It shines no more brightly on you, and just as importantly, it shines on you as brightly as others. I recognize that although we are each very special, we are nobody special. I am open to learning and experiencing new things.
  12. I live simply without pretense, deception, or excess. I value clear and direct communications that result from clear thinking. I value the simple essence that organizes what is apparently complex to reveal an elegance that often is only understood after examining and comprehending immense complexity. I choose function over opulence.
  13. I tolerate differences. I respect opinions, preferences, justified beliefs, and practices that differ from my own. I am patient with practices and opinions that I disapprove of. I listen carefully and treat the person with dignity and respect, even while I disagree
  14. My motives are pure; neither evil nor selfish. My intentions lack self-interest, egoism, desire, envy, cruelty, spite, greed, malice, lust, trickery, and dishonesty. I act from trust rather than from manipulation.
  15. I am gentle. I strive to do good with the least possible harm to others. I approach others from a stance of love—or at least benevolence--rather than indifference, or worse.
  16. I speak and act in good faith. I am truthful and I value truthfulness. I speak and act without any concealed motives or goals.
  17. I have a good sense of humor. I enjoy seeing a simple truth in some new or unexpected way. My humor pokes fun without malice; it is a harmless joy.
  18. I foster love in my life. I refuse to hate, and I strive to see the good in others. I notice those people and things that bring me joy and I recognize their good and my love for them.
  19. My sense of moral virtue is integrated and well balanced. I strive to do good by recognizing the interdependence among various virtues and then doing what is best. I resolve moral dilemmas thoughtfully and effectively.

Sexuality edit

  1. I am sexually competent. I have attracted a suitable sexual partner. We regularly enjoy sex together.
  2. I enjoy a healthy sex life, appropriate to my age and circumstances.
  3. I have not been sexually exploited. All of my sexual encounters have been entirely voluntary and reflect my good judgment.
  4. I have not exploited others sexually. All of my sexual encounters have been with the full consent of my partner.
  5. I am comfortable with my sexual identity. I know who I am attracted to and I am comfortable with that attraction.
  6. I have not engaged in unwise, unsafe, or exploitive sexual activities.
  7. I do not regret my past or present sexual activities.
  8. I am comfortable with my sexuality.

Honesty edit

  1. I am impeccable with my word. I communicate fully, accurately, clearly, and truthfully, without intent of deception or manipulation. I am trustworthy and reliable. I do not gossip, nor speak ill of others who are not in my presence.
  2. I do not lie, cheat, or steal.

Trust edit

Trust is the ability to rely on another. It is a basic condition of our relationships.

  1. I can be relied on to do what I say I will do. You can depend on me.
  2. I am trustworthy. I speak carefully, understand what I am promising, keep my promises, behave consistently and predictably, and provide early notice of problems or changes of circumstances.
  3. I trust others unless there is a clear reason not to. I approach new relationships assuming good-will and trust until careful analysis proves this is unwarranted. However, I respectfully require due diligence whenever the risks are truly unacceptable. I use good judgment to find the balance between gullibility and suspicion.
  4. I trust the people who are close to me. My friends have earned my trust.

Betrayal edit

  1. I am rarely deceived. I can identify frauds, scam artists, and charlatans and I avoid their traps.
  2. People I have trusted have proven themselves worthy of my trust.
  3. I have not been taken for a sucker. I have not been swindled, deceived, cheated, or taken advantage of.

Reliability edit

  1. You can count on me to keep my promises. I will not break my word. I can be relied on to do what I say I will do. I am dependable and responsible.
  2. I arrive on time. This is one of the many promises I keep.
  3. I do my best. I recognize my best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when I am healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, I do my best, and avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Power edit

  1. I am able to exercise power and influence.
  2. I am comfortable exercising power.
  3. I am skillful in exercising power.
  4. I never abuse my power.
  5. I am comfortable following the direction of a skillful leader.
  6. No one abuses the power they hold over me. I enjoy my liberty.

Autonomy edit

  1. I make my own decisions.
  2. I make good decisions.

Vulnerability edit

  1. I have never been abandoned.
  2. I have never been the victim of bullying, teasing, harassment, or torment.
  3. I am not a wimp. I am not a coward.

Abuse edit

  1. I have never been the victim of abuse.
  2. I have never abused anyone.

Protection edit

  1. I was well protected from harm and abuse while growing up.
  2. I have protected those who needed me.
  3. I am serene. I am free of guilt and I am free of shame. I have forgiven all the people who have harmed me. I have apologized to all the people I have harmed. I have reconciled all my transgressions.

Stature edit

  1. I am worthy.
  2. I am humble.
  3. I am confident, and there is a sound basis for my confidence.
  4. I am free of chronic shame or guilt.

Addictions edit

Addiction is the continued use of a mood altering substance or behavior, despite its adverse consequences.

  1. I am in full control of my drinking. I drink only moderately or not at all. I control my drinking and it does not control me.
  2. I am in full control of my eating.
  3. I do not smoke or use tobacco products.
  4. I do not use illicit drugs.
  5. I do not abuse prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
  6. If I choose to gamble, I remain in full control. Loses are small and easily afforded. Time spent represents reasonable recreation time. I do not avoid duties or obligations to pursue gambling. Gambling does not cause me to break promises. No-one, including myself, is jeopardized by my gambling.
  7. I shop sensibly and only for items that I reasonably need.
  8. I spend money sensibly only for those thing that are most needed to care for myself and others I am responsible for.
  9. I seek medical attention only when I have good reason to believe I am ill.
  10. I work when my job reasonably demands it, and I leave work when the work is sufficiently attended to or I have more urgent or important matters to take care of.
  11. I exercise to improve my strength and fitness, and I do not use exercise sessions to avoid other responsibilities.

Crimes edit

  1. I have not committed a crime.
  2. I have not been the victim of a crime.
  3. I have never been arrested.
  4. No one in my family has ever been arrested.

Judgment edit

  1. I make decisions carefully and thoughtfully.
  2. I consider short and long term consequences and the impact on all stakeholders when making decisions.
  3. I am confident in the decisions I make.
  4. My judgment remains objective even in the face of conflict.
  5. I do not regret decisions I have made in the past.
  6. I am guided by wisely chosen moral reasoning.
  7. I consistently act according to my wisely chosen moral reasoning.

Fairness edit

  1. I readily recognize fair and unfair opportunity, actions, and outcomes.
  2. I strive to ensure fair opportunity, actions, and outcomes.
  3. I treat others fairly.
  4. I am treated fairly.

Emotions edit

  1. I am emotionally competent. I have developed the essential social skills to recognize, interpret, and respond constructively to emotions in myself and others.
  2. Passion motivates me in constructive ways.
  3. I skillfully manage any destructive emotions that may arise.
  4. I have accurate empathy for others.

Caring edit

  1. There are people I care for.
  2. There are people I care about.
  3. I care for people who depend on me.

Being Cared For edit

  1. There are people who care for me.
  2. My parents cared for me well when I was a child.

Friendships edit

  1. I am pleasant to be around.
  2. I have friends.
  3. I am a good friend to have. I can be relied on especially in difficult times.
  4. My friendships are healthy, symmetrical, and balanced; each of us gains as much as we give.

Family edit

  1. When growing up, my parents were there for me when I needed them.
  2. When growing up, my family life was good; I was happy, healthy, and well-cared for by my parents and others.
  3. My parents love me.
  4. I love my parents.
  5. I love my children.

Heritage edit

  1. I am aware of my ancestry and heritage.
  2. I am proud of my ancestry and heritage.

Career edit

  1. My career is satisfying.

Finances edit

  1. The money I earn is adequate for my needs and the need of those who depend on me.
  2. I spend money carefully, ensuring I get good value.
  3. I manage money carefully, staying aware of account balances and payment due dates.
  4. I pay bills on time.
  5. My debt is well within manageable limits.
  6. I am able to accumulate savings.
  7. I invest money wisely and successfully.
  8. I rarely disagree about money matters with family members.
  9. I have few money worries.

For Partners: edit

  1. I am faithful to my partner.
  2. I love my partner.
  3. I care about my partner.
  4. I treat my partner kindly.
  5. I never treat my partner unkindly.
  6. I share family responsibilities fairly with my partner.
  7. I am a good partner.
  8. I am happily married/partnered.

For Men: edit

As a Father edit

  1. I spend time with our children.
  2. I provide our children guidance in developing essential life skills.
  3. I help our children develop and explore their own autonomy.
  4. I enjoy playing and doing things with our children.
  5. I help our children learn.
  6. I provide adequately for our children’s needs.
  7. I take an interest in our children’s activities, accomplishments, failures, feelings, problems, and needs.
  8. I am a good father.

For Boys: edit

As a Son edit

  1. I have always had a good relationship with my mother and father.
  2. I enjoyed growing up.
  3. I was adequately provided for.
  4. I was adequately cared for.
  5. My parents spent sufficient time with me.
  6. My parents paid appropriate attention to me.
  7. My parents demonstrated their love for me.
  8. I was worthy of my parent’s love.
  9. I feel I belong in the family.
  10. I know I am loved.
  11. My childhood was free from abuse.

As a Brother edit

  1. I had, and still have, a good relationship with my brothers and sisters.

For Women: edit

As a Mother edit

  1. I spend time with our children.
  2. I provide our children guidance in developing essential life skills.
  3. I help our children develop and explore their own autonomy.
  4. I enjoy playing and doing things with our children.
  5. I help our children learn.
  6. I provide adequately for our children’s needs.
  7. I take an interest in our children’s activities, accomplishments, failures, feelings, problems, and needs.
  8. I am a good mother.

For Girls: edit

As a daughter edit

  1. I have always had a good relationship with my mother and father.
  2. I enjoyed growing up.
  3. I was adequately provided for.
  4. I was adequately cared for.
  5. My parents spent sufficient time with me.
  6. My parents paid appropriate attention to me.
  7. My parents demonstrated their love for me.
  8. I was worthy of my parent’s love.
  9. I feel I belong in the family.
  10. I know I am loved.
  11. My childhood was free from abuse.

As a Sister edit

  1. I had, and still have, a good relationship with my brothers and sisters.

Fulfillment edit

  1. I focus on what matters.
  2. I am successful.
  3. I am significant.

Doing your Best edit

  1. I do my best whenever possible.
  2. Describe a time when you failed to do your best.

Strengths Inventory edit

Each of us has personal strengths that distinguish us. Yet none of us can be good at everything. It is helpful to recognize our strengths, and be aware of where we are not as strong. The Character Strengths and Virtues (CSV) handbook of human strengths and virtues, seeks to identify and classify the positive psychological traits of human beings.

Study this list of strength and virtues to identify the 3-5 strengths that best characterize you.

Complete the VIA Survey of Character Strengths, linked from

Personality Profile edit

Complete one of these measures of the Big Five personality traits.

Optionally, read this list of trait adjectives and choose the 10 to 15 that best describe you.

Optional Genealogical DNA testing edit

Optionally, consider having Genealogical DNA testing performed to obtain information about your genealogy or personal ancestry.

Continue With the Course edit

Return to the section Collecting the Narrative in the course on Unmasking the True Self. Continue the course from there.