How did I get here?


How well do you really know yourself? This block will help you to develop your self-awareness and take stock of your life by helping you to review your experiences and identify what you have learned from them. Your past has shaped you through your family background, education and training, and work and leisure activities. You’ve gained knowledge and skills from your experiences – probably more than you think – and will have developed characteristics and capabilities that help you to cope with difficult situations and to respond to different challenges.

The activities that follow ask you to think about a series of questions to help you to review your current situation. They offer different ways of considering what you’re like and what you can do. At intervals you’ll be asked to note down your responses. The questions are as follows:

  • Who am I?
  • What roles do I play in life?
  • What learning experiences have I had?
  • What are my main achievements?
  • What are my helping and hindering factors?
  • What are my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

Doing these activities should give you a more realistic idea about what you know, what you can do, and what you are good at. In other words, you will learn more about your capabilities – your ability to do something. Capabilities are made up of your skills, knowledge, personal characteristics and attitudes. Hopefully, the things you learn about yourself will increase your confidence, as most people find that they have a lot more to offer than they originally thought. At this stage, focus on what you know and what you can do, rather than thinking about the knowledge and skills you lack. Remember that you may have potential in various areas that has not yet been developed for one reason or another.

Here’s Lynne Johnson introducing this block:

Download this video clip.Video player: pabf_video_s1.mp4
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Welcome to Block 1 of this course, Planning a better future. In this block, we’ll be considering how to develop your self-awareness and take stock of your career and life by helping you to review your experiences and identify what you’ve learned from them. We’ll also be considering what skills and qualities you have, which you may not be aware of. By the end of this section, you will understand what your successes, highlights, and achievements are. You’ll also be aware of any constraints, which may have helped or hindered your steps forward.

Finally, we’ll identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats by carrying out a SWOT analysis. This analysis can help you deal with any weaknesses, which may hinder any opportunities and improve your successes. Considering and reviewing your current situation and planning a better future is a process, which should be repeated and revisited. It may be that you would find it useful to discuss your situation and ideas with friends, family, or even your current employer. Good luck. We hope you enjoy this block.

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Learning outcomes