Sometimes you have to take a long, hard look at yourself in order to identify weakness and areas in need of improvement.
Curtis Davies is among those aware that he has allowed his standards to slip this season, with the Hull City defender offering a brutally honest assessment on his Premier League efforts.
The former Aston Villa man has been tipped for an England call-up on a regular basis in the recent past, with many surprised to see a number of assured displays consistently overlooked.
The Tigers centre-half is, however, a long way from Roy Hodgson’s thoughts at present, and he admits as much.
His form has mirrored that of his employers, with Hull having suffered four straight defeats, and gone six without a win, to tumble into relegation danger.
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Davies told the Hull Daily Mail: "I've been average, not anywhere near my usual standards if I'm honest. I set high standards for myself last season and that's frustrating. I need to put my finger on it and get back to where I was.
"The sooner I do that, the better. I'm not saying I'm going to turn the team around because there's 11 players on the pitch but when you've got a good feeling in yourself, that can help everyone around you through individual confidence.
"I could make excuses for how I've played but I don't know. I just want to work hard and get back to the level that got me plaudits last season."
Davies was named Hull’s Player of the Year for 2013/14 following a productive debut season at the KC Stadium which saw him lead his teammates out in the FA Cup final.
It is difficult to explain the struggles he and the remainder of Steve Bruce’s side have endured this term, with the summer having been spent strengthening the ranks.
Maybe too much has changed. Maybe, in their second season among the elite, the Tigers have lost some of the hunger which drove them towards top-flight consolidation last year.
Whatever the reasons, Davies and co need to turn the corner, and turn it quickly, if they are to avoid seeing the current campaign become an uncomfortable scrap for survival.