Cherish Your Strengths, Improve Your Weaknesses
Our last article focused on failure, and why you need it as a part of your life. Though not always the case, we often associate failure with weakness. This week we’ll discuss weaknesses, as well as strengths, and how they play an important role in goal achievement.
Every person on the planet has both strengths and weaknesses. It doesn’t matter if you’re a world leader, CEO, manager, or everyday blue collar worker. We all have things we are good at and we all have things we could improve on. The task is to take an honest look at yourself and assess what abilities fall into which category. One of my strengths is that I tend to be a perfectionist, wanting things done exactly as I envision them in my mind. One of my worst weaknesses is I tend put off things that I deem unimportant or are uninterested in. Viewing yourself through an unfiltered lens, as painful as it might seem, is imperative in truly understanding yourself. Let’s take a look at how we can do this:
Recognizing strengths is the easy part because we tend the rely heavily on them. Regardless, I want you to write down at least 3 strengths that you currently have. It could be that you’re detail-focused, are persistent, have experience in your career field, etc. These are your “power” attributes, the ones that come naturally to you. It’s important that you recognize them and understand how they can be used to your advantage. When a tough situation arises, think back to these strengths and how you can use them to overcome the current scenario.
Example: You are swamped with work that seems to keep piling up. Although this can seem overwhelming, you know that you are persistent and are focused on the completing the task at hand. You prioritize what needs to be done and start knocking off the objectives, task by task. By focusing on the solution, instead of the problem, you maintain a positive mindset that keeps you free from mental distractions.
Unlike personal strengths, weaknesses are a little harder to think about. We tend to avoid the things that we are weak at, either out of fear or out of embarrassment. This is a natural tendency that many of us have. But, by assessing our weaknesses and beginning to work on them, we become stronger. Just like your strengths, I want you to write down 3 weaknesses that you can work on. These will probably take a little more time to write down. Once you have your 3 weaknesses written down, post them somewhere you will see them daily (on the fridge, on your computer screen, etc.). As you are reminded of them daily, begin to include those actions in your daily routine.
Personal example: I woke up at 4:30 am to write this article for you. My busy schedule doesn’t allow a lot of free time throughout the day. Finding the time to complete tasks is a personal weakness. By waking up at 4:30 each day, I give myself an extra 1 ½ hours to complete tasks that would otherwise be hard to fit in throughout the day. If you fall into this same boat of “never having time,” consider waking up a little earlier. It was hard for the first few days, but the human body is able to adapt to almost anything. It’s almost effortless now that it has become a daily routine.