We all have to acknowledge that we are really good at some things, and pretty lousy at some other things which are really important. There is no need to become a superhero.
A weakness is only weak when those faults stop you from taking action.
Therefore, please don’t ignore your weaknesses, but don’t focus on them either. Acknowledge and then manage them.
The acknowledgment of our weakness is the first step in repairing our loss.
You believe you HAVE to be good at everything you do just to be good enough and successful. The reality is that everyone has their weaknesses, even the most prominent CEOs in the world.
The differences between people who despite their weaknesses are successful and people who struggle due to their weaknesses are in their perspective and approach to their shortcomings.
We all have to acknowledge that we are really good at some things, and pretty lousy at some other things which are really important. Nobody is a superhero.
Acknowledging your weaknesses and managing them is the real key to success. Knowing your weaknesses allows you to understand how you can work around them.
Start by thinking about your habits, behaviors, actions which undermine your daily performance, potential, and happiness.
And don’t limit yourself just to skills which you haven’t learned or developed yet.
Here are some clues to your weaknesses:
‣ Consider situations when you felt insecure or disappointed in your performance.
‣ What activities/tasks do you leave until last on your to-do list? Think why?
‣ Ask yourself, “Am I genuinely bad at this particular thing, or am I just scared of doing it?”
‣ Think about a time when someone did their best to rob you of your confidence.
‣ What drains your energy?
‣ When do you feel most frustrated?
‣ From what activities/tasks you try to shrink away as you don’t feel so confident with?
‣ When do you have to ask for help?
‣ Is there something about other people you admire/envy, and you wish you could be as they are?
You might also want to try asking someone you trust, a friend, boss, co-worker, family member, mentor, if they could (constructively) pinpoint some weaknesses for you. An outside opinion always helps.
Moreover, what you might learn about your weaknesses is that:
➡ What seems like weakness to you might not necessarily seem adverse or detrimental to others.
➡ Or you might realize that your fault shows up just in some specific situations and not in general in your life.
➡ Or an apparent “weakness” may merely indicate that a particular activity just isn’t for you, which can be an important thing to admit to yourself.
This knowledge can be constructive when you decide to work on your weakness.
Your areas for growth might be framed in terms of »learning lessons from life, « or other times, it’s about »learning the skill for a specific activity. « Your effort to manage your weakness will be different in each case.
Accurate self-awareness is like your inner GPS, which will help you navigate your investment in terms of time, money, and effort in the right direction.
Find the source of your weakness
Where is the weakness coming from?
When you dig into a weakness, you often find the misapplication of talent, for instance, overusing or underusing your talents as a result of your life experiences.
For example, an employee becomes paralyzed by analysis – he/she over-analyzes (or overthinks) a situation so that he/she doesn’t make a decision or take action, or the empathetic secretary who shows so much concern for others that some of them take advantage of her, or an employee who excels at representing things with great articulation of words doesn’t let others speak as well, or the employee who is conscientiousness and detail-oriented turns into counterproductive perfectionism.
Or you might find out that you simply just don’t have a talent in this specific area.
It is important to understand that weaknesses and non-talents are not the same.
Non-talents are just those themes that rarely (if ever) show up in your daily life, and there is nothing wrong. There is nothing to do with them. What is essential here is to be aware of where you don’t have talents as they provide some clues to things that may be weaknesses for you. It lets you know the areas where you might need to rely on others or have a strategy in your pocket in order to be successful.
Knowing the source of your weakness helps you find the right approach to managing it.
Embrace your vulnerability
When our weaknesses are exposed, most of us get defensive, which can lead to different types of procrastination or into overusing some of our strengths to hide our weaknesses.
When someone points out a weakness that you have not yet accepted, it hurts your feelings.
All of us sometimes feel inadequate because of weakness, and we try to hide it. You may even be afraid that people would no longer appreciate you if they discovered your little secret.
By learning to embrace your flaws, your ego will no longer be exposed or in danger, and your fears will diminish. You’ll feel more in peace with yourself, which will allow you to drop the defensiveness and accept constructive criticism without feeling hurt.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” Brené Brown
Own your weaknesses as this helps you control the outcome. When you admit your weaknesses, you reduce their power, because when you own them, no one can use them against you. Dare to be vulnerable, dare to show what’s really going on.
People will appreciate the fact that you’re willing to show your vulnerability. They’ll also value your authenticity and admire the fact that you have the courage to be yourself.
Nevertheless, weakness is only weak when those faults stop you from taking action.
Take ownership of your weaknesses and commit to managing them
It is you who is responsible for yourself, your circumstances, and your problems. Acknowledge that you have the personal power to change and influence the events and conditions of your life.
Some people without any difficulties take responsibility for the impact of their weaknesses after becoming aware of them. In contract, others may resist taking responsibility and instead shift the blame to circumstances or other people. No matter where you fall in, having a mentor, coach, or friend who can gently help you on your development path is a golden asset.
Find a convincing reason to overcome it.
Feel the pain of the weakness that you feel is standing in the way of your happiness, goals, success, and any other dream you’d like to be a reality.
The more convincing and powerful the reason, the more likely you’ll be to overcome that weakness. Maybe your weaknesses have held you back in life, professionally, financially, or personally speaking. Because of your weakness, you let go of an appealing opportunity for your professional development, you never start your own business, or you were afraid to change your job which was for already too long undermining your happiness.
And be aware of “SHOULD” thinking and try to avoid it. If you think you SHOULD be more structured and organized, ask yourself why that matters to you? Is it something which will actually help you improve your life? Or can you compensate for this weakness with some of your strengths?
Get just good enough
Even though you may never be great at all tasks, some are important enough that it’s worth the extra effort and time to learn and practice to achieve minimal competence. To become just good enough, not excellent.
For example, a client of mine became a team-lead that was assigned to work on a technical-related issue. At first, he felt inadequate and he almost rejected the opportunity. He didn’t have enough experience on that topic, and in general, he was quite lousy with technical skills. Though once he acknowledged both – his strengths and his shortcomings, he learned enough about the technical part that he was able to maintain a productive and collaborative team. He was able to tell when they could meet deadlines and when they really couldn’t, assess progress, identify risks and issues, and to sustain the right communication with each team member. As he put it, he learned, “just enough not to be scared” and being able to enjoy the opportunity.
With the right self-awareness, you will not be embarrassed because of your flaws, you will not shy away from asking for help from others, and you will know when you got good enough.
Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws might be your gifts. Embrace your inner weirdo.
Here I have a personal experience. I’ve always been told that I am naive and too good to people. I can still remember when I was in high school, my friends called me »Buena Sergeja. « Even though I didn’t even feel I should really change something about it, I couldn’t understand why my attitude toward others could be wrong. I started to feel a little weird about it and asked myself if my attitude is the right one since so many different people make »jokes« out of me. I was almost ashamed of it.
Nevertheless, I’ve learned (not until I was in my late 30’s), mainly thanks to a strengths-based approach, that this is my advantage and not a bad thing.
My ability to include people, instinctively accept every individual and genuinely feel their value and importance, make me far more sensitive than most people. Today this has become my essential strength as I work with many different people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. I’ve learned to hone my sensitivity to a new level, which means I can pick up on micro-expressions and really help people on a level that most miss.
Do you really have a weakness, or is it a strength that others don’t like, appreciate or feel threatened by?
Find strengths-based strategies for managing your weaknesses
So, what are you going to do to follow through?
As Gallup declares, weaknesses can be meaningfully managed only by means of your strengths. You can use some of the bellow listed approaches, depending on a weakness you want to manage.
You can use your talents in a complementary manner
Your success from your strengths will make up for any weaknesses that you have. Think about how you can apply your strengths to manage your weaknesses. For example, think, how can your analytical talents help you build better relationships? How can you use your stamina for new achievements to better anticipate obstacles?
You might found uncomfortable working with assertive and bold personality types, and therefore, you tend to quiet your own ideas and opinions around them, which has been detrimental for your professional development. Instead of beating yourself up because of your lack of confidence, use your other talents and strengths, it could be your empathy, analytical talents, or detail orientation to learn more about them, and their needs, motivations, and communications style. This new understanding will definitely help you to better collaborate with these personality types.
Outsource your weakness and develop complementary partnerships.
Instead of trying to do something that you know you’re not the best at, consider hiring someone to fulfill the skills that you might lack.
You can develop complementary partnerships that will make use of the talents of others. Instead of trying to fix your weaknesses, it is more efficient and effective if you can delegate, hire, or purchase the thing you’re not as good at. It will save you a lot of time and negative energy.
You build a complementary partnership by teaming up with someone who is strong in an area where you are weak. For example, you are quick to see a big picture of the problem and find the best route moving forward, but you can miss some important details, and therefore, the quality of your work can suffer. In this case, it would be a good idea to partner with someone who has an excellent eye for details.
Albert Einstein was a dreamer with his head in the clouds. He came to success in roundabout ways. His wife kept her head on straight, and together they accomplished greatness.
You can create a support system
Support systems help you with what you don’t do well or give you reinforcement when you need it. They can be technological, such as different apps, programming a spreadsheet that does the math on sales reports, or reminder e-mails that you send to yourself.
For example, if you have trouble
saying ‘no’ to requests and end up taking on more than you can handle, you can
use a project management app. You will avoid stress and burn out as the app
will help you visualize how much work you have at any given moment and know
when it’s necessary to say no.
Be less perfect about some things and concentrate on what’s important
“Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
Focus on your character, not your reputation.
Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
As with any new habit, it takes time and will to change your focus from developing weaknesses to developing your strengths.
Don’t let your excessive pride, low self-esteem, or fears that you’re fundamentally not good enough to get in the way to your success and happiness.
Changing your focus from weaknesses
to strengths development is a habit and requires conscious work over a longer
period. But it is worth it as it will mitigate your life’s discontent – most of
all, it will save you a lot of stress and missed opportunities.