We have all heard people say we should “cater to our strengths and minimize our weaknesses”… but what does this really mean? There are a million definitions out there, but I recently heard it explained in a way that really struck a chord with me. It was so simple… yet made so much sense.
Busting the Myth
Many people think of strengths as something they are good at, and weakness as something they are bad at. Have you ever been really good at something you hated though? Does that still make it a strength?
An example in my life is that I once worked as an executive assistant. I was great at keeping our executive’s travel plans, calandars and presentation materials in perfect order. They loved me because I was also good at anticipating their needs and taking their requests one step further to really go above and beyond.
Guess what? I hated that job. Even though I was good at it – I felt like I was just doing other people’s grunt work instead of doing something valuable and worthwhile. Not saying that this wouldn’t feel like meaningful work for someone else – but for me, I got no fulfilment from it.
Ok… here’s the sentence that gave me an entire paradigm shift on how I think of Strengths and Weakness…
Strengths Make You Feel Strong and Weakness Make You Feel Weak
This may sound over simplified, but it was a huge “ah-ha!” moment for me. It was a great exercise to through what made me feel alive and strong, and then think about how I could bring more of those moments into my life. On the flip side, evaluating what makes me feel weak or powerless was really eye opening as well. Once they were defined… it opened the door for me to face them head on, or think of ways to minimize those moments in my life.
Try this Exercise
I challenge you to take a few minutes and just free-write your thoughts. Think about what makes you feel strong and write down anything that comes to mind – then do the same for what makes you feel weak. Don’t pre-judge any of your thoughts or try to form them into a coherent idea. Just let it roll out of your brain without restriction.
I hope this will be an eye opening exercise for you to better identify your strengths and weaknesses.
How is this Info Helpful?
Once you have your free-write from both sides – take the time to look through what you wrote down. Are there certain themes? Maybe there are ways you can incorporate more moments of strength within your day.
This is a great exercise for entrepreneurs as well. As you think of business ideas – make sure you are really in tune with how your strengths and weaknesses will affect that business idea before you get started. It may even highlight areas that you are super passionate about and may have an opportunity to build a business around.
I hope you found this little paradigm shift to be as helpful as I did. I’d love to hear if you have a different way of identifying strengths and weaknesses that has worked really well for you. When we all get together to share our knowledge and insights – that’s when growth happens.
Thanks so much for watching my Dtube vlog and/or reading this post!