No one is good at everything; no one. But, most everyone is good at something. Most everyone is also not-so-good at something. As human beings though, this is natural. We may be able to have it all, just not all at once. However, in order to achieve it all, we’re taught to focus on our weaknesses instead of our strengths. Strengths keep us afloat while weaknesses sink us. What happens though, when strengths deplete and weaknesses stay stagnant? We wind up with some poorly supported weaknesses and some badly executed strengths. So, instead, we suggest doing two things at once: understanding and building your weaknesses and executing and reinforcing your strengths.
The first step to understanding and developing your fears is discovery. Sometimes it can be hard for us to look ourselves in the mirror and work to understand what we may need to work on in our professional and personal lives. However, discovering your weaknesses is the only way to challenge and develop them. In a piece from Fast Company, we see that the fear that comes with facing our weaknesses is what keeps us from them in the first place. Luckily though, they’ve given us some tips to seeking and understanding our weaknesses.
First, it’s important to look at what you’re avoiding. What do you hate doing, or wish you didn’t have to? Those may be some areas of improvement for you.
Second, notice patterns in feedback. As hard as it is to get feedback, the patterns you see in it may be essential to helping you find and face your weaknesses.
Third, seek the truth. Everyone has that one person in their lives that is brutally honest. While it may not always be pretty, seeking the truth from this person or other people in your life can help you discover and conquer your weaknesses. That means listening to the things people explicitly or in-explicitly say about you.
Lastly, failure leads to success. Looking into your failures is a great way to discover where your weaknesses lie and what part they played in your failure and hopefully, at some point, your success too.
Fortunately enough, most of us don’t have to be told what we’re good at; we just know. We know not only what we excel in, but what makes us happy too. And when we choose to focus on both strengths and weaknesses, we build a better repertoire of skills and may even increase our happiness. By continuing to explore our strengths and build our weaknesses we allow each part of ourselves to participate in our successes and create a deeper self-awareness. The more self-aware we are, the more successful we can be; and when we stare our weaknesses in the face we can say, “I see you.”