Using your unique weaknesses as an advantage
Failure to recognize our weaknesses is failure to live up to our full potential. Everyone has weaknesses as much as we may not want to admit it, but identifying them and using them to our advantage is a great way to overcome your weakness, or downplay it while also strengthening your strengths. Weaknesses really are just learning opportunities is so if you are able to identify your unique weaknesses, you are then able to figure out how to make them not weaknesses anymore.
Acknowledging your weaknesses is an important part of not only identifying them, but improving upon them as well. If you know a certain negative aspect of yourself you can then steer yourself away from it, figure out ways to improve upon it, or use it in a situation where it is not actually a weakness. For example if you find public speaking to be your weakness and you work better in a quiet setting then this is something you should take into consideration when looking for a job. On the other hand if it is something that interests you but you’re not very good at it, it is an opportunity to allow you to grow and learn about it.
Determining Your Weakness
It can be hard to identify your own weaknesses as not only are we sometimes blind to them but sometimes we just don’t even realize they are weaknesses. Taking the time to properly identify them can mean taking a long hard look at yourself, asking your colleagues and loved ones, or even looking at old work reviews.
Areas that you feel uncomfortable working in, or a project that you wouldn’t want to work on alone, or without the guidance of someone who is specialized in it may be your weak areas. If you talk to your colleagues or ask your boss for a review is a good way for you to identify weaknesses from someone else’s perspective rather than your own. The same can go for asking friends and loved ones for their feedback on areas in which you could improve in the workplace.
Finding the Advantages of Your Weakness
Going back to the example of public speaking, chances are if this has been a weakness or fear you’ve had your entire life, you’ve had to improve upon other aspects of communication, so perhaps you have great writing skills. This is a great way to find advantages in your weakness because you have strengthened other proverbial muscles by fearing or not having a strength in a certain area. If it is something you are weak at, you may also be hypocritical of it which can serve as a benefit to other people.
You may actually not be good at public speaking yourself, but you may have the skills to recognize areas for improvement in others which means that you can use your weakness to help other people master their strengths. It applies to more than just public speaking of course, any areas where you may be weak you may be able to collaborate with others to become part of a dynamic duo or a great team.
Downplaying Your Weakness
If you are able to downplay your weakness after you’ve identified it, you’ll find yourself volunteering for tasks and gravitating towards jobs that are far away from your weakness. There’s nothing wrong with avoiding something you’re not very good at if it’s not something that you need to do all the time. Of course, it’s always good to improve upon, but it’s not always realistic or necessary.
If you downplay your weaknesses, you will also be able to focus more on growing your strengths. If you choose to steer in the direction of your strengths, you will constantly be evolving, growing and becoming better at what you do. Once you are the best at your strengths then perhaps you can take the time to solidify your weaknesses, but if they turn out to not ever become a strength, you still have your natural strength to fall back on.
Learning from Your Weakness
One of the most important parts of identifying your weaknesses is being in a position to learn from them and grow from them. If you know public speaking is not one of your strengths or that it is something that frightens you, you are able to take the steps to improve upon that skill and perhaps turn it into one of your strengths. You can take classes, study or simply just practice until it becomes something that changes from a weakness into a strength. It may not even turn into a strength but if you are able to do it to a decent effect, you can then focus on improving other weaknesses.
If you can’t actually learn from your weaknesses then you will have trouble growing as a person and in your career. Constantly improving yourself will make you the best candidate for any job or opportunity that may reach you. If you aren’t sure where to start, consulting with your colleagues and loved ones might help point you in the right direction, and constantly staying abreast of news that pertains to your weakness can also help you to learn and grow from it. Other people may have had the same weaknesses as you and overcome it or strengthened it by many different alleys, you just need to find the one that works best for you.
By staying aware of and recognizing your weaknesses, you will find that you will be able to use them to your advantage in many different ways. It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of time but if you were able to know them, it is better than breezing through life without knowing that you are doing something not to the best of your ability. Weaknesses can only be as weak as you allow them to be. If you are familiar with them and know the impact they have on your life, you will best be able to correct them or strengthen them or make sure that you never follow a career that requires you to rely heavily on them.