Determine Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Being self-aware is one of the main keys for success and it affects every single aspect of our lives. Probably the first thing that comes to mind is how our strengths and weaknesses play a part in our professional or work lives. It simply can’t be limited to this single area.

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Being self-aware is one of the main keys for success and it affects every single aspect of our lives. Probably the first thing that comes to mind is how our strengths and weaknesses play a part in our professional or work lives. It simply can’t be limited to this single area.

Knowing what you are very good at and realizing where you may fall short is critical in relationships, family life, parenting and even in the social arena. For some, it’s easy to point out the good and for others, focusing on the flaws is almost a reflex.

How Do We Rate?

We are conditioned to compare ourselves to our surroundings or fellow human beings in similar circumstances. Not just to see if we measure up, but also as a standard that we are nailing life or failing at life.

As children, we are pushed to do better. We are rewarded for winning; there are no rewards for failing, only consequences. We carry this mindset into adulthood and continue believing if we aren’t the best, we at least be better than the rest.

And for many of us, this way of living is exhausting and impossible to keep up with for the long-haul. It’s time we stop the madness and focus on how to make our strengths and weakness work for us, instead of against us. Yes, that’s right. Our weaknesses can work for us.

Know Your Strengths

Your strengths have a great deal to do with your confidence. Remember, we are talking about all aspects of life here, not just vocationally. If you are a structured person who thrives on rules and order, you’re probably also great at organizing parties and social gatherings.

It’s probably a cake walk for you to follow through with the many scheduled events involved in parenting, like doctor’s appointments and parent-teacher conferences.

Strengths aren’t things we are good at, but also things we enjoy. Perhaps you have the ability to look at a quilt and then recreate the pattern in your head without much of a fuss. That’s basically like rocket science to a non-crafty person who needs a defined pattern with step-by-step instructions.

Know Your Weaknesses

We all have them. And that’s okay. Similar to our strengths, our weaknesses also have a great deal to do with self-confidence. What’s more, weaknesses are nothing to be ashamed of. Here’s why it’s important to be aware of them: So you know when to say “no”.

The most creative person you know might be horrible at math. It would behoove that person to pass on requests requiring in-depth mathematical skills. Don’t volunteer to bake cakes for a luncheon if you stink at baking and refrain from babysitting if you don’t really like kids.

Completely avoiding our weaknesses though isn’t always the best answer, as there’s no room for personal growth and development. However, taking on an entire project based on a known weakness probably isn’t the best way to expand horizons.

Why They are Both Important

Your strengths move you closer to your goals. Your strengths create better bonds with people and help develop more meaningful relationships. Your strengths can put you on the fast-track to career advancement. Being familiar with all the things are you good at is a plus, and it helps make better decisions and creates more opportunity for successes.

Knowing your weaknesses though, is equally, if not more important. When you are real with yourself on areas you aren’t very strong in, you’re more likely to find workaround ways to get achieve your goals.

In college, passing a speech class is sometimes necessary to fulfill degree requirements. For many of us, giving speeches isn’t exactly a piece of cake. In fact, it’s down right terrifying to a great deal of people. Accepting this as a weakness allows us the ability to be a little more creative.

Perhaps using a visual aid is the key. Giving a handout to the audience is a great way to take the focus off the speaker and direct attention to a piece of paper. When a weakness rears it’s ugly head, find another route before completely giving up.

Everyone has both good and not so good attributes. And believe it or not, both can be advantageous. We have to acknowledge both sides though and allow both sides to work for us.

This happens when we stop looking at weaknesses as something that needs to be fixed and instead challenge ourselves to find alternatives using our strengths.

How To Learn To Accept Yourself

It’s time to take a good look in the mirror and get comfortable with ourselves, flaws and all. It’s high time we turn weaknesses into strengths and go full steam ahead with our goals and dreams.

Everybody has Flaws. There is not a single person on this planet that is flawless, no matter how much they think otherwise. The key with flaws is owning them, accepting them and using them to our advantage. But how? Especially when we are our own worst critics. Furthermore, we are conditioned to believe everyone else is looking at our flaws with a magnifying glass.

We should embrace the blemishes and imperfections and find ways to put them to work. Think it’s impossible? It wasn’t impossible for Sylvester Stallone to achieve an incredibly long and lucrative acting career when he was told he would never make it because of his slurred speech.

Nor wasn’t impossible for Arnold Schwartzenegger when he was told his accent was too thick. Albert Einstein was a flunky, Charles Darwin wasn’t smart enough, Marilyn Monroe was too heavy, Michael Jordan didn’t have enough talent; the list goes on.

So why are we still wasting time persecuting ourselves for things we deem inadequate instead of celebrating our differences?

It’s time to take a good look in the mirror and get comfortable with ourselves, flaws and all. It’s high time we turn weaknesses into strengths and go full steam ahead with our goals and dreams.

And here’s how you can get it done:

Subjective Identification

The first step in any process is to directly identify the problem. Or what we deem as the problem, flaw, blemish, or weakness. Get up close and personal with yourself. What is really bothering you about yourself?

Is it a part of your character or a physical nature? Exactly what about this part of you is bothersome? Does it make you feel self-conscious, less beautiful, more noticeable, ashamed, embarrassed? Define it with a feeling, an emotion. Be truthful with yourself about it. It’s okay to be vulnerable; this is just you and yourself, having a heart to heart.

Objective Analysis

Now look at the flaw from an objective point of view. Taking a different vantage point often lightens the load a bit. It’s not as enormous as it felt before because we are looking from the outside in instead of from an emotional standpoint.

If you were an alien looking down at yourself, would you consider this as a flaw or a distinct identifier? An obscene wart or a notable peculiarity? Something atrocious or something that makes you stand out from the crowd?

Does this thing or emotion or characteristic stop you from being you or enhance who you are and who you want to be? It is limiting you in any form or fashion? And if it is, what can you do about it?

More importantly, are you willing to do anything about it? Be real with yourself. You’ve got to be brutally honest and decide who really has the power; you or what you consider the anomaly.

Reframe & Reassign

Everybody has quirks. There is something “different” about every human on this planet. We aren’t Stepford Wives with robotic, predictable programming. What a bland world it would be! Instead, we all have a distinct set of characteristics with boundless capabilities!

When you’ve successfully subjectively identified and objectively analyzed whatever is irking you, it’s time to reframe it and figure out how this singular thing can be utilized in a positive manner.

This is obviously causing distress, so the most advantageous way of flipping it around is by making it useful. Remove the negative power and replace it with positive.

Embrace Your Power

You have the power to change more than just your own perception of this imperfection. It doesn’t mean you have to be a national spokesperson for folks with stretchmarks or a world-renowned advocate for mental health challenges, but you can!

And if that’s a bigger bite than you’d like to take, just know that your stand on differences and uniqueness can be just what the next person fighting the same battle needs to stand on their own. Admiring the beauty of differences in others goes a long way.

Be the change, not the adverse effect. Point out the positive and watch the cycle ripple. Positivity is contagious, but so is negativity; so be careful which light you shine, on yourself and others.

Being flawless is an impossible feat and a complete waste of time and energy. Those resources would be much better spent on learning how to love yourself and truly accept how incredible you are!

And what an influential part you play in how others’ may perceive their own imperfections. Sometimes it’s hard to be the voice, but you don’t have to be loud to be heard. And you certainly don’t have to be perfect to love yourself!