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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

Posted on

How do you turn a weakness into a strength?

Interesting post here:

I had a follow-up question, how do you take something you're not great at and train it to become something you are proficient at?

Have you ever done this?

Top comments (22)

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manthanbhatt profile image
Manthan Bhatt

I think it is like a challenge that is yet to be conquered. This helps me look at my weakness from a different perspective.

According to me to turn your weakness into a strength the best way is to practice. Cause by repeating the activity that I am weak at makes me think more clearly about why I was lacking in that area and how I can improve on that.

Taking an example from my experience previously I use to be under-confident while presenting something or addressing a group of people which created a communication gap and misunderstanding regarding the things that I wanted to communicate.

So I started working with a few of my friends and colleagues on presentation skills and how I can boost my confidence while addressing a group of people. For starters I gave a few presentations to them on the topic which I was interested in and where I can talk for 5 to 10 min. Once it is done they gave me feedback and tell me what they felt was wrong. I did this same for quite a few times which help me understand where I was going wrong and why I felt under-confident. Now I can do it well while giving a presentation or addressing a certain group of people in a meeting or discussion

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pavonz profile image
Andrea Pavoni

Came here to say something along the lines of this. Especially the part about getting it like a challenge and doing a lot of practice until you feel confident. Then, look for another challenge and the process starts again.

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dvddpl profile image
Davide de Paolis

unfortunately there are not so many ways to turn weaknesses into strengths than practice, practice, practice!.

Face your fears, expose yourself to the problem, get out of the comfort zone and do over and over exactly what you are not good at.

as uncomfortable and stereotyped this might sound, there are no other ways around it, unfortunately.

  • are you shy and not very good at presenting your code during collective code reviews? practice public speaking and try to speak as much as you can in meetings.
  • are you passive and accept to change your mind and code design at the first critic? practice assertivity and try to deliver your point
  • do you get stressed out when deadline is approaching or when under pressure? try (gradually to take bigger features and pick those nasty bugs rather than going for the easy tasks).

I found great help in all the sports i did in my life.

how can i become a better climber? train harder and fall a lot. Falling is scaring. but you have to learn and train yourself to fall. otherwise even if you are trained and skilled, you will never make that movement to reach the next hold because you are paralized by fear.

of course there are 2 things we need to keep in mind:

  • it does not mean that just by training we will become champions - we will definetely improve but not necessarily become great.
  • we need to really to want the change, and be interested in achieving that. (I suck at soccer, but i don't care, so i am not spending any minute training to kick a ball)

Be kind to yourself, and acknowledge your progresses.

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ramseyrama555 profile image
Ramsey Rama

This is genius, this is world-class , this is powerful.
I can't find better advice than this.

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄

Men will literally do anything to avoid going to therapy, so here is an inconvenient truth:

If doing personal efforts or relying on team work doesn't work, then it's likely that the problem is heavy and has deep roots. And in that case therapy is probably the best answer.

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR

Well, we need to differentiate issue vs weakness πŸ˜…
If there's any issue and you're not comfortable with some part of you sure a psychotherapist would be the key! Both for helping in the change and to help you to do so.

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frankfont profile image
Frank Font

Reminds me of a bodybuilding technique that Arnold Schwarzenegger shared online some years ago. The way he explained it when he was starting out he would focus on the weakest part of his body at the gym always focusing on the weakest parts. The result of course was that he ended up winning all the big bodybuilding competitions of his time.

The brain is like a muscle in this sense. I think his advice is good for just about anything a person wants to pursue.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao • Edited on

Since I was young, I'm pretty bad in writing as I learnt to read & write at 7 years old before that I'm mostly speaking Chinese in my country. I'm kind of a odd duck surrounded by kids your age that is mostly speaking English. I was mostly surrounded with Hong Kong movies/music and dramas, Taiwan music and local tv dramas in Chinese.

My writing skills is so bad that my university classmates always hate me. As I tend to have grammar errors and spelling mistakes from time to time. So they banned me from contributing or ridiculed me in my bad writing when it comes to group assignments.

I sort overcame it by blogging, which at the start I was pretty scared of criticism in my blog articles. But through the books I read like "Crushing It" and "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual".

I found out that writing was actually a very important skill as you progress your career from a IC to management while building your own personal brand as a developer.

So I sort of started to focus on "documenting" on what I know and learnt along the way. Instead of being fearful of ridicule for my bad writing by a stranger in the internet.

Now from time to time, I get approached by people to write paid articles and was even given a job opportunities to work in devrel for Microsoft . So I guess I sort turn my weakness into strength now.

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wjplatformer profile image
Wj • Edited on

Not much people to appreciate my work and do business with me. Yes, very sad indeed. And I get demoralised. Probably bc of social media. πŸ™ƒ. Yeah, it makes you feel needed to be more popular than you already are. So, I think I should leave my sc media apps away and focus more on my local community on the little red dot :)


And, that actually helps build relationships slowly, but surely. I feel that going too fast on social media will make Developers demoralised as the have just started and nobody really likes their projects.

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

I treat it like a game. If you are struggling to do something then it means you have not reached the right level yet. So I would focus on the weak areas and find ways to turn them into strengths. It's like farming and raising your level in a game so that you can defeat stronger enemies and collect better items.

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schawnnahj profile image
SchawnnahJ

Appreciate your vulnerabilities. ...
Face your fears. ...
Grow from your mistakes. ...
Embrace your discomfort. ...
Celebrate your differences. ...
Take good care of yourself.

I definitely did not take this advice on google. ;) x2

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rounakcodes profile image
rounakcodes • Edited on

Before even working on the weakness, check whether there is some contradictory belief that you hold which has allowed that weakness to creep in. If that belief is part of who you are and the cost-benefit analysis of possessing the weakness works in your favor then don't bother about it. Such deep introspection may even lead to undiscovered truths about your own beliefs and may help you generate the thrust to remove the weakness. When you truly want to remove that weakness, it becomes far easier to get rid of it than having to work on it just because it exists.

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mrispoli24 profile image
Mike Rispoli

For me it takes complete and total near obsessive focus for some period of time on that thing. You have to make that thing a part of your daily practice for at least a few months. Generally weaknesses that I don't have that kind of time to put into it I try to find/hire someone good in that area instead.

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mickael_duval profile image
Ralph YON

As a software developer, i'd say i'm less intuitive than my collegues. But this "weakness" is a great frame : it forces me to make things really clear, light, easy to understand at first sight.
On the long term, it's a huge time saver.

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy • Edited on

Seems like most responses here are misunderstanding the question? They're focusing on removing the weakness and replacing it with a strength, rather than making the perceived weakness itself a strength. Most of the time it's just a change of perception that is required.

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thi3rry profile image
Thierry Poinot

Work and train this weakness, it will become a skill, and then if you feel comfortable a strength. You will discover what your brain, body and the combination of the two (You), are good at the moment you are trying.

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markewer profile image
Mark Ewer

I don't try to do this. Things that are my weakness I delegate.

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xuwupeng2000 profile image
Jack Wu

I would stengthen my advantage.
Don't you think improve your weakness to an average level is way to be mediocre.

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makar2 profile image
Makar

Easy -- if you have a weakness, you recognize it and then put so much effort in getting strong at it, that you surpass most average people.

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jmau111 profile image
jmau111⭐

I try 10x harder. Practice makes lots of things easier.

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mellen profile image
Matt Ellen • Edited on

Drink small amounts of the poison over time, to build a up a resistance...

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR

If you already spot the weaknesses you just need to keep working on them 😁

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