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Know Not Only Your Weaknesses, But Strengths as Well

ilonacodes profile image Ilona Dee Codes ・3 min read

Most people want to develop self-awareness. Whether we are managers, entrepreneurs, or aspiring software engineers, the more knowledge we have of our strength and weaknesses, the easier life becomes.

When we take a step back and look at the whole playing field, we can make adjustments. Maximizing our strength and improving our weaknesses is one of the keys to self-growth.

I believe that we spend more time thinking about our weaknesses and looking for ways on how we can improve them or shed bad habits that we forget to reflect on things that we are good at.

Think about how many times we have struggled to answer a simple question: "What are our strengths and weaknesses" during an interview?

We may have a running list of all of our weaknesses but do we have one for our strengths too?

I didn't, and having the time to reflect on my character strengths for a course I have watched, inspired me to share the knowledge!

There are a few ways and techniques on how to identify and analyze our strengths and weaknesses:

1. Define our strengths

  • Performance strength, which is something that we are good at doing but it costs energy.

  • Passion strengths, something that we are passionate about that also provides us with energy.

The next we have to answer a question: "What do we truly love doing?" that categorized by answering four different questions related to the different strength categories:

  • What gives us energy?
  • What are our natural strengths?
  • What is truly meaningful to us?
  • What do we need to relax?

I would recommend making a list and then group strengths according to those categories to figure out which ones intersect with passion and performance. The purpose of this list is to help us start with some general ideas that we have about ourselves and define what we would love to do throughout our life "con gusto."

2. Talk to people we trust

Sometimes the problem with using a list of strengths that only we have completed is that we have a biased opinion of ourselves. Most people think too highly of themselves, or too little of themselves.

We all need some kind of "sounding board" to help us gain clarity and get closer to the truth about ourselves. That's where other people come in handy.

Carefully select people who have a good track record of being balanced, helpful, and trusted by you. Because they can tell us something, we don't want to hear.

After we have reached out to them, we should make sure we give some context as to why we are asking for their opinion. For example, it's about changing career. Then it's necessary to ask what they think will contribute to success and what weaknesses may cause us to fail.

As soon as we receive feedback, analyze whether the weaknesses confirmed by those we trust and refine the list of strengths, in case the last were overweighted.

3. Take a personality test

In addition to the time, we have spent thinking about ourselves and the opinions we have gathered from others, personality tests are another useful resource to help us to identify our strengths and weaknesses.

For example, you can try to pass this free one: 16 personalities

4. Try new things

One problem with identifying strengths and weaknesses comes when we have a lack of experience. In some cases, we might think, "I don't know, I have never tried."

I am a big believer in pushing ourselves to grow by doing things we have never done before.

Tomorrow I am going to attend TEDxBerlin and the event dedicated to the "SUPERPOWERS" topic! Each of us has superpowers strengths.

To read more about this, you can get in my upcoming weekly newsletter (+bonus professional networking cheat sheet).

Thank you for reading! 🙏

I hope you all have a great weekend! Comment below some of your character strengths or share them with me on Twitter, I would love to read them!

Cheers,
ilonacodes


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Ilona Dee Codes

@ilonacodes

I help developers to condense finance + investment knowledge via my tiny newsletters (+1000 readers) 📨 Get top-15 tips on how to save more cash monthly 👇

Discussion

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I think this is good advice, except for the personality test. Tests based on Meyers-Briggs are riddled with problems. It is good to know your personality, but boxing yourself into these limited, poorly defined, and questionable types, is counterproductive.

 

While not perfectly definitive by any means, I just took one at the age of 30 and found it to be very insightful. I had never really taken into account the different ways I view and interact with the world.

 
 

Take a personality test

Just to make sure we are on the same page: Myers-Briggs test is not scientific thing. It was invented by people who haven't studied psychology.

The MBTI was first developed by Isabel Briggs Myers (1897-1979) and her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs. Isabel had a bachelor’s degree in political science from Swarthmore College and no academic affiliation.

They took Jung’s book, Psychological Types and build up on those ideas. See skepdic.com/myersb.html for more info

Not an attack on author. You (reader) still can do whatever you believe into.

(I commented first, then I thought I can send this as private message instead, so I deleted the comment, later I found out that I can't, so I'm back in comments)