How to Turn Weaknesses Into Strengths

Everyone has weaknesses. Everyone has strengths. It’s not uncommon for us to want to work on our weaknesses when we become aware of them. What we may not always realize, though, is that strengths and weaknesses are, literally, two sides of the same coin.

Become Aware of Your Weaknesses and Strengths

The first step to working on your weaknesses and capitalizing on your strengths is to identify them. Maybe you are a very detail-oriented person, but you tend to miss the big picture. Or it could be the opposite; maybe you see the big-picture often, but miss the details.

List of Weaknesses and Strengths

I’ve compiled a list of weaknesses and strengths. Notice that they can go from one extreme to another. More on this topic below the list.

Weaknesses

Impatience/Impulsivity

Being Too Patient

Unable to Handle Conflict

Lack of Confidence

Perfectionism

Too Detail Oriented

Too Big-Picture Oriented

Lack of Creativity

Poor Public Speaking

Expecting Too Much of Others

Being Controlling

Cracking Under Pressure

Self-Criticism

Trying to Please Everyone

Unassertive

Unwilling to Delegate

Reluctant in Asking for Help

Procrastination

Too Cautious

Extreme Risk-Taker

Stubborness

Too Talkative

Lack of Time Management

Strengths

Patience

Recognizes Opportunities

Handles Conflict Productively

Confidence

Acceptance of Imperfection

Expanded Vision

Can Zone in on the Details

Creativity

Good Public Speaking

Realizing People are not Perfect

Allowing Others to Make Decisions

Able to Handle Pressure

Self-Acceptance

Doing What Makes You Happy

Assertive

Delegating

Asks for Help When Needed

Does Things in a Timely Manner

Balanced Caution and Risk-Taking

Balances Risk-Taking with Caution

Recognizes Another’s Perspective

Listens

Manages Their Time

One thing you might be thinking is that strengths and weaknesses are not as cut-and-dried as this list makes them out to be. And you would be correct.

We all strive for balance, often moving to extremes to find ourselves somewhere in the middle where we can sustainably exist in optimal inspiration. Working toward balance takes a lot of ingredients. We need courage, reflection, attention, action, and a push-and-pull relationship between effort and relaxation.

Tara Stiles

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Let me give you several examples. Let’s take the strength of patience. You can be too patient, and miss opportunities. Or Assertiveness and Confidence. You can be too Assertive or Confident and be perceived by others as arrogant. Counter this with being humble, and taken to the extreme, you may not give yourself enough credit, or invite others to not take your strengths into account.

You can be so good at public speaking that you fail to make mistakes and be relatable; you can be so creative that others become ostracized by your work; you can realize people are not perfect and then fail to hold them accountable when they need to be held accountable.

What is my point to all of this?

It’s About Balance

My point is that strength and weakness is less about one extreme or the other, and more about balance, and how those strengths and weaknesses interact and overlap.

Case in point, we can go the opposite way. You procrastinate, but give yourself a lot of needed self-care. You are impulsive, but you seize an opportunity when you see it. You are controlling, but you make sure things get done. You don’t handle conflict well, but you get along with others splendidly. You’re reluctant in asking for help, but you learn more by doing things yourself, anyway.

Do you see what I’m saying?

Where you have a weakness, you also have an underlying strength to that weakness.

So, ask yourself, what are my weaknesses? And then, what is my underlying strength that balances out that weakness? Because if you reflect enough, one will definitely be there.

Let’s paint a picture of an imaginary person. This person procrastinates, lacks time management, and is very talkative. This person also spends a good amount of time on self-care, is spontaneous, expresses their feelings, and forges friendships through being relatable and talkative.

No One Is Perfect

This person is not perfect. No one is. So, learn to accept your weaknesses and recognize the underlying strengths that exist on the flip-side of the weakness/strength coin.

Next time someone asks you, “What are your weaknesses?” Be Proud that you have them, because that means you also have underlying strengths! Give yourself permission to no longer be ashamed. You no longer have to hang your head and say, “My weakness is procrastination, but I’m working on it by …” You can say, “My weakness is procrastination. While it is something I’m working on, it also means that I give myself ample time for self-care and therefore am a much less stressed and happier employee/student.”

Or, “My weakness is not being good at delegating. While it is something I’m trying to improve, this also means I am a really hard worker.”

Your weaknesses have strengths, and therefore that makes you an imperfect and strong person. Accept yourself where you are currently at. Work on bringing balance to your weaknesses, yes, but in the meantime, also learn to appreciate your weaknesses, for they may also be providing you with some of your strengths.

Signing off,

Arianne

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *