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.
Being Too Patient
Unable to Handle Conflict
Lack of Confidence
Too Detail Oriented
Too Big-Picture Oriented
Lack of Creativity
Poor Public Speaking
Expecting Too Much of Others
Cracking Under Pressure
Trying to Please Everyone
Unwilling to Delegate
Reluctant in Asking for Help
Lack of Time Management
Handles Conflict Productively
Acceptance of Imperfection
Can Zone in on the Details
Good Public Speaking
Realizing People are not Perfect
Allowing Others to Make Decisions
Able to Handle Pressure
Doing What Makes You Happy
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
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.