Home > Ideas and Philosophy > Improve Upon Your Weaknesses, Too

Improve Upon Your Weaknesses, Too

February 28, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

This weekend I spent more than an hour on Skype talking to a good friend of mine about some work-related concerns she now had.  The short story is that she inherited more work that involves talking to a lot of people, which is something that she feels isn’t her strength.  On a related side-note, she commented that she’s impressed that I don’t have a problem when it comes to communications.  However I did tell her that if it looks like I’m confident when it comes to these matters, then it’s only because I spent a lot of time overcoming my deficiencies (stage freight being one of them) to get to where I am now.

There’s something to be said about focusing on your strengths instead of wasting your time trying to deal with your weaknesses; there’s some practical truth to that approach.

A Formula For Success (excerpt)

By Bo Sanchez

Let me tell you why many people live mediocre lives.  [T]hey put 80% of their attention, time, and energy on their weakness, and put 20% of their attention, time, and energy on developing their strengths.

The formula for success is this: First, forget your weakness.  Delegate them.  Outsource them.  And then focus 80% of your attention, time, and energy on developing your strengths.  Be the very best in this one thing.  And put the last 20% in developing new strengths.

One of the things I remember from my grandfather is his assessment that I had a tendency to be careless.  That comment came from the times he’d check my math homework and see mistakes that I could easily avoid if I spent more time being careful in solving it.  In one way or another that’s still true up to this day.  I see things at the macro, “vision” level, and direct the work that’s needed from that vantage point.  It’s in the execution of the small details where I sometimes have some misses, and I’m fortunate to be part of a team where I have people who are excellent with the details and so are able to catch those things that I miss.  But the fact of the matter is that I don’t always have them available for me, and when I need to work on tasks that require attention to the smallest of details, I sometimes trip up on such.

Growth comes from doing something about your weaknesses.  It’s valuable to focus on your core strengths and outsource to more competent people those tasks that you consider your weaknesses.  But the fact is that sooner or later you’ll still come face-to-face with something you’re not good at, and you’ll have to deal with such anyway.

I also think it’s healthy to feel your feelings, because that what makes you human.  It’s normal to feel afraid and overwhelmed in doing something outside of your comfort zone.  But that won’t change the fact that if you need to do something you don’t like, you’ll still have to do it anyway.  Feel what you must, but go ahead and do what you have to do.  The frightful task won’t go away, so the sooner you get it done, the sooner you can move on and away from it.  Eventually you’ll get tired of being afraid to the point that you won’t care about the fear anymore – you just go ahead and do the needful.

Continue to focus on your core strengths, for that is what will bring you success.  However it’s also worth working on those areas of your life that could use some improvement.  You’ll eventually have to deal with your weaknesses at some point.  And in your weaknesses, therein lies the opportunity for further growth and success.

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Categories: Ideas and Philosophy
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  1. April 17, 2016 at 9:02 pm

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