Strengths and weaknesses. It’s a part of assessments. When you get a FREE DIAGNOSTIC TEST, you see results like “good battery” or “replace air filter.” Same thing happens with assessments of products, athletes, sports teams, potential mates, job capabilities, etc. We assess everything. In competition, you study strengths and weaknesses of the opponent. When you go on a job interview, they ask you about your strengths and weaknesses. (Sometimes people lie so they can get the job, but eventually, the truth will reveal itself.) Your strengths and weaknesses will reveal itself, whether it’s done proactively or not. If we continue to live life with the “check engine” light on, life itself will broadcast your assessment on the side of the road. That’s why it’s imperative for us to proactively do self-assessments.
Unfortunately, it seems to be common practice to ignore self-assessments. Looking at yourself and being honest seems to be a difficult task for many. It is humbling and sobering experience. Finding your strengths may be great and all, but finding your weaknesses isn’t a naturally fun task. It’s human nature to ignore or avoid weaknesses. Some drink or smoke it away. Some “vacation-it” away. Some chalk it up to “I’m gonna be me regardless.” Fixing things takes you out of your comfort zone, but what if I told you that there’s something just as bad, if not worse, as ignoring self-assessments? Yep, something worse. Believe it or not, a lot of people who actually do self-assessments tend to make this vital mistake: the mistake of fixing weaknesses their way. Let me explain by telling you a story:
There was a 4th grader named Jerry. Jerry was a good kid and well-behaved in school. He did all of his classwork and homework. When the first set of report cards came around, he received 3 “A”s, 2 “B”s and a “D.” The “D” was in Social Studies. Despite the fact that he was one grade shy of honor roll, he was distraught over his “D,” so much so that he worked twice as hard to pull that Social Studies grade up before the next set of report cards. Instead of looking for a tutor or asking for help, he studied extra hours and even did extra-credit work. He devoted just about all of his time and energy on improving that “D” grade. When the next set of report cards came around, he managed to get a “B+” in Social Studies, but ended up getting 3 “C”s, 1 “B” and 1 “D” for the rest of his grades. He spent so much time and energy trying to pull up the first bad grade, that he neglected the good grades.
This is a common mistake a lot of us make when we do take self-assessments. We see our strengths and weaknesses and immediately go into “fix-mode” towards our weaknesses. Now let me say that fixing your weaknesses isn’t a bad thing. However, abandoning your strengths to fix your weaknesses IS the bad thing. Whatever you are good at, you should double-down on it. We are not meant to be perfect, therefore we do not need to be good in everything. If you’re a good accountant, but a terrible musician, don’t abandon your financial abilities to go work in an orchestra. When you find your strengths, you go extra-hard at perfecting those strengths.
“Don’t settle for good when great is optional.” — me
You have the ability to be known for your strength(s), so give 200% to your strengths and be set apart!
But what about the weaknesses? Should we ignore them instead?
Nope. Weaknesses are designed for us to work with people. Trying to fix weaknesses on your own will cause you to neglect your strengths. In the story above, Jerry redirected all of this time and energy towards fixing his Social Studies grade. In the end, his good grades in other subjects suffered, and he ended up with an overall worse report card. We all have weaknesses. If we are not good at something, connect with someone who is good at your weakness. One of my strengths is graphic design. I’ve been in the field for over 17 years. I can make a mean flyer with the best of them. But guess what? I suck at plumbing! If something happened to my sink, I’m not going to take off from work to go to plumbing school to learn how to fix my sink. I’m not going to “Google it” either. I’m going to call…I don’t know…a PLUMBER! A plumber’s strength is plumbing, therefore it will save me time to double-down on my graphic design while allowing something that I can’t fix to receive the best attention possible. Now, that’s not to say that I shouldn’t make myself knowledgeable about plumbing issues. If pockets of time permits, I will brush up on my plumbing knowledge, but know that life is a game of speed. Time is precious. Spend it on what you’re good at, learn as you go, but connect with people who can fix and possibly teach/tutor you along the way. Also beware of self-made people. If they don’t have people helping them, life itself will humble them. Again, we were created with weaknesses in order to network with people.
“It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” – Genesis 2:18
That scripture wouldn’t exist if we were created without weaknesses. Perfect people don’t need help, so if you’re not perfect get a FREE DIAGNOSTIC TEST and adjust accordingly. A matter of fact, let’s recap this whole series:
- Don’t ignore the warning signs. If you see a consistent issue happening in your life, take time out to evaluate yourself first, then go from there.
- Before you judge others, make sure that you have judged yourself first. Telling someone that their breath stink, while having bad breath is asinine.
- Verify your assessment. Even in evaluating ourselves, sometimes we can be our toughest critic. Find you a trusted group of people to verify your assessment.
- Once you know your strengths and weaknesses, double-down on your strengths and connect with people who can help with your weaknesses.
Thank you for tuning in for this series. I hope this helps someone.