Should You Focus on Your Weaknesses or Your Strengths?

All of us have strengths and weaknesses, right? A lot of times we are so focused on our weaknesses that we cannot see beyond them and this is the root of many issues, for example, imposter syndrome. When we don't see ourselves as the real deal, we might see ourselves as a fraud. That comes from focusing on our weaknesses too much.

This leads to the question, "Should you work on your weaknesses, or should you work on your strengths?"

 If you prefer audio only, you can listen to the full episode on my podcast below or on iTunes.

 But before I start, let me show you a picture. 
 

I think we can all agree that we are looking at a picture of a frog. But is it really so? And what does it have to do with our strengths and weaknesses? Well, keep reading to find out. 

All of us have strengths and weaknesses, right? A lot of times we are so focused on our weaknesses that we cannot see beyond them and this is the root of many issues, for example, imposter syndrome. When we don't see ourselves as the real deal, we might see ourselves as a fraud. That comes from focusing on our weaknesses too much. This leads to the question, "Should you work on your weaknesses, or should you work on your strengths?"

Working on your weaknesses makes a lot of sense, right? You will get rid of your weaknesses, turn them into strength, and you will become great. But, is it really so? How far will working on your weaknesses really take you? My weakness, which is pretty hilarious, is almost like a learning disability. I don't know why, but I’ve never had a very good 3-D perspective. For example, I could be in my house and I wouldn't be able to tell you what's above me. I just don't have a mind that can picture 3-D very well. I'm really great at logic and I'm really great at math, but you put 3-D on top of it? That's it, I'm lost. No matter how much I work on it, it does not turn from weakness into strength. It just turns from a really big weakness into a minor weakness.

And here is what I think about weakness: I think if you have a true, real weakness, then no matter how much you work on it, you can only make it good. You can probably make it good enough but it's almost impossible to take a weakness and turn it into your biggest strength. Also, there’s another reason why only focusing on your weaknesses is bad. When you look at your weaknesses, and you only see your weaknesses, you stop noticing your strengths. And this is the root of all confidence issues, right? This is the root of us being unsure of ourselves. This is the root of us not feeling that we are the best we can be.

Let's look at the frog again. If you see the frog, you only see the frog and you don't see anything else. It doesn't look like there is anything else there, but if we shift our perspective, all of a sudden, there is no frog and instead we see a horse. If we shift our perspective and look away from our weaknesses to start focusing on our strengths, then before we know it all we see are our strengths. We no longer see the frog. We no longer see our weaknesses, we only see the horse. We only see our strength. And the truth is, if you focus on your strength, if you take what you're really good at and improve that, you won't just be good at it. You will be great at it.

Yes, you want to look at your weaknesses from time to time, and you definitely want to get them to the point where they aren’t hindering you. Make sure that they're not bringing you down, but once they’re okay, then good enough is good enough. Remember, if you look at your strengths you won't be just good enough, you will be great.

There’s a book that I read a long time ago, called "Soar with Your Strengths." And I highly recommend this book because I think it's an amazing concept, and all it takes is a shift in perspective. So my advice to you, if you see a frog, and you focus on that frog only, you will always think that there is just a frog. It will never cross your mind that there is also a horse. You just need to shift your perspective to see that horse, to realize it's there. So today, close your eyes and spend a few minutes, not thinking about your weaknesses and what you need to improve, but thinking about your strength and what you're really good at. Think about how you can make those strengths even better. And you will be on your way to being great.

As some of you know, I teach public speaking. And I teach how to overcome your fear of public speaking. Which seems kind of counterintuitive to what I just talked about, right? It's not. We all have lots of strength when it comes to public speaking, the problem is that we're focusing on our weaknesses like fear. And if we focus on our weakness, that’s all we will see. But if we focus on our strengths, we can all become great speakers.

I wish you lots of success, take care!

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