A List of Strengths and Weaknesses Is a Powerful Tool
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A list of strengths and weaknesses can be helpful in assessing what type of career you are best suited to, considering whether an opportunity will allow you to truly express your talents and abilities, and having a clear picture of what areas you want to build on or improve on.
When making a list of strengths and weaknesses, it is important to keep in mind that many of these qualities are relative, and what may be considered a weakness in one profession, (for example, sensitivity) could be deemed a great strength in another. It is also good to recognize that an individual characteristic can be perceived in either a positive or negative light. What one person might call lack of determination may just as accurately be described as flexibility by another.
A list of strengths and weaknesses can help you to see how many of the skills you are using and developing in a particular job or creative endeavor can be translated into many other areas of your life and future career. Sometimes people tend to define things too narrowly. A person working in an office environment may recognize that he or she is good at organizing information, but may not acknowledge the fact that this ability would be of value in a wide range of other work environments, from education to tourism to entrepreneurship.
Likewise, if there is an item on the negative side of your list of strengths and weaknesses that you feel is really holding you back, it is good to recognize the fact that by taking the time to develop greater skills or improved habits in this area, you will not only be benefitting your life and work now, but into the future.
If there are items on your list that you class as weaknesses, but that you do not feel drawn to strengthen, this clarity can also be very beneficial to you. Let’s say that, like me, you are not particularly skilled at math, and have no great desire to beat your unwilling brain into compliance. In this situation, you can clear mindedly make choices that do not require you to have skills that you don’t have and don’t want to acquire. These choices can be in the form of leaning towards areas that do not have a primary focus on these absent skills, and by keeping an open mind to forming partnerships and working relationships with others whose own list of strengths and weaknesses complements yours. You can also find creative ways of making this weakness a non-issue, such as by using clever computer software and/or employing an accountant. In this way, you free yourself from trying to do something that is difficult for you, that you don’t enjoy, that takes ten times longer for you than for the accountant who loves and is good at math, and that keeps you from doing what you are good at and enjoy, which is always the best use of your time.
There are some things that might appear on the negative side of your list of strengths and weaknesses that really do need your attention. An inability to be punctual is a weakness that will likely be detrimental to just about any type of job that involves interaction with other people. Unless you are able to create a work environment for yourself that is totally solitary and flexible, finding ways of becoming more punctual is probably pretty important to your career. There are many tricks that can be used to create new habits, and largely it comes down to practice, determination and self-discipline.
Affirmations and visualization can also be helpful. Telling yourself things like, “I can do anything I set my mind to. I have succeeded at learning many other things in my life, and I can succeed in learning to do this. It’s difficult for me right now, but it’s going to get easier and easier. A lot of things that are easy for me now were difficult at first, and this is no different. I may have failed at doing this before, but I know things now that I didn’t know then, and it’s not going to be a problem for me.”
Take time each day to picture yourself walking brightly, confidently, purposefully, and punctually into work, exchanging friendly greetings with everyone around, and feeling relaxed and focused. Like with any visualization, the more detail and emotion you can put in your scene, the more real it becomes to you, the better it feels, and the more naturally and powerfully it can begin to help your reality come into alignment with the vision.
Here is a link to a list of strengths and weaknesses to give you some suggestions as you go about creating your own list. Keep in mind that some of these are open to interpretation, and I actually find the first item on the strengths list (forceful) to be a much stronger word than I personally consider to be a true strength, but mostly the list has some very good ideas. Awareness is such an asset, but be careful not to slip into over-analysis which can result in feelings of self-consciousness or unhealthy comparisons and criticism. As with everything in life, balance the a key.
As a life coach, one of the things I help my clients to do is to recognize, appreciate, enhance, and focus on their strengths. It is so important to give the majority of our focus to what is good and right about ourselves, our lives, and the world in general, rather than dwelling on what’s wrong or lacking. On the other hand, it is also essential to recognize the things that are dragging us down, and to work gently, compassionately and persistently to bring these areas into alignment with who we really are and what we really want.
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