We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Some of them are innate, while others develop over time. But if you want to become the best and most powerful version of yourself, you must find a way to identify and overcome the weaknesses that are currently holding you back.
Identifying Your Greatest Weaknesses
Nobody enjoys thinking about their weaknesses and shortcomings. We’d all prefer to contemplate our greatness or, at the very least, our talents. But in order to truly become great in your career, you must be capable of weeding out the things that hold you back.
In order to identify your greatest weaknesses, you must contemplate some very intentional questions.
- What tasks do you typically avoid because you don’t feel confident doing them?
- What would your immediate superiors describe as your weaknesses?
- What negative work habits do you have? (i.e. late for work, disorganized, short-tempered)
- Are there any personality traits that are holding you back? (i.e. fear of public speaking)
Take inventory of your daily habits, thought patterns, performance, and results. If you’re serious about looking for weaknesses and won’t shy away from them once identified, you won’t walk away empty-handed.
Overcoming Your Greatest Weaknesses
Once you have a list of weaknesses, it’s important that you move swiftly toward addressing them. Wallowing in your weaknesses won’t do any good. In fact, it’ll actually have negative results.)
Here are several proactive ways to jumpstart the growth process:
1. Become a Knowledge Sponge
The best thing you can do is soak up knowledge. Thankfully, there’s more access to it than ever before. Twenty-five years ago, you had to go to the library and make a pit stop at the reference desk to find a couple of old books on a topic you were interested in.
Today, you have access to blogs, YouTube channels, podcasts, online courses, Facebook groups, etc.
The great thing about knowledge in 2022 is that it’s convenient and accessible. You can literally address your biggest weaknesses without taking time away from other tasks. Podcasts, for example, can be listened to while driving, cooking dinner, or mowing the lawn. You can watch YouTube videos while eating breakfast or working on projects in the garage. The options are endless.
2. Take the Right CEUs
Stop viewing continuing education as something you have to do and start viewing it as an opportunity to grow. Now that you know what your weaknesses are, you can focus on choosing courses that help you overcome them. Most people take the easiest course they can, while these credits are best utilized as a way to shore up shortcomings.
For example, a respiratory therapist who struggles with a topic like chronic progressive lung diseases or aerosolized medications can take online CEUs that target these specific topics.
Within just a couple of weeks, they can fill this knowledge gap and turn them into strengths.
3. Find a Mentor
You can’t learn everything from textbooks, podcasts, or online courses. There’s also a tremendous amount of value in partnering with mentors who are walking in the shoes you one day want to fill.
A mentor is great because they know what it’s like to experience what you’re feeling, hoping, desiring, or fearing. They also have a tremendous amount of perspective and can help you implement specific action steps for growth.
Mentorship can be formal (as part of a program) or informal (simply developing relationships with the right people).
4. Put in the Reps
At the end of the day, it’s up to you. You can theorize all you want about your weaknesses, but you actually have to put in the reps.
If a weightlifter wants to put on 30 pounds of muscle, he has to go to the gym every single day and lift. He also has to eat right and take care of his body.
If someone wants to learn how to play guitar, she can’t just watch a bunch of YoutTube videos and dream about playing. She actually has to pick up the guitar and play until her fingers callous over and her brain begins to move her fingers into complex chord patterns.
The same goes for you as a professional. Whatever your weakness is, there’s no replacement for action. Put in the reps over and over again until it transforms into a strength.
Adding it All Up
Most people only focus on their strengths. But if you can become the kind of individual who is willing to identify, confront, and overcome your weaknesses, you’ll quickly rise the ranks in your business, industry, and career.
Don’t be timid – move with conviction!