Most feedback from your colleagues, friends and even your immediate boss encourages you to improve on your weaknesses. Chances are you are paying too much attention to negative information. So for most part of your life, you are worried and always thinking about how to get rid of your weaknesses. What if you turn things around and focus on your strengths instead. The bitter truth is, you may never overcome your weaknesses but you could make significant changes to your work or personal habits. The key here is that you don’t have to change who you are; you have to become more of who you are.
Play to your strengths!
“Strengths are not activities you’re good at, they’re activities that strengthen you. A strength is an activity that before you’re doing it you look forward to doing it; while you’re doing it, time goes by quickly and you can concentrate; after you’ve done it, it seems to fulfill a need of yours.” says Marcus Buckingham (an author and a strength strategist).
By strengths, Marcus means activities that meet the following criteria:
1. You are great (not just good) at it;
2. When thinking about the task, you are excited – you anticipate the activity;
3. When doing the task you find it easy to concentrate and get absorbed in the activity, even losing track of time;
4. Once the task is completed, you have more energy than before.
If the majority of your job involves activities that are your strengths, you are much more likely to:
1. Turn out stellar performance
2. Enjoy what you’re doing
3. Be intrinsically motivated
4. Be happier and more pleasant to work with
In a study by Harvard Business Review, it was noted that while people remember criticism, awareness of faults doesn’t necessarily translate into better performance. It was further discovered that knowing your strengths offers you a better understanding of how to deal with your weaknesses—and helps you gain the confidence you need to address them. It allows you to say, “I’m great at leading but lousy at numbers. So rather than teach me remedial math, get me a good finance partner.”
Instead of worrying about what you are not good at and trying everything you can to be good at it, why not play to your strengths. You can’t be good at everything. Actually you could, but you cannot be great at anything. You don’t want that. Most people are masters at just one thing and guess what they have spend most of their lives improving on their strengths.
The most successful people we know, were known for being great at something that possibly changed our perfection of life and living. Some of the most creative and successful people have even changed how we live and what we use on daily basis. Who said they didn’t have weaknesses. They had personal setbacks just like anybody, but they chose to focus that one thing that matters most.
The time you invest yields higher returns.
Bill Gates probably wasn’t wasting his evenings on the computer. Einstein became the most celebrated scientist in the world because of his insane focus on the General Theory of Relativity. William Shakespeare wrote at least 154 love poems and 37 plays, including Hamlet, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. He loved to write. These people are better known for their unparalleled contribution in changing the course of the world and history. They made the most of their time when they discovered what they should be doing.
Spend most of your time on the right things and the rest takes care of itself.
What are you passionate about. Focus your energy on exploring the one thing that brings you the most satisfaction in life and if you can make it your career. Forget your weaknesses and pursue your passion. The truth is, if you throw enough time at something you’ll get results eventually. But the point is, why waste your time on your struggles when your passion lies unexplored. We all have areas where we struggle, but i would rather use my limited time to do something I love than change everything else i hate.
The problem is, too many of us lead lives trying to fix their weaknesses when they could master their strengths. They ceaselessly do something they hate, solely to get through it and be a jack of all things that can be improved. You can’t avoid every chore of course, but know that how you spend your time compounds itself, so you’d best be putting most of it where it matters.
Remember your strengths—and construct a plan to build on them
Begin to narrow your focus today and force the best out of you by concentrating on your core competence. You can significantly increase your chances of success in life and business if you narrow your focus on what you are great at. This is a belief that sometimes gets lost, as many people focus on achieving too much – gaining too many skill sets that they aren’t excellent at just one thing. Instead, they need to focus on their strengths to make themselves indispensable.
Once you discover who you are at the top of your game, you can use your strengths to better shape the positions you choose to play—both now and in the next phase of your career.