Why ‘What Is My Greatest Weakness?’ Is a Question You Should Ask Yourself
We’re all only human. You and I both know that.
However, we’re often trying to fool one another (and ourselves) by acting as though we’re invincible and can push through anything and come out the other side just the same.
I’m all for resilience and grit, they’re some of the qualities I most admire. However, it’s important to remember that we all have our limits. And, if you don’t know what those limits are, you’re bound to end up in trouble.
A hero is someone who, in spite of weakness, doubt or not always knowing the answers, goes ahead and overcomes anyway.
– Christopher Reeve
You need to become an expert of YOU
It’s important to become a “self-expert,” as I sometimes call it.
To be a self-expert means you know who you are. You know what makes you tick and you’ve mastered this “tool”– the human brain and body– by learning everything you can about it as it pertains specifically to you.
Part of that is knowing what your weaknesses are. You may think you have no glaring weakness. But we all have something or things that can harm our efforts, whether that’s career, family life, or other.
By studying your actions closely, gauging your performance, results, the feedback you get from others, and any other insights – you can discover what these weaknesses are and do something about it.
But what if you aren’t a self-expert? If you don’t know what those weaknesses are in the first place? You’re liable to end up with a self-imposed setback on your hands that could very well have been avoided.
And, mind you, this is the kind of setback that can tarnish your reputation, leave a lasting impression on your resume or permanently affect a close relationship, so it’s not the kind of thing you want to mess around with.
Roughly nine years ago, I attended a seminar with one of the foremost leadership authorities in the world, John Maxwell, author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.
In his speech, he spoke about weaknesses and strengths and how to approach the two. To my surprise, he said not to bother working on your weaknesses. At first, I thought I heard him wrong.
He cited examples of people working tirelessly to improve weaknesses such as sub-par interpersonal skills and the tendency to get overly excited and jump the gun on projects. He said you could spend all the time in the world that you want but you’ll only ever improve so much on a skill you started off sub-par in.
So then, what did he suggest instead? It turns out, it’s the same thing as virtually every other successful person I’ve ever heard talk about weaknesses…
All of us have certain areas we’re weak in.
But how do you approach these weaknesses? How do you fix a weakness if you’re not working actively to improve it?
To “fix” your greatest weakness, you should design your life, business, and workflow in a way that offsets those weaknesses, particularly by surrounding yourself with others whose strength is your weakness.
By surrounding yourself with others who are strong where you’re most weak, you can create an immediate shift in the quality of your life and results. Not only will you have your weakness covered but they’ll be in a position to allow their own strengths to flourish and feel as though they’re truly contributing, something we all long for.
In this way, you’re working together with others to make something amazing happen, whether that’s working with your partner to make your relationship the best it can be or hiring a team that offsets your professional weaknesses and helps grow your company and further your mission.
Knowing your greatest weakness is important if you want to make your life the best it can be. We all have at least one. But working together can help create something incredible.