Updated: Apr 15
Do you have any weaknesses? We all do, but some of us do a poor job of dealing with them. Others appear to have no weaknesses because their weaknesses are never exposed. Your weaknesses can be a significant drag on your life, or they can have minimal impact. It depends on the weakness and how you address it.
Weakness doesn’t have to be a hindrance! Use these techniques to deal with weaknesses strategically:
1. Decide if your weakness is relevant
Not all weaknesses are worthy of addressing. If you’re a terrible athlete but have no interest in playing sports, why work on your athleticism? Everyone has weaknesses, but not everyone has weaknesses that matter to them.
Consider your life and your goals. Do your weaknesses get in the way of either? If not, don’t worry about them! You are very fortunate!
2. Work around your weakness
In many cases, it’s possible to work around your weaknesses. If you’re terrible on the phone, utilize email. Are you someone that can’t think on your feet while giving a speech? Be over-prepared and use extensive visual aids. If you’re too short to reach the top shelf, buy a ladder or put everything you need on the lower shelves.
Adjust the situation or environment to avoid your weaknesses.
3. Focus on your strengths
The most successful people are great at working around their weaknesses and maximizing their strengths. If you can build a life that relies heavily on your strengths, you’re going to be a very successful person.
Build your strengths. If you’re going to get the most out of this strategy, you can’t just rely on your strengths. You have to take the next step to develop your strengths even further. Develop a plan for becoming even better at the things you already do well.
The book, The Power of Character Strengths has been a helpful guide for me in this area.
There might be things that you’re not good at, but you probably know people that are good at those things. Is there some task at work you’re terrible at performing? Find someone else to do it for you.
Are you terrible at cleaning your house? Hire a cleaning service.
Can’t do your taxes well? Hire an accountant.
Can’t stand to wash the dishes? Get your kids to do it.
Terrible at dealing with strangers? Have your coworker give tours to the visitors.
Think about the people that are great in the areas in which you struggle. Utilize them.
5. Strengthen your area of weakness
This is the last resort. If your weakness is standing in your way and there’s no other way to address the issue, then you’ll have to get busy. This isn’t an optimal situation. It’s very challenging to become great at something you lack the talent for and or despise doing.
Focus on being good enough. Avoid trying to be in the top 1% at this skill. Decide how good you need to be and make a plan for reaching that level of expertise.
Get expert advice. Read books. Hire a coach. Take a class. Whatever the issue is, you’re going to be better off with some expert help!
Not all weaknesses need to be addressed. If you suffer from seasickness but have no desire to be on a boat, why spend time dealing with it? Many personal weaknesses can be avoided with some planning. Others vulnerabilities can be managed through delegation.
Ideally, you’d be able to leverage your strengths and avoid your weaknesses altogether. However, this isn’t always possible. There are times that it’s necessary to work on your weaknesses, but you can avoid doing more work than necessary. Weaknesses are extremely difficult to transform into strengths.
Focus on building your strengths, design your life around those, and enjoy the success you deserve!