How to Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Dec 11, 2021 | All Posts

Recognising your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of others, is difficult. For example, one individual’s talents might be another person’s weaknesses, so determining whether particular qualities you have are assets rather than flaws may be perplexing or aggravating.

Being aware of your strong points and needs may assist you in maintaining a healthy personal life while developing productive professional interactions.

Self-knowledge is a powerful instrument that many people neglect because it is tough or inconvenient, or perhaps because it makes them uncomfortable. 

While this is something you will have to figure out mostly on your own, there are exercises you can do to identify your strengths and weaknesses for a job or for personal reasons.

There are also some tips to help use these tactics in a practical setting where they are most needed, like a job interview.

Define Your Strengths and Weaknesses in Terms of the Situation

To begin, forget about constructing a two-column table and listing your strengths and weaknesses without reference to a situation. This will be a fruitless endeavor.

You’ll probably end up feeling overwhelmed and lost if you don’t take into account the context when evaluating yourself.

Strengths and limitations are highly dependent on the context in which they exist, according to academics. As a result, it’s a good idea to start by looking at times in your life when you had aspirations for things to be better than they were.

Different components of your job may need you to use a variety of talents and knowledge in various ways. You might be having difficulties in your personal or family life. Perhaps you’d want to improve your ability to play an instrument, play a sport, or develop a performing arts talent.

Whatever you pick, make a to-do list for the following:

  1. Determine the talents, knowledge, and method of application required to achieve your goals and improvements.
  2. Wear the gloves. How do you believe your skills, knowledge, or application capability are a match for what is required (for example, 10 might be a perfect fit and zero represents no skills, knowledge, or application capability)?
  3. When it comes to self-assessment, ask yourself how simple or difficult it is for you to put the abilities, knowledge, and understanding you possess into practice.
  4. Consider, “What did I enjoy the most?” as well as “What did I dislike the most?”

Use Tools for Self-Assessment, Carefully and Effectively

Self-assessments of this type can assist you in making sense of and organizing your strengths and limitations. Your responses to the questions provide insight into where you should concentrate your efforts to enhance your knowledge and abilities.

The Values in Action survey, previously known as VIA Character Strengths, is now called VIA Character Strengths

Despite the name change, it maintains that everyone—regardless of culture or nationality—has distinct amounts of 24 character strengths that make up our greatest personalities.

Strengths are defined by researchers and psychologists as beneficial, trait-like qualities for thinking, feeling, and behaving in ways that benefit oneself and others.

Consult Experienced, Trusted Experts

When asked to describe the positive qualities we observe in our friends, it’s a simple process.

When we are compelled to accomplish this task for ourselves, though, our list of flaws tends to outweigh our strengths. 

It is true that we are our own harshest critics (and often).

Alternatively, the Dunning-Kruger effect—you may believe you’re better than you truly are—could be at play.

Tammy Barton, the founder of My Budget, a money management firm, explains how men and women differ in their performance evaluations. 

Women undershot their talent set, had less self-efficacy, and sought for lower objectives than males did. 

She discovered more reports from men reflecting the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Getting feedback from those who are qualified to give it is critical, given these (often unconscious) preconceptions we have. 

After all, you wouldn’t ask a person who has never run a company for business advice or to check your heart’s health if they had a dentist.

To obtain the expertise we’ll need to realize our potential, we’ll have to discover authorities who can provide us with more insight into our talents and vulnerabilities.

A few minutes of research should be sufficient to:

  • Find people you think are qualified authorities and research them.
  • Verify their training, abilities, experience, and accomplishments.
  • Be wary of testimonials since they may be manufactured, false, and phony.
  • Consider whether the person in authority has a hidden agenda, as well as the goal of assisting you in recognizing your strengths and shortcomings.
  • Take time to establish a rapport with the individual you want feedback from if possible so that you can determine whether or not you believe their advice is trustworthy.

Test Yourself

We seldom put ourselves to the test. We don’t usually seek out chances to evaluate our talents, skills, and personality characteristics. 

However, this is how we will obtain the most thorough insight into our strengths and shortcomings.

Put yourself through a variety of tests that assess you in many ways:

  • Skill-based
  • Performance-based
  • Personality and traits

Putting yourself in situations to test your skills and knowledge is more likely to assist you address your faults if you do it deliberately.

Taking this method of approach isn’t only considered and directed, but it’s also extremely gratifying when you start seeing and experiencing changes that you want to see.

While you may always choose to “see how things play out,” there are drawbacks to allowing things to develop naturally:

  • You miss out on chances to diffuse emotional and mental stress when your flaws are highlighted and emphasized.
  • You deprive yourself of the ability to take advantage of things you truly desire.
  • You don’t take advantage of your talents.
  • You have trouble progressing.
  • Your mindset clings to a sense of helplessness and powerlessness when it comes to altering unpleasant situations.

Repeat the Procedure and Re-Evaluate

Looking back at the previous steps at different times is a valuable life skill. 

The more we practice assessing and testing our strengths and shortcomings, the more it becomes a natural and healthy component of our lives’ journey.

Rinse and repeat the procedure for several times to achieve many advantages. You can reach your objectives sooner. Your resilience improves. You may identify possibilities that are more pleasurable for you than those that are more difficult and unpleasant. 

You can also use this method to arrange when you want to feel in greater command of your life by deliberately immersing yourself into challenging challenges at specific times.

The most wonderful conclusion you’ll come to after studying your strengths and shortcomings over time is that there are no real strengths and no genuine weaknesses.

It becomes more about recognising where and when your unique mix of talents, characteristics, and knowledge are compatible, helpful, and appropriate, as well as where and when they aren’t.

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