Ditch Your Weaknesses and Focus On Your Strengths
Throughout your life, right from the time you are born, till the time there is no one alive who knows your weaknesses, all that people talk to you about is how you can be a better kindergartener / high schooler / undergrad / post-grad / worker / manager / patient / father / husband / grand father / and so on and so forth. You begin to expose your weaknesses with the very first evaluation that someone subjects you to. Should life really be about expending it in the pursuit of overcoming your weaknesses?
What is wrong with you?
This is the question that follows you everywhere you go. It started when you failed to throw the basket ball into the hoop in school. The question again came at you when you scored low in math. This question attacked you when wanted to quit your engineering studies to pursue a degree in english literature. The question cut you when you wanted to quit your job to start your own business.
That is what people ever asked of you at every turn in your life. Whenever you did poorly. Whenever you performed differently than what was expected.
And following the question came the wise remedies to how you can get better. Suggestions. Tips. Training programs. Practice sessions. Numerous looks of disapproval. All this made you feel like you were less than the person that you are. Incapable being able to do the most basic tasks properly. Someone who needed constant monitoring and guidance in managing even the most mundane of the chores.
What is good about you?
Some kind person, in passing would have mumbled a word about what you do well. You might have heard a rant about you that keeps repeating about how you are and who you are. It was stated with contempt and disdain.
What if the often repeating theme about you was in fact a strength of yours, rather than what is wrong with you. What if the thing that you thought needs fixing in you was in fact your biggest strength. What if you were looking in the wrong direction all this while.
The Path of Least Resistance
There is probably a reason why you failed at doing things that you failed at. There is probably an explanation as to why you felt like air was being sucked out of your lungs when you were asked to do somethings.
Not all fingers of your hand are the same and not everyone can be good at math. Its ok if you did not fit into the straight jacket that this whole system tried to put on you.
All that you may remember are your struggles. All that you can think of are things that you did not do well. The real question is how can you move past that and get to place where you do not have fight yourself all the time? How can you get to a phase in life where there is congruence between who you really are and what you are good at.
The only way to make the congruence happen is to find out what you are good at. The only way is to bring to clear focus what you may know only as a hazy glimpse. The only way is to identify your natural talents. Not the talents that you need to think hard to name, but those that bubble up to the surface inspite of yourself. The talents of yours which go back into hiding if you try to analyse them.
Where can I start?
I found the Strengths Finder 2.0 to be surprisingly good way to know what my talents are. The test helped me strongly identify my strengths, where as before the test, I only had a vague inkling about them. I also had in my mind a set of idealistic talents that I wanted to posses. But on the other hand I did not have those talents that I secretly desired. Now, not actually having the talents that I secretly desire can be hugely depressing if I keep wishing for those talents. Taking the Strengths Finder test has freed me from wishing for those talents and the need that I felt to work on building those talents.
I am finally free. And I can now begin the exciting work of improving and building my real talents. I can boldly choose careers that I know will give me opportunities to utilise my talent to do great work.
If you too are having doubts about what really defines you, like the doubts I used to have, I urge you to find out what your real talents or strengths are.