I bet you know more about what you do wrong than what you do right. We have a tendency to notice more of the “wrong” things about ourselves than we do the “right.” I’m not sure where this tendency comes from, but for most of us we really have to try to see the right things that we do, whereas the wrong things seem easy to pick out.
Think about the last time you came out from an activity, maybe a job interview or some social situation, and you immediately thought about all the things that you did wrong, and all the ways in which you were inadequate. This comes very easily to us. But the thing about focusing on the negative is that it is de-energizing. Ruminating about all the things you did wrong does not make you want to move forward.
We tend to do this more in situations where we don’t feel comfortable – a job interview, for instance, where we are on the spot and the pressure to perform is on, or a party where we don’t know many people and don’t feel confident starting conversations with people we don’t know. These situations are when the wheels of negativity start spinning.
But, what if you could walk out of these situations and begin to think of the things that you did well. First of all, if the situation makes you uncomfortable, give yourself a point simply for going. Second, make yourself think of some things that you did well, even if you really have to dig deep for them.
We will always have our strengths and our weaknesses. But being constantly focused on weaknesses doesn’t really help us that much, because it’s our strengths that will take us where we ultimately want to go. No matter how far we develop our weaknesses, they will still be our weaknesses. However, if we begin consciously to develop our strengths, we can become excellent at something in a way that we never imagined.
Focusing on what you have done right is a way of keeping yourself on the right path. Follow your strengths, and develop your weaknesses enough so that they can come along with you. Ultimately, what you love to do and what you have a proclivity towards becomes a strength. The opposite becomes a weakness. Do what you love to do often, and see where that takes you.
Usually, we are much harder on ourselves than we need to be. There will always be lots of things that we can’t do well, but there will also be a few things that we can do (or have the potential to do) exceptionally well. Don’t spend your time focused on the many things that you can’t do, or you may never have time for the few things you have the potential to excel at. Spending too much time focused on your weaknesses is like sacrificing your strengths. Don’t waste them. 🙂
How do you balance your strengths and your weaknesses? Have you found it more advantageous to develop your weaknesses or to focus on your strengths? Feel free to leave your answer in the comments.