Identifying strengths and weaknesses within yourself helps you to understand all the possibilities available to your life.
The question that has been posed to us many times during job interviews, classrooms, and on first dates, is “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
It’s a question that I used to dread because I never quite knew how to answer. I always thought that if I told the unfiltered truth, I might leave an undesirable impression. Plus, the numerous articles I’ve read and the number of people I’ve asked have always told me to make my weaknesses look like strengths.
For example, I was once told that I must always state that one of my weaknesses is staying overtime until the job is completed.
Now, in most situations, that is true. But, if I was applying for a job that had strict time-management procedures, a remark like that would make them look to the next candidate.
When you truly identify your strengths and weaknesses, you will become more of yourself and offer something that no one else can offer—you.
Identifying strengths and weaknesses
It’s necessary to identify the things you enjoy doing and the ones that simply drive you nuts every time you think about them. You must always do the things you enjoy doing and also the things that you’re good at.
If you’re applying for a job that you dislike tremendously but need the money, you will suck it up and do it anyway, right? But the consequences of taking that job are not worth it in the long run. After you’ve started working at this particular job, you’ll begin to feel drained, irritated, and frustrated, all the time. The work is sucking the life out of but you “need” the funds, so you continue to put yourself through torture.
This example is the definition of doing things that don’t resonate with your core. Simply put, you’re not utilizing your strengths.
Once you’ve pinpointed your strengths and what you enjoy doing, life will start to feel different. Things you used to struggle to get now comes along almost effortlessly. Understanding yourself will set you on your true path in life.
Without a thorough understanding of who you are, you will be clueless about where you fit in your life, your community, and the world. What do you have to offer?
When you have a complete understanding of what you bring to the table, you’ll also have the confidence you require to take you anywhere you see fit.
Imagine that you are a successful, independent, and well-traveled person who now desires a partner to share your experiences with. On your first date with the prospects you’ve chosen, you already have a keen understanding of what traits your partner must also have. This makes the process of finding your match easier because you know you bring fun, excitement, and stability to the table, and you’re looking for someone to match those qualities.
The same idea goes for any job you accept. Knowing what you’re bringing to the table allows you to negotiate. Others can either accept you or reject you. Either way, you stayed true to exactly who you are.
Take a few personality tests
Understanding yourself from a scientific point of view can help you identify your best traits. These tests provide a general overview of your personality and characteristics. Some might reveal new insights, while others might tell you things you already know. Take time to go through all the results and apply the information accordingly.
The MBTI test
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test analyzes aspects of your personality through a series of questions. Then, it assigns your personality type— from the sixteen different kinds—that describes the person you are. It lets you know if you’re an introvert or an extrovert, how you make decisions, how you understand information, and how you approach the outside world.
To find out your personality type, you can take the free test here.
After you’ve received your personality type, write a short paragraph in your journal about the parts of your personality the test uncovered and the new understanding you now have about yourself. This will help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses by utilizing a scientific approach.
The Big Five Personality Test
What personality factor drives your thoughts and behaviors?
The Big Five personality test, sometimes abbreviated as OCEAN or CANOE, measures how you may react, behave, and see things differently from others in the same situation. The test assesses your level of openness, extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
Identify your Big Five Personality traits with this free test.
As with the MBTI test, write a short paragraph of your new understanding of your five personality traits in your journal.
The Rationality Test
How do you think?
If you understood the way your mind thinks, you would definitely have a better understanding of the person you truly are. This test identifies the sixteen reasoning styles that you utilize whenever you’re thinking.
Your mind works differently from everyone else. When you factor in your experiences and knowledge, you have the recipe of what makes you unique.
Write a short paragraph of your new understanding of your reasoning style in your journal.
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The Fascination Test
How do others see you?
The Fascination test evaluates how the world perceives you, what they see as your best attribute, and how you can maximize that to your benefit. It identifies your Advantages—your best and least personality traits. If you understand what motivates people to seek your help, you’ll understand and know exactly how to handle those situations.
When you do things that come naturally to you, you begin to open up your world to possibilities you’ve never dreamed about. Understanding how the world sees you will aid you in identifying your strengths and your weaknesses. But most importantly, what makes you uniquely you.
This test is the only one on this list that’s not free, but there are two ways you can access it.
First, buy the book How The World Sees You by Sally Hogshead on Amazon so you can dig deeper into understanding your specific Advantages.
Or second by buying the test on their website.
My advice is to buy the book and read it. It provides a lot more insight than just taking the test.
Identifying your strengths and weaknesses comes easy when you understand the person you truly are. Use the tests above to understand yourself and how the world sees you. Maximize your potential in your life.
It is vital that you understand what you have to offer in any given situation.
“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” ― Lao Tzu