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Published: Thursday 31st of October 2013
Every person is unique. Everyone has a different set of strengths and weaknesses, which define what they can and cannot do in life. Some people follow the status quo and pursue careers that best suit their strengths and weaknesses. Others challenge the status quo and minimize their weaknesses; some even find ways to turn those weaknesses into strengths. It goes without saying that the latter groups are more likely to become successful in life. The key to becoming successful is to use your strengths and overcome your weaknesses. This is easier said than done, however. Not as many people are willing to step outside their comfort zone to improve themselves. Some are gifted with talents since birth. It is arguable that others are successful because of their talents or luck. However, luck is not a reliable force to depend on. It is ill-advised to put your life on luck alone and hope for the best. Successful people know this, and they take control of their own destiny and improve upon themselves in order to become prosperous in their professional and even social life.
One of my strengths is an ability to learn quickly. Adapting to new ideas and changes in the work environment is a crucial skill in the contemporary world. It makes me as flexible as the current situation demands me to be. This skill is very important because there will be a time when you need to make an immediate decision to follow the norms or deviate from them. Most of the time, you do not really know which way brings the best results. Therefore, it is imperative to learn new ideas quicker so that you can analyze the present situation and make a decision that maximizes productivity and efficiency.
Another skill of mine is organization. Keeping my workplace organized helps to locate documents or other items without extra effort. Staying organized is important because you do not have to waste your time looking for documents you need. However, organization skills imply more than being tidy. They also have to do with time management and the ability to prioritize tasks that need to be done in due time. Doing so would mean creating a timetable and following it very closely. My personal timetable includes notes about things that need to be done before certain time and a separate table with my spare time. The latter can be used for other activities such as working out or socializing. With this skill, I manage to complete tasks assigned to me in a timely manner while maintaining my work-life balance.
Strong communication skill is another strength that makes my life easier and more enjoyable. I can connect with just about everyone because of my easy-going and friendly attitude. This trait allows me to feel at home in any crowd of people, at any social event. It also makes connecting with peers much easier and allows me to inspire them to work as a team when needed. Moreover, when it comes to customer support, especially to angry customers, I can easily calm them down and work with them to find a solution. This is a very valuable skill in any organization. In the political spectrum, this trait is also appreciated, no matter if you are a politician or an ambassador. Connecting to people is a talent that is needed everywhere.
Sympathy and kind-heartedness have a special place on the list of my strong traits. Willingness to lend a helping hand to those in need, whether they are in the same boat or not, ties in with my ability to connect with people. My readiness to help people helps me make new friends and get on well with the old ones. Although sometimes the things that I do to help someone may seem small, it helps my peers and me achieve common goals. This trait increases productivity and efficiency in the workplace and makes people around me test their limits and realize their full potential.
Staying cool in a stressful or tense environment crowns the list of my strengths. During such situations, I keep calm and carefully analyze the situation, identifying the main issues that cause the problem, and work toward the solution. In times like this, one must understand that it is best to keep calm and not let our emotions take over and make hasty, incorrect decisions we will come to regret later in life. It is imperative that, when things get hectic and messy, you take a step back and look at everything objectively. You cannot rely on others to do that for you, so you need to keep your head when things get heated. Understanding this helps me identify the best course of action for everyone involved and lead them towards the most desirable solution.
Despite this impressive list of strengths, I am only human and have weaknesses as well. The lack of confidence is one of them. Even when I know for a fact that my expertise is sufficient for a certain task, a small part of me still thinks I may not be good enough for the job. Looking for guidance and relying on advice too much is another weakness that spring from my lack of confidence. Even when working on a job well-known, I tend to rely on guidance and instructions. This insecurity comes from the fear that the quality of my work may not be acceptable, as well as the fear of failure. As a result, I do not always have the initiative and the confidence to decide for my team, which can and will negatively impact my team’s overall performance.
Identifying my skills seems like a reasonable solution to overcome these fears. Understanding what can and cannot be done should set clear boundaries that, in turn, will help me take or decline assignments and other jobs in the future. Keeping a clear head about things that cannot be achieved at the moment show us a way to improve ourselves in the future. Tracking progress using this method should also give me more faith in myself, boost my self-esteem and bring me confidence in both personal and professional life. Another way of building self-confidence is by tackling challenges or recalling the accomplishments. It will serve as both a reminder and a proof of what can be achieved once my mind is set on something. And, since building self-confidence takes a long time, forming a habit of self-reassurance is another important step in this continuous process. Ultimately, however, it will benefit me so much that it will be worth the effort.
Counter-productivity is another one of my weaknesses. I sometimes lack will to do the task at hand, even though my timetable explicitly says I should. To top it off, I often put off less urgent tasks for tomorrow. This is a sad habit that disrupts my timetable. It also interrupts my professional and social life, since I spend my precious time doing useless things that yield no benefits whatsoever. Sad as it may seem, we all suffer from this bad habit (to a certain degree). We are lazy and procrastinate until the last minute, and then panic when the deadline is near. Then, we either cannot complete our tasks (even when we had adequate time); or, we complete our job, but the result is subpar. It, in turn, ruins our productivity and efficiency.
Overcoming this weakness means setting a clear plan and following it to the letter. When laziness and distraction come up, I should remind myself of the consequences of procrastinating. I should always remember what will happen if I do not remain focused on the task. This constant reminder should keep me focused, and fear of those consequences should also serve as a motivation to work harder. Alternatively, I could also use a different kind of thinking to motivate me. Instead of imagining the bad things that will happen to me if I procrastinate, I can also recollect the good things that will happen to me if I do not procrastinate. Doing so should give me two reasons to get on with the task and put in all my efforts to accomplish it. I can also reward myself for the small things, thus, motivating myself to continue the work towards a bigger goal. Then, I can split up the big task I need into smaller and more manageable chunks. After, I can set up a schedule and deadlines for all those small tasks, rewarding myself along the way. If the assignment at hand is especially hard, I should get myself a better reward, thus, motivating myself to push the limits even further and getting this task done. The reward needs to be reasonable, however. One cannot reward oneself with a one-week break jus for finishing a 500-word essay. At the same time, the bonus needs to be effective. I need to think of the prizes that are simple yet very effective. Next, I should create a productive space where I can focus on my job and avoid external distraction. At the same time, this area has to be comfortable and cozy because both of these aspects help maximize productivity.
Finally, it is always possible to get a good friend help me stay focused and set limits on the amount of work I should tackle at a time. Of course, I cannot stress myself out by taking on a large amount of work at a time, nor can I allocate a lot of time on a small task. Both approaches kill productivity. That is why getting a friend involved is always a marvelous idea. Sharing your plans with a companion is a useful technique in achieving your goals. When we share our intentions with a trusted person, we are – essentially – making a promise, and most people (me included) do not feel good about breaking their promises. This simple but highly effective trick should help me stay focused on tasks at hand. Subsequent reward, on the other hand, will encourage me to do my best.
To conclude, I am organized, quick to adapt to new environment and ideas, helpful and friendly. These traits are the main strengths that help me advance in life. My main weaknesses are lack of confidence, laziness, and procrastination. Overcoming weaknesses is a top priority for me, which is why I came up with several methods that should, eventually, turn these weaknesses into strengths. When identifying one’s own strengths and weaknesses, one should have a high degree of self-awareness. Self-reflection becomes crucial here. If you do not really know what your weaknesses or strengths are, you can look into your past and see what you are good and bad at. Everyone understands that self-improvement is important, but you, probably, do not feel like changing yourself right now. In this case, you need to understand that change comes from within. Start changing yourself for the better now. Waiting for the right time to reform is never an option. The right time to change is always now, and so you should start looking at yourself and working hard to become the person you want to be. This process is never an easy one; neither it is quick. Still, taking one step at a time can lead a long way – as long as we make that first step.