WORKPLACE SUCCESS / 18 March 20195 Ultra-Effective Ways to Work Smarter, not Harder
If this were a perfect world, you would be great at everything you did, which in the end, would lead to a very successful life. This would also mean that you would have the perfect body, be debt free, and win the lottery every time you played. But here in this imperfect world, we all have to deal with the fact that there are things we are great at, okay at, and straight suck at. For many, this can be very frustrating, because you want to be good at everything. Matter of fact, you believe you HAVE to be good at everything you do just to be successful. But in reality, no one is good at everything they want to be good at.
So instead of looking at your weaknesses as flaws, you should embrace them for what they are and turn them into your greatest strengths.
1. Identify your weaknesses
You can not turn your weaknesses into strengths if you do not know what your weaknesses are, so first discover them. For example, one of my weaknesses was acceptance. This one time I did horrible on a test, and I received a 56%, after I got my results back, I dwelled on the fact that I had failed for about a week. The time I spent thinking about my failures could have been spent studying so I could do better on the next test. As of today, I have dealt with my weakness and turned it into one of my strengths. I’ve accepted the fact that I am not the best test taker and all I need to do is spend an extra amount of time studying to achieve my goals. Because I overcame one of my weakness, I ended up getting a 85% on the next test I took.
2. Every Weakness has a Corresponding Strength
In How to Turn Your Weaknesses into Strengths, by David Kerpen, he discusses how to view your weaknesses as strengths. I found the activity very insightful, so I thought I would share it with you as well:
Think about your weaknesses at school, work, and even life in general. What are some things that you absolutely cannot stand about yourself? Here is a list of some weaknesses, choose the three that most relate to you.
After you choose your three weakness, don’t ponder them for too long. Next, look at the list below, and find the same three weaknesses you choose, and look to the right at the traits of your three biggest weaknesses:
The three traits to the right of your weaknesses are all strengths. Hidden in every weaknesses are your strengths, sometimes you have to look at them from a new perspective. Read here how the best leaders turn their weaknesses into their greatest strengths.
3. Get advice
When living in the dorms, my roommate was very different from me. I liked to keep my room neat, clean and organized, while she enjoyed a messy, dirty, and unorganized room. Instead of confronting her and telling her how it bothered me, I dealt with it for as long as I could. That’s when I decided to seek advice, I talked to my mother about how I should go about telling her to clean her room. It was the right decision to seek advice, because my mother told me how to go about the situation without being rude and if it was not for her help, I would be stranded in a messy room. Sometimes you need advice on certain situations and you should never feel ashamed to ask for help. Many people have gone through the same struggles that you are dealing with now, and they have overcome them and so can you with the help of others.
4. Hire Skills
Instead of trying to do something that you know you’re not the best at, consider hiring someone to fulfill the skills that you might lack. For example, if your air conditioner is broken do not try and fix it yourself if you have no knowledge in air conditioner systems at all, instead hire someone to come and fix it that way the job is done correctly and efficiently. Besides compensating for your weakness, this will help you build up an important skill you need-- finding people or employees you can trust and then trusting them. Jobs that you might not fully understand, can be completed by someone who has the right skills to get the job done.
5. Get good enough
You can’t change what you were born with, but you can change how you perform it. Instead of spending all your time wishing you were good at something, spend that time actually practicing it. The more time and energy you spend on something, the better you will become. When you invest all your time in an activity, the only direction you can go in is up. And it all starts with the time you chose to invest in it today.
6. Seek to help others
If you are lacking a skill, you are not the only one. There are plenty of people out there that share the same weaknesses as you. Many successful companies have come about because they needed help in a certain area. So try and think about ways you can help both yourself and others compensate for your deficiency. Sometimes your weaknesses combined could lead to a very successful outcome. Two heads are better than one.
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Instead of trying to change your weaknesses, accept them for what they are and embrace your strength and build upon them. It is too difficult to try and change them so instead use your weaknesses to your advantage. After doing the above activity, you are now able to see your corresponding strength in your weakness. All your weaknesses got you to this point in your life, and that’s a sign that maybe it’s not your weakness after all.
Check out this article about embracing your soft skills in life for additional readings.