Potential Employer: What are some of your weaknesses?
Interviewee: I work too hard, I can be too friendly and sometimes I can be too humble…
Obviously, this jackass wouldn’t get the job (I hope and pray that they wouldn’t, anyway). You may laugh at their answer, but in reality, when is the last time you were honest with yourself about your weaknesses? I don’t think many people spend quality time keeping it real with themselves.
We all want to soak in our strengths. It feels good. It’s rewarding to reflect on something you do well. Not only to reflect on it, but to actively do whatever it is you’ve mastered can be overwhelmingly positive. It makes us want to do more and be more than we already are.
It takes real courage to focus on and acknowledge our weaknesses. Why would we want to derail the self esteem train while we’re chugging along with all of our strengths? But what a lot of people don’t understand is that by shedding light on our weaknesses, we spotlight our potential to grow and be a better, more well rounded person.
Let’s use someones physique as a parallel. Imagine a man with a large upper body. Someone that can move weight on the bench press like no one else. Unfortunately, this same guy hasn’t done a squat or worked on his lower body in years. Maybe it’s because no one in their right mind would try to correct such a large man. Maybe it’s because he was so focused on things he was good at that he hoped it would overshadow his weakness: his chicken legs. Sweatpants are his best friend at the gym. Should he stop working on his upper body? Absolutely not. But, he should shed some light on his weaknesses (his legs) and give them some work. Over time his attention to and action toward improving that weakness will mold it into a strength, giving him a more balanced physique.
Whether it be at the gym, your diet, your schoolwork, or your job, everyone has weaknesses that go unconfronted. I think we should accentuate our strengths, but work equally as hard at cultivating our weaknesses. It will make us all so much stronger in the long run.
I was recently watching a YouTube video from Inside Quest (which is an AWESOME YouTube channel, run by one of the creators of Quest Protein products) that inspired this post. They were interviewing this guy named Keith Ferrazzi and discussing weaknesses. Keith revealed that he kept a (constantly changing) list of his weaknesses in his wallet. I found that to be really cool. The transparency that this shows is incredible. He knows where his flaws are, and he chooses to have a reminder present with him at all times. He’s not using the list to dwell on his shortcomings, but rather to recognize where he should work to grow.
After all, how do we know how to grow as a person if we can’t be real about what parts of us need such growth?