Back in the day, way back, I played co-ed softball.  I didn’t exactly look like the most athletic person on the field. It was humorous to watch as the men, one by one, took their turn at bat.  They’d take a look around the field and I could see them staring in my direction.  It wasn’t too difficult to read their minds.  They thought they found the weak spot.  Bat after bat, the ball would be hit to me. So I traded what would have been a bruised ego for severely bruised hands.  I stopped that ball with all the strength I could muster.   Finally, after a few innings they realized they should change their strategy because it clearly wasn’t working.

They thought they saw a weakness and they tried to exploit it.

Can Your Weakness Be Exploited?

Ah, strengths and weaknesses. We’re taught from a very early age that we have strengths and then we have weaknesses.  We’re also taught that we have to continually work to improve those weaknesses. It’s what makes performance appraisals, or at least it seems so at times.

But, is a weakness something to be concerned about all of the time? How much time should you devote to improving your weakness?

From athletics to the boardroom however, there are always leaders that, if they are smart with build great TEAMS.  They know what they do well and they know where they need a little help.  So they get people around them who are strong where they are not.  Nobody’s perfect.  Our strengths can be leveraged and we should fill in our gaps with the strengths of others.

So instead of being concerned about your so-called weakness, be concerned about whether it can be exploited or not.  Know if it will be used against you.  That way, you know where your focus of improvement should lie.

What Weaknesses Are Holding You Back?

From interviews to performance reviews, to chatting with our friends, we often  discuss weaknesses ad nauseam. We can become so afraid of our boss, colleagues, or friends seeing our shortcomings that we work tirelessly to fix or disguise them. That takes precious time away from doing what we do well. That’s the kind of short-sightedness that tends to lead to insecurity and self-doubt.

That’s counterproductive.

Sometimes we even have fears about our weaknesses without realizing it. Take a minute to think about what you’ve always wanted to do. What do you perceive to be the weakness that holds you back from accomplishing this goal?

Not All Weaknesses Are Equal

Not all weaknesses will make you less successful.  Let’s say you’ve been told, or you know, that you’re not so great in the public speaking department.  If you have a job that is not public facing and you know that’s never going to be a part of your job, how much effort should you spend improving it?

Unless it’s a personal goal, does it really matter?

On the other hand, if you are a terrible public speaker and you have to give a multitude of speeches throughout the course of a year, you can see where that could be problematic.  That could be a detriment to your career.

Just like battles, learn to pick and choose the weaknesses that should be improved.  Be concerned if they are keeping you from starting something new, from pursuing a dream, or preventing your career growth. If so, then bingo, that’s what you need to work on.

If a weakness is not going to stop you from becoming successful, you are better off spending your time building upon your strengths.

Our strength is a natural gift that if we are to make it better, we can maximize the outcome of our efforts. I’m certainly not saying that we shouldn’t attempt to improve but we only have so many hours in the day.  Our focus has to be with what is important to our long-term satisfaction and overall career and life happiness.

Focus on What Matters

Concentrate on what counts and what’s important to you personally.   The rest will sort itself out.

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