So, you want to achieve great success in life? Then you must learn how to turn your weaknesses into strengths.
Do you know that Albert Einstein, one of the most famous scientists of all time was labeled as a lazy child and that he flunked math? He has ADHD because he daydreamed in school when he was young and was famously forgetful.
In 1919, Walt Disney was fired from one of his animation jobs at Kansas City Star newspaper because his editor felt that he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”.
But from what we know, Walt Disney was someone who is extremely creative that he created the famous cartoon character, Mickey Mouse, and transformed his life to stellar success.
Another great story is from the famous motivational speaker, Nick Vujicic. Nick was born with tetra-amelia syndrome and he had no limbs. During his childhood years, he struggled with his disability, and at one time in life, he even tried to commit suicide.
Luckily, his love for his parents changed him. Eventually, he used his weakness to his advantage. He transformed his weakness into his strength and went on to inspire millions of people around the world.
It doesn’t matter if you have weaknesses, we all do.
What truly matters is how you deal with your weaknesses.
You can either choose to accept your weakness and see it as a roadblock or an obstacle, or you can turn it into your strength and learn how to use it as a stepping stone to your success.
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
When life gives you lemons, you just need to learn to make lemonade.
Should You Focus on Your Strengths or Work on Your Weakness?
One of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to your strengths and weaknesses is if you should work on improving your weaknesses.
It is true that you should focus on your strengths and play a game where you’re good at, but it doesn’t mean that you should totally ignore your weaknesses.
Sometimes, you will have no choice but to learn to improve your weaknesses in order to go further and faster.
Imagine you are driving with the handbrakes on. And to go faster, you can step on the pedal and press forward.
Or, you can release the handbrakes and that allows your car to go faster and smoother.
Improving your weaknesses is like releasing your handbrakes. You don’t let them hold you back or slow you down.
You improve weaknesses so that they don’t block your way or slow you down.
Of course, you don’t focus on the handbrakes all the time while you drive, right?
The same goes for life.
You don’t focus on your weaknesses, you focus on your strengths, but you have to work on improving your weaknesses so that they don’t become an obstacle that slows you down.
I like how Scott Young puts it in his blog post:
“I’m not arguing that you should work on everything you’re bad at. I’m not arguing that you should try to be good at everything. I’m certainly not arguing that you shouldn’t master skills. What I am arguing is that focusing on your strengths might not be the best outlook.”Scott Young
Sometimes, focusing on your strengths give you good results. And sometimes, improving on your weaknesses give great results.
How to Transform Your Weaknesses into Strengths
Now that you know that you should focus on your strengths and whenever possible, improve on your weaknesses. But how do you do it? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Recognize and Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
First, you must recognize and acknowledge your weaknesses.
You can’t fix something that you don’t know is broken. You can only fix something when you know it is broken.
Hence, the first step to improving your weaknesses is to recognize them and so that you can make a conscious effort to overcome them.
So, what are your weaknesses? What are you bad at? If you have no idea what or where are your weaknesses, read this article:
2. Be Extremely Prepared for Learning and Improving
Once you knew what are your weaknesses, a very good way to overcome them is to make yourself be extremely prepared for it.
For example, if your weakness is that you have a very bad sense of direction, before you make your move, just be prepared and map out your route.
If you’re someone forgetful like you often forget where you park your car, just snap a photo of the parking lot with your phone so that you can easily identify where you park after that.
The key is to get yourself ready to overcome things that you are weak at.
In other words, take the counter-measure approach.
When you need to deliver a presentation to a group of clients, you prepare and rehearse it many times before you actually deliver it, right?
Preparation makes you feel confident and it is one of the best ways to improve your weaknesses.
3. Leverage on Other People’s Strengths
Sometimes, it makes more sense to outsource or hire the skills that you lack.
You don’t have to do everything on your own. You just need to delegate and outsource on things that you’re bad at.
When you look at all the successful entrepreneurs and businesses, you will discover that nobody is perfect and everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.
And those who know how to leverage the strengths of others are the ones who make it big.
When Steve Jobs started Apple with Steve Wozniak, he did not know much about technology, programming, and design.
Jobs leveraged Wozniak as a hardware engineer to design the first few computers in Apple.
The same goes to Disney Studios. Walt Disney was the creative man behind the studio, and Roy Disney was the one who made sure the company was financially stable.
Walt leveraged Roy’s financial knowledge while Roy depended on Walt’s creativity to grow the business.
You can’t succeed alone.
You need help, support, skills, and knowledge from others to be successful in life.
If you’re a one-man enterprise, there’s a high chance that you can’t grow big because there is only so much you can do.
Unless you choose to be a solopreneur, if you want to grow your business to a higher level, you need leverage on other people’s strengths.
Here’s an interesting article you may want to read:
4. Face Your Weakness and Do It Anyway
There is no way you can improve if you’re not willing to face it and do it.
You grow only when you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and do something different.
Many times, it is not that you are weak at certain things, it is because you choose not to face it that makes you lack experience, and thus making you weak in the subject.
A lot of people think that they can’t write and that writing is one of their weaknesses.
But if you are willing to face it and do it daily, your writing skill will eventually improve and get better.
So, you think you’re bad with writing?
Start a blog and write 500 words every day.
After a year or so, you will find that writing has become your second nature and you can write as smoothly as you talk.
Do you think I’m a good writer? No, I just keep writing and publishing.
You have to understand that no one was born a champion. Champions were made, not born.
That means you can get good at things that you are bad at.
Every master was once a beginner. If you think that you have no talent in basketball and that you don’t have the skill, think about how Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant were raised from an ordinary player to becoming a basketball superstar.
So, face your weaknesses. Don’t run away from them.
Don’t doubt yourself and never let your self-limiting beliefs stop you from becoming the person you want to be.
5. Get Just Good Enough
While it is true you can never be great at all things, some skills and tasks are worth learning so that you can achieve greater success in what you do.
You certainly don’t have to be great at everything, you just need to be good enough to understand how things work.
Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce chain said that he did not know how to do programming and he had no idea how to build a website. He just needs to know how it works.
You don’t need to understand how electricity works and you don’t have to be an electrician to switch on the lights in your house, you just need to know the basics.
The same goes in life and at work or business, you don’t have to be the master of everything, you just need to know the basics and how to make things work.
And then you can outsource and hire others to do it.
This is about strategy VS technical stuff. You can always outsource and hire people to do the technical stuff, but you must have the big picture and the strategy to get things done.
Here’s an example. You don’t have to know about designing, coding, or building a website to create a successful online business out of it.
You just need to know the strategy how to connect things and you’re good to go.
Hence, you don’t have to be perfect to be successful. Got it?
Yes, focusing on your strengths is vital, but you shouldn’t totally ignore your weaknesses too.
Sometimes improving on your weaknesses can get you better results and success. You don’t have to learn everything, but you must not let your weaknesses stop you too.
Follow the 5 tips above to turn your weaknesses into strengths.
And when your weakness becomes your strength, you will become unstoppable.