Wholeness Healing Today


Strengths and Weaknesses

We are often asked about our strengths and weaknesses but are often ill-prepared to answer. Many of us think about a time when we were asked of these qualities during a job interview. Often times the memory of this is accompanied by a feeling of regret as we recall the struggle to produce just the right response. For instance, we often reflect whether our response may have caused us to appear too arrogant, or too inept to fulfill the responsibilities of the position. If prepared, we may have been able to produce a response that avoided both extremes and left us feeling confident.

If we continue to ponder the question about our strengths and weaknesses, we may actually find a lot more than just a well-prepared response for a job interview. In fact, a review of our own strengths and weaknesses can produce a lot of helpful information for personal growth. If we take an internal inventory on a regular basis, we are often much more likely to make significant progress towards our goals or even define the goals we want or need in our lives.

So how do we identify our strengths? It may be easiest to begin by considering areas in which we are competent. Considering what we know how to do and in what areas we have spent time learning is a good place to start. We can begin by identifying the strengths we may have in a particular field or task. Then, we can take it a step further and identify the qualities this field or task requires in order for the outcome or product of it to be successful. For instance, a chef who has learned to make gourmet food and works at a respectable establishment may possess the strengths of being a multi-tasker, being creative, hardworking, etc.

Another way to explore our strengths is to consider what makes us feel good. Are others complimenting characteristics or expressing their appreciation of certain qualities we possess? We can also explore areas in which we feel a sense of pride or accomplishment in doing. For example, helping our neighbors by shoveling their walk when it snows may be the product of the strength of compassion for others, physical ability, being a caretaker, etc.

Identifying the resources we possess is another effective way to identify our strengths. We may have an extensive support system or we may be equipped with material assets. Others may belong to activities or organizations that serve as a strength. We often tend to overlook our resources as our strengths when it is actually an area that can be utilized to maximize our strengths, to develop new strengths, or to maintain the strengths developed. To illustrate, family can be a strength that provides the outlet to be the caretaker we are naturally, to teach us to have more patience, or to care for us and restore our energy.

On the other hand, how do we identify our weaknesses? It may be easiest to consider what produces negativity in our lives. Stress may be a contributor or cause to this negativity. For instance, if the idea that others are talking negatively about us or opinions of others produce anxiety, maybe our self esteem could use some improvement. Or, it may be that we are too impulsive and our aggressive expression of anger has resulted in conflicts with various people.

Another way to explore our weaknesses is to consider the things we want to be different in our lives. There may be things we want and reasons why we haven’t we been able to attain them. Additionally, there may be obstacles that are standing in our way or we may possess qualities that make it challenging to achieve certain things. For example, the lack of transportation may make it difficult to obtain desired employment. Being unwilling to learn new skills may also make it challenging to advance in a current position.

In summary, identifying a weakness is one effective way to develop a new personal goal. Exploring the strengths that may assist us in making our personal goals possible is equally important. Reevaluation is also essential. As we make advances towards a goal, we develop new strengths and may be able to maximize this strength in other areas of our life, thus employing positive synergy.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
    Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner

  • Jody Johnson, LICSW, LIMHP, began working at Wholeness Healing Center as a therapist in 2007. Jody graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with her Masters in Social Work.  She received her bachelor degree in Social Work from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

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