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How to Find Your Areas of Strength and Weakness

...and turn your weaknesses into strengths.

Image by Elias Sch. from Pixabay
Source: Image by Elias Sch. from Pixabay

What are areas of strength and weakness?

Areas of strength are defined as positive knowledge, attributes, skills, traits, and talents. Areas of weakness are defined as the knowledge, attributes, skills, traits, and talents that are not as well developed or are otherwise problematic (here is a well-being quiz to help you explore some of your strengths and weakness related to well-being).

What are areas of strength?

There are tons of things that could be your areas of strength. But research has shown that there are different types of strengths. This study talks about the five areas of strength below:

1. Interpersonal areas of strength include:

2. Intellectual areas of strength include:

  • love of learning
  • creativity
  • curiosity
  • open-mindedness

3. Emotional areas of strength include:

  • zest
  • hope
  • bravery

4. Restraint areas of strength include:

5. Theological areas of strength include:

  • religiousness (or faith)
  • gratitude
  • appreciation of beauty

What are areas of weakness?

Having an area of weakness doesn't have to be a bad thing. It could be something you struggle with, but it could also be something you haven't spent the time to develop yet. And by turning a weakness into a strength, you build other important skills like growth mindset and grit.

For example, maybe your area of weakness is gratitude. You just haven't spent a lot of time thinking about gratitude because you were focusing on other areas of strength. But now you've decided to improve your gratitude and engage in a bunch of activities that help you turn gratitude into an area of strength. Hey, now you've got one more area of strength!

Why might you want to explore your areas of strength and weakness?

During job or school interviews, you are likely to be asked at some point, "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" Because the interviewers are interested in how your areas of strength and weakness might affect your performance in this role, it's helpful to know lots of your strengths and weaknesses, so you can specifically focus on the ones related to the role. For example, you may be great at cooking, but if you're applying for an office job, this strength may be irrelevant.

Knowing your personal areas of strength and weakness is not always easy. It takes self-awareness and self-reflection. So ask yourself, what are you good at? Or, ask someone you trust to tell you what your areas of strength and weakness are.

Why should you use your areas of strength?

Our areas of strength can help us achieve our goals, be successful, and accomplish things. For example, let's say my area of strength is creativity and yours in planning and we both want to have the same career. We might go about getting there in very different ways. If I did something creative to get my dream job and you planned carefully, we'd both likely be successful. But if I tried planning and you tried something creative, both of us might be unsuccessful. That's why knowing, and using our strengths, can be really important for reaching our goals.

What are the benefits of knowing your areas of strength and weakness?

1. Knowing your areas of strength and weakness increases self-awareness.

Exploring any aspect of yourself helps you get to know yourself better.

2. Knowing your areas of strength and weakness shows you how to move forward.

When we know our areas of strength, we can more easily take the right steps for us to achieve our goals.

3. Knowing your areas of strength and weakness shows you what you need to improve.

When we know our areas of weakness we can more easily improve them. If we don't know what our areas of weakness are, how are we supposed to fix them?

Grow your areas of strength

Here are some activities to help you explore and improve your areas of strength:

In sum

You may grow your areas of strength slowly or quickly, but as long as you're taking actions, you'll build more areas of strength and lessen areas of weakness. Whatever your goals are, try to take an action today that helps you capitalize on your strengths and manifest your dreams.

Created with content from The Berkeley Well-Being Institute.