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Stop improving your weaknesses

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

Identify and focus on your Unique Ability instead

The idea that our biggest potential for growth lies in our weaknesses is a myth. I believe that constantly working on improving a weakness can actually lead to negative feelings and lower self-esteem.

This is because your life follows your focus. If you are focused only on what you are lacking - what’s still missing, what you’re not yet good at, and so on - it can leave you feeling stressed and demotivated.

On the other hand, focusing on your strengths can make you feel more positive and give you energy. It will also help you grow faster as you are building on something you already possess.

Live in terms of your strong points. Magnify them. Let your weaknesses shrivel up and die from lack of nourishment. (William Young Elliott)

A good way to start focusing more on your strengths is by identifying your Unique Ability. Your Unique Ability is basically a combination of what you excel at (your strongest skills and talents), what you enjoy and what you are passionate about.

Here are a few tips to identify your Unique Ability

  • It shows up everywhere in your life, not just at work. Think of what you excel at or how you create value at home, at school or with family and friends.

  • You've been doing this for a long time. Think back to when you were much younger. What were you appreciated for the most? Anyone who knew you when you were younger (parents, siblings, old friends) can provide insight.

  • It comes to you naturally. It's so ingrained in you that it might not feel special or exciting. Which is why it's easy to overlook.

  • Others rely on you for these skills. What things do other people always count on you for? Look for these things as clues to help you identifying your Unique Ability.

Stop improving your weaknesses and focus on your Unique Abilities. Investing in the areas where you can achieve exceptional results will give you the greatest chance of success.

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