5 Reasons to Openly Embrace Your Weaknesses

Sorry to be the one to break this to you, but you’re terrible at something. Probably more than one thing. Why don’t you just admit it?

photo credit: Robert Hruzek via photopin cc

It’s time to embrace your weaknesses. I have, and it’s been liberating. I’m absolutely awful at graphic design. Virtually everything I attempt to create ends up square, symmetrical and ugly. I’m also generally worthless at fixing things. I once tried to install a $40 stereo in my car, and ended up causing over $800 in damage to the dashboard. Clearly, I’m terrible at those things. In fact, I feel better now that I told you.

Most people spend far too much time and energy hiding their weaknesses. Why? We develop bruised egos from years of failing to make any noteworthy improvements in areas where we lack ability and interest. As a result, our pride prevents us from experiencing the benefits of embracing our weaknesses.

So, here’s 5 reasons to openly acknowledge how terrible you are at something:

  • You’ll gain credibility. Everyone already knows how much you stink at certain things. So stop trying to hide it! We all think we can hide our weaknesses, but we can’t. Taking the step to openly admit your shortcomings will actually enhance your credibility among your peers. Why? It shows you’re self aware, and possess at least some measure of humility. Both of those qualities are admirable and promote respect.

  • Your stress level will be dramatically reduced. I don’t like failing. It’s embarrassing and stressful. I’d rather win, because it’s more fun. It also boosts my confidence and improves my attitude. The easiest way to win more often is to spend most of my time playing to my strengths. The sooner you do it, the sooner you’ll reduce your stress.

  • You’ll enable others around you to shine. Your weakness is someone else’s strength. The more you pretend to be good at their areas of expertise, the more you’ll annoy them. Nobody wants to work with annoying people. So stop it. Empower others around you to do things that you stink at. The results will be better. You’ll be free to do what you’re good at. And everyone will be a lot happier in life because you’re less annoying.

  •  You’ll give yourself permission to focus on your strengths.  Think of how much you could accomplish if you spent most of your time working within your strengths! John Maxwell states the obvious when he says “…you should spend most of your time working in your areas of greatest strength” (“The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership“, pg. 177). Everyone can be more productive through focusing on their talents. 

    • You’ll be more productive. Inefficiency is irritating. It’s also a huge time waster. That’s why I’ve spent time developing some specific productivity strategies. However, true productivity can only be achieved through deliberately identifying the things at which you’re terrible. Then you’ll clearly know what slows you down, and you can delegate those things to others.

    At minimum, you’re terrible at a few things. Do yourself a favor and openly admit it. Then you can join my club of cool people who are terrible at stuff. Oh, and you’ll start thriving in your areas of strength as well. Who wouldn’t want that?

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