Many personality tests such as the Myres Briggs have a list of weaknesses along with each personality type. But how do you go about using these to grow yourself? And is there really even such a thing as weaknesses? I will be attempting to answer these questions in this article and talk about why you should think of weaknesses as characteristics, identifying the problems that may arise because of these characteristics and how to use them to improve yourself.
I don’t think there is such a thing as a weakness. This is because, when you think about it, your weakness can also be a strength. An example of a so-called weakness is interrupting too much. Obviously this is problematic and it would be great to not do this. But, the strength that comes with it is your ability to assert yourself and your ideas which is also a strength! This is why when you take a Myres Briggs or some other personality test I think it would be more helpful to list out characteristics and then the pros and cons of each one. Because at the end of the day the characteristics that may get us into trouble, are also the ones that will help us succeed.
Just by analysing problems that you continuously run into, you will start to identify patterns in issues that arise. From those patterns you can start to see the characteristics that are causing these patterns to play out. By seeing the ways these characteristics negatively impact you, you can also start to see the ways that it positively impacts you and how you can leverage that. Although I think it is good to work on your “weaknesses” I think the best thing to do is to actively try to put yourself in situations where your natural strengths can shine. This is because these are the types of environments where you will naturally excel and will build your strengths. You are also honing your ability to use your characteristics in a positive way instead of negative ways.
You are not going to be able to just fix your “weaknesses” overnight. And you will continually keep on failing. So one of the best things to do is just to realize and quickly identify “I ran into this problem again because of this certain characteristic of my personality type”. And then learning how to quickly apologize and to practice being aware of what happened that caused an unfortunate situation. These two steps of realizing the mistake and apologizing is really the key, because even if you don’t improve at all at avoiding these situations, you know what is causing it and you can immediately apologize.
Nobody is perfect. Everybody has characteristics that get them into trouble sometimes. Everybody wishes that they could magically stop those same problems from happening over and over again. But taking baby steps, and actively trying to learn more about yourself and why you are the way you are is how these things will start to get better and help you grow into the next iteration of your unique self. And while your characteristics may cause you problems sometimes, you should appreciate them because they make you the special and unique person that you are.