Weaknesses are not something we like to talk about. As a matter of fact, the average person is probably not even aware of their weaknesses. When we are, our response is usually shame or embarrassment. I am a firm believer that you should work towards your strengths, but I also believe you must be aware of your weaknesses and the limitations they present. Every single person has weaknesses; places where they struggle or are not as productive or efficient as they are in other areas. Weaknesses should not be an excuse for constant problems and mistakes. There are ways to deal with weaknesses that will allow you to accomplish more and avoid pitfalls that weaknesses can create.

I am not talking about weaknesses of character. I am speaking about gifts, talents and abilities. Character weaknesses must be corrected or eventually they will overcome any strength you may have. Character weaknesses cannot be ignored or avoided. They must be dealt with immediately. Understanding your performance weaknesses though, will help you avoid certain pitfalls and disasters.

There are numerous tests and evaluations that will help you understand what your weaknesses are and help you evaluate them and how they may be affecting your life. There are lots of tools and resources available that can help you magnify the things that you are best at while dealing with things that trip you up. Here are some things about weaknesses that are important and will help you navigate life much better.

Know it

The first step in dealing with the weak areas of your life is to know what they are. You have them. We all have them. For most of us, we are at least aware of them in the back of our mind. I have met people who seemed oblivious to their weaknesses. In the early weeks of the season, the television show “American Idol” tends to exclusively ai

r contestants like this. People who believe they are destined for stardom but have no clue they just cannot sing. Sometimes it is painful to watch how confidently they butcher a song, completely unaware how bad it is. Take time to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses so that you do not find yourself on a big stage embarrassed because you were completely unaware. Knowing your weaknesses is the first step in becoming more effective in your life.

Say it
Verbalize your weaknesses to the people around you. Not necessarily to everyone, but certainly to the people closest to you like family, close friends, coworkers and people who I would consider valuable on your life journey. I have met people who felt like revealing their weaknesses made them weaker with the people they led or worked with. I have found that to be quite the opposite. Usually they already know what your weaknesses are. If they know you very well, they have probably made an observation or two. Saying them out loud relieves some of the pressure and gives you even more credibility with those people because they see that you are self aware. Weaknesses do not have to be advertised on social media but there are forums where it is necessary to talk about them.

Get help with it

When you know and verbalize your areas of weakness, it opens the door for others to step up and help you. Though it may be a weakness for you, there are others for whom the same thing is a strength. Some of those people will gladly pick up the slack because they find fulfillment in the things you struggle with the most. When you know and verbalize these things, often people will come along beside you without you seeking them out. Other times you have to be intentional about inviting them in. Either way, there is help available for the places where you struggle the most.

Delegate it

Delegation is difficult for most people, but delegating your weaknesses is one of the most effective things you can do. The struggle with this is that we often start insecure about our weaknesses anyway and then we have to turn those responsibilities over to someone else. Delegation allows you to be more effective at the things you are best at while being more effective in the other areas at the same time because you are allowing someone else to use their strengths.

Avoid it

Look for opportunities that play to your strengths instead of your weaknesses and seek to avoid things that require you to lean too hard on areas of weakness. When you are aware, this will allow you to be selective about the things you get involved in. From careers to volunteer opportunities, avoiding situations where you have to depend on these areas will help you succeed and make what you are doing that much more enjoyable.

Improve it

There are rarely things that we cannot improve in our life. Back to the American Idol example, most people can improve their vocal skills with some coaching and practice. They may never arrive at superstar level, but they can become respectable and certainly not embarrassing.  If you are a level 3 or 4 out of 10 at something, you may be able to raise that level to a 5 or 6. Though not proficient enough to be called a strength, it can be utilized effectively when necessary. You should not spend enormous amounts of time attempting to improve a weakness, but spending some time can certainly be valuable.

There is no way to avoid having weaknesses. It is part of how we are all created differently. Understanding them and how to deal with them will make our life much easier. Using these 6 tips will help you in your weakest areas.