Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – Turn weaknesses into strengths
Many years ago, a trusted mentor said to me: ‘Neil, you have a lot of strengths, and you keep playing to them. How will you develop new strengths if you are constantly focusing on what you are already good at?’. He went on to explain that what I was doing was very common, but it was also a very common way of standing in the way of my own development. What he encouraged me to do was to be clear about what areas I was not so strong in and look at how I could improve in those areas. From this discussion emerged the idea of turning weaknesses into strengths.
It is easy to feel embarrassed about what we are not very good at. The fear of being looked down upon, or even mocked is a strong and understandable one. So, it is not at all surprising that we have a strong attraction to sticking to what we are good at. Our self-esteem can suffer if we stray too far into the territory of ‘I’m not very good at this’. But, if we take it step by step, keep the process manageable and not overwhelming, then we can have a lot of success in ironing out weaknesses and, where possible, actually building them up into strengths.