As promised yesterday, I want to talk a bit about strengths and weaknesses today. I am quite judgemental (there we go!), but I think it can help to get out of a rut thinking about your own shortcomings for a while.
As much as self-criticism is helpful, what we, and by we I mean I, often forget, is to also assess our strengths and what we are good at. These are also nice qustions for job interviews, so it cannot be too bad to think about this. Also, how would change be possible if you don’t identify what’s good and what’s not that good in your situation first?
Michelle’s most positive traits (What I would say):
- I am a good listener and I pay attention to details.
- I have a good memory and I am imaginative and creative.
- I am empathic and can feel other people’s emotions very strongly.
- I give good advice if I am not biased in a situation.
- I am funny.
Two surprising things I was told in the past to weeks: You are very disciplined with your education (co-worker) and you care a lot less about other people’s opinions than most people I know (date).
See how I didn’t list any of these traits? Wait for more to come:
Michelle’s admitted shortcomings:
- I am easily set back by small incidents and criticism.
- I am impatient.
- If I don’t like something 100%, I don’t focus.
- I am not good at showing my emotions, positive or negative.
- I am a daydreamer, not someone who takes action.
One (not really) surprising thing my date told me: You are very cynical. As I mentioned above, I know I can be judgemental and I always thought that sarcasm was my armour. But I try to really assess from which place my judgement comes from. Strong people don’t tear other people down, and they aren’t jealous.
That’s an old hat, really, but I have to admit that it’s true for me. If you feel low, it’s a quite natural reaction to put someone else down because you have a problem with yourself. But it’s also a sign of weakness and since I don’t want to be treated badly by other people who take it out on me, I should stay away from such toxic behaviour as well, right?
Of course, you don’t want to change anything about your good traits. So looking at my (perceived) shortcomings, I can easily identify what I want to be different. I din’t think about the whole sarcasm thing in advance, it just came to me the moment I was writing it down. The same goes for the points mentioned above. If it’s that easy for me to come up with them, I should be able to identify what I want them to look like in the near future.
I think that the underlying factor for most of my points is self-confidence. If I am confident in my own body and with my achievements, I can be more patient. I don’t get insulted so easily because I know what I am worth and I can see through the person’s intentions. I can show my emotions because they are what I am feeling at this moment.
The part about focus and motivation is also a key factor and a bit different. But it is something that can be trained, like a muscle and can be turned from a bad habit to a new viewpoint.
At the end, I think it could be very helpful to turn the negative self-talk around and say something positive again.
I want to be the one to take action. I want to be a good public speaker. I want to be emotional, letting more people into my life. I want to set a goal and make it my reality.
So, to break down what I just did, a quick overview:
- What are your strengths? What would other people say about this?
- What are your shortcomings? What do other people say about this?
- Evaluate the pros and cons: Where is some room for change?
- Say something positive to yourself? How do you want to see yourself?
Now tell me something about what motivates you? What makes you jump out of bed (into the coffee-maker) in the morning?