Do you know what your weaknesses are? Not in a “my only weakness is I try too hard” or “chocolate” kind of way. I mean in a real, gut-level, “mistakes I tend to make,” “environments I’m not good in,” “alcohol and video poker” kind of way.
We hear a lot about knowing our strengths and playing to our strengths. That’s fun too. But there’s something special about knowing our weaknesses, something human and honest and raw.
As I think through the big questions — what do I want to do with my life? What will I do next? What’s important to me? Should I enter into this partnership or not? Put everything on hold for this or that or not? — it helps to know what mistakes I tend to make, what weaknesses and blind spots typically affect me.
So I’ve started keeping track of them. They’re on my whiteboard right now. They’re things like, “I’m afraid I don’t know enough,” and “I don’t know enough,” and “women in superhero costumes,” and “I get flustered/overwhelmed when all the little things aren’t organized or I can’t hold the whole project in my head/hands,” and “alcohol + video poker.”
Oddly enough, naming your weakness, doing the work of figuring yourself out, can build a kind of confidence. You’re digging down and seeing the roots a bit, which ones are strong and which aren’t, which are sensitive, which have been there so long you forgot about them.
Doing what little work I have on this has reminded me to get out from under the burden of trying to please everyone, be everything, and build everything myself.
Now back to this here video poker.