play to your strengths

The most successful people amongst us play to their strengths, which is a whole lot easier than compensating for their weaknesses, something that the majority do.

Countless people get worried about and try to get rid of their weaknesses, but what if you did the opposite and focused on your strengths instead?

The secret lies in not changing or correcting ourselves, but instead in becoming more of who we are. As strength strategist and researcher Marcus Buckingham writes, “Strengths are not activities you’re good at, they’re activities that strengthen you. A strength is an activity that before you’re doing it you look forward to doing it; while you’re doing it, time goes by quickly and you can concentrate; after you’ve done it, it seems to fulfill a need of yours.”

In a Harvard Business Review study, the investigators discovered that while people remember criticism, awareness of faults doesn’t necessarily translate into better performance. Based on that insight, it’s better to remember our strengths—and devise a strategy to build on them. Also, knowing our strengths offers us a better understanding of how to deal with our weaknesses—and helps us acquire the confidence we need to address them.

For instance, if you’re naturally gifted at writing, but terrible when it comes to website designing, instead of struggling to build your website, you’ll be much better off focusing on writing instead and let a professional take care of the website. 

When we play to our strengths, we stay determined and are able to sustain our momentum. But when we spend our precious time fixing our weaknesses, we lose our determination really quickly. We become less consistent with regard to our actions and our momentum starts declining. 

As we march towards our big goals, it’s much better to focus on the things that we’re great at and seek collaboration and assistance in the areas where we’re weak. This significantly increases our chances of success both in life and business.