Know your strengths and weaknesses
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can help you make better choices about:.
- where to begin or concentrate your efforts on this website
- what classes to take in addition to those that are required
- what majors you should consider
- possible careers where you might do well
There are far to many areas of strengths and weakness to cover them all. We will start with just a few. I suggest that you might use a notebook or simply a sheet of paper. List your strengths and weaknesses in each of these areas. Think of additional areas and list strengths and weaknesses in each of these too. I would suggest dividing the page into one small column on the left. List the different areas there. Then divide the rest of the page into two large columns: one for strengths, one for weaknesses. 1. Academic Skills: What classes or subjects come easily to you? In which areas do you always struggle? 2. Learning Skills: reading, listening, taking notes, writing, speaking, test taking, computer skills, and any others that come to mind. 3. Organization: time management, organizing your space, organizing materials, budgeting your money. 4. Healthy Habits: Eating healthy food, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, getting regular exercise, avoiding addictive substances 5. Positive attitudes: self confidence, self motivation, courage, determination, honesty, loyalty, and having an open mind. 6. Making wise choices: considering your goals, considering possible consequences, thinking before you make decisions. 7. Self control: including dealing with your emotions, controlling anger, knowing how to relax, dealing with depression or fears or frustration. 8. Social Skills: meeting people, making friends, developing lasting friendships, group skills, teamwork, leadership, How well do you get along with others including parents, family members, professors, people of different races, nationalities, and religions. How do you relate to people with different values and beliefs, people with different political opinions? How do you relate to people who are very wealthy or very poor, or with people who are gay, lesbian or transgendered? 9. Study Skills: organizing information, thinking skills, and memory skills. 10. Practical skills: cooking, repairing things that are broken, carpentry, driving, sewing, working with children 11. Possible career skills: Sales, working with customers, financial planning, stock market predictions, helping people, teaching,… 12. Physical skills: running, biking, playing a sport, lifting heavy objects, dancing, skate-boarding, gymnastics,…. 13. Creative Talents: Singing, writing, composing or playing music, art, inventing new methods, originality,… 14: Good Character: kindness, generosity, loyalty, honesty, caring, eagerness to help…. and what else? You might consider your strength in all of these areas and more. If you say you have excellent reading skills, you might examine even that and ask, “Where, in my reading skills, do I still have weaknesses?” This is like peeling an onion. Under each layer, there is another and another.
Using your strengths and weaknesses to make decisions
1. To decide what part of this website to begin with and spend the most time on, consider the classes that give you difficulty, think about what skills you need to use in classes you will be taking. Then look at your weaknesses in Learning Skills. Choose the ones that are weak and that you will need to use in your classes. 2. To choose a major, you might list subjects you are considering. What strengths do you have in each area? What are your weaknesses in each area? Are the weaknesses areas where you honestly could and would make a change? You must also consider your interests and passions. 3. The same is true for setting career goals. Begin by considering your strengths and weaknesses. If you are a terrible pubic speaker and don’t want to ever try to improve, you probably shouldn’t consider being a lawyer or teacher. If you have difficulty managing your own money, you should not consider managing money for a company.