How honest can you really be about your weaknesses?
In both my best and worst moments in life, I’m well acquainted with my personal weaknesses, so much so that I have darker moments when all I see are my weaknesses. As you’d be right to feel how bad that is.
In today’s knowledge economy and personal career development world, having an appropriate confidence in the strengths, gifts, and talents that you have to bring to an organization, to a team, to a company, is the most important thing in deciding on whether you get hired or not. And to confirm whether you fit in a role, assessments like StrengthsFinder quickly identify those things you do that are most productive and valuable.
And then I hear something like this: “Humility is being honest about your weaknesses.”
Surely that does not mean sharing all of my weaknesses out in the open, especially on the Internet, for all to see; that’d be like vomiting my worst thoughts. Right?
So I’m a bit confused. I know that I have more weaknesses than strengths. And, I think it’s fair to say that every person in our human condition has weaknesses that outnumbers our strengths. Even that StrengthsFinder assessment ranks the top 5 strength themes out of a total list of 34.
For instance, if you’re great at speaking, it’s unlikely you’d also be a great listener. (I think I’m better at the latter.)
In an attempt to be honest, here are some of my weaknesses: theoretical & abstract, unskilled with small talk, big-pictured and not detailed, melancholy, not driven, overweight, forgetful, prone to wander, spontaneous, anxious, non-confrontational, people-pleasing, imperfect, sinful, flawed, just to list a few.
I did not list the many more weaknesses I have for fear of these being used against me, or how these might disqualify me from being hired for employment, or crossing the line of inappropriateness & impropriety.
In a culture that boasts in strengths or a culture that saves face to always present one’s best self, I long for a safe place when people can just be themselves.
Why even risk sharing this blog post? I do want to be humble; I do want to reveal more of my humanity and be relatable and accessible.