How to identify your strengths and weaknesses

Every human being is good at something or the other. If we try to identify those things by trying something new or practicing the skills or talents that we already have in us, we will be able to identify our strengths. That will motivate us to try more and more things and work hard in our skills to reach our goals.

Similarly, we should identify the things in which we are not good at. We should avoid doing those things so that it doesn’t hamper our growth as an individual. We should work more and more on our strengths and sharpen them so that we will be able to give our best performance in the areas of our expertise.

The best methods to identify our strengths and weaknesses are as follows:

Create a list for writing down your strengths and weaknesses

Take a piece of paper. Create two columns in it. One for your strengths and another one for your weaknesses. First of all, think for a while about your strengths, i.e., the things at which you are good. Note them down. Do self-evaluation honestly, and then you will be able to identify at which talent you are very good at and at which things you need more practice. 

Particular skills of your work or doing certain things might need different levels of your strengths. Similarly, certain things you are not good at, i.e., your weaknesses, might require different evaluation degrees. Thus, your strengths and weaknesses can be classified as follows:

  • Easiest to hardest,
  • Effortless to effortful,
  • Ineffective to most effective, and,
  • Fully unfamiliar to familiar or somewhat familiar.

Rate yourself for your strengths and weaknesses according to the above parameters. Try to be as much honest as possible. This method of identifying your strengths and weaknesses is for your sound to try to make yourself better in something in which you are not giving satisfactory performance yet. Still, you have the potential and capability to perform your best in that particular work. If you bring in hard work and determination in that particular work, it will give you the best results.

Also, review from the list those skills you are sure you have, and they are your strengths and the weaknesses on which you can work upon to make them your strengths up to some extent. Try to determine which talents, knowledge, and ways of their application will give you the desired results as you want. Ask yourself questions, such as, ‘Which work do I enjoy doing the most?’, ‘Which work I don’t like to do?’ After doing your self-evaluation and writing down your strengths and weaknesses in the list, observe the list. You may find out some leisure-time activities or hobbies and interests you want yourself to grow, such as singing, dancing, playing any particular game, etc.

Performing a reflective best self-exercise

Ask people you trust: Find out people you can ask freely about your strengths and weaknesses. They can be people with whom you have spent many days, months, or years or a long period of your life. And, the length of your relationships with them is not the only parameter to consider. The other parameter to consider is how close you are with them or how much you trust them and their opinions on you.

They may be your best friends, your brothers, and sisters or your cousins, your parents, your close uncles and aunts, your grandmothers and grandfathers. They will give you honest opinions about your strengths and weaknesses. After that, tell them why you want a list and details on your strengths and weaknesses. You need those to answer such questions in an interview about your strengths and weaknesses, or if you want to start a new entrepreneurial activity such as a business on your own or maybe along with somebody else also.

Carefully consider those people who were consistently good to you, and gave unbiased opinions on your excellent activities, and also would have suggested you improve for any of your mistakes. Such people would be perfect to judge and list out your strengths and weaknesses. They are those people who love you very much and also want you to improve in some aspects of your life, for your betterment only.

Because there might also be many people in your family and relatives who give biased opinions on you, such as some of them may praise you very much, without mentioning your bad traits, and some of them may discourage you by telling about some of your past activities where they got hurt.

These types of people don’t speak for your good; they only give biased comments on you. So, could you not go to them for help? Go to those people for help who love you, and at the same time, they will also give their genuine viewpoints on your strengths and weaknesses by being unbiased.

Ask those people to give you feedback: Those people to whom you had asked to think about your strengths and weaknesses, and whom you had trusted, and they gave their viewpoints, you can ask them for honest feedback. It would be better and more effective if you tell them to send the feedback through the mail. As you will get the feedback of other people in a written format, it would be easy for you to evaluate them and make yourself better.

And you can act upon your weaknesses to make them your strengths, or you can also sharpen those strengths in which you are putting more effort to do that work effortlessly. And, for that, you need to practice competently in the area of your expertise/ your talent. If someone gives feedback on your weaknesses in your front, they may feel a little awkward.

So, if they send the feedback by mail, they will be more honest and freely share their viewpoints. Writing an email and sending it to another person will also give them enough time to think and mention your strengths and weaknesses in a more effective way than mentioning them face to face. Ask them which things are needed to succeed in a particular task and which things have made you fail in some work. Ask those people for opinions that have stayed with you and watched you and your actions closely for a long time.

Look for commonalities: Once you get all the feedback, go through each person’s response. Search for everyday things, i.e., your specific traits mentioned commonly in each of the feedback results. If you find out some traits common in every person’s feedback, then write them down in the list you had made for your strengths and weaknesses. For Example, if many people have written that you manage work well even under stress, then that means you can be a good leader. You will find some more points added to your list. If they are your strengths, then it’s good. If they are your weaknesses, then you should try to work upon them to improve them. And, apart from that, your acquaintances might have also mentioned some traits of yours, which you might have already mentioned honestly in your list of strengths and weaknesses.

Listing your actions

Write about your actions and reactions: Review your actions and how to react in certain situations. Evaluate your spontaneous reactions to a few past situations in your life because your spontaneous reactions let you understand your behavior in certain regular and intense situations also. Write down about those actions of yours to help you understand your actions and capabilities.

Think of a challenging situation in which something bad happened: Suppose your car broke down on the road. You might feel helpless by thinking about what you will do if there are no mechanic shops nearby. Feeling helpless in this situation is a normal reaction. If you ask another person for help, it would be considered a strength of yours because everything cannot be done alone.

Suppose you are in another situation in which you experience stress and pressure. In that situation, if you cry a lot and lash out at others by being very angry, then it is a weakness. It would be best if you learned how to keep calm in such a challenging situation. If you stay calm in a stressful situation, that means you have self-control, which is one of your biggest strengths.

Look for a less challenging situation: Find a routine and less challenging situation. For Example, when you enter a room filled with many people, what do you do? Do you go and try to interact and make friends with everyone present there? Or do you sit in a place and take time to interact with people and connect with just one person over there? An influential person in socializing with others and making friends quickly as soon as meeting them and interacting with them is an extrovert. And the person who takes time to interact and be friends with people is an introvert.

Even if he/she talks with a particular person and tries to make friends with him/her, it’s good. At least he/she is trying to be friends with a particular person whom he/she would have liked if the other person is also not much talkative. Because most people with common interests/personalities become friends. Being an extrovert and easily mixing with people is good and is considered the strength of that person. A person is sitting quietly in a place and trying to mix with very few people who are somewhat introverted/less talkative like him/her, which is also good. That is also considered the strength of the other person.

Listing your desires

Ask yourself about your desires: Everyone has a desire or interest to pursue apart from their daily work/study/job. Those hobbies and passions of your life might be your fields of strength. Many people are there in this world, who had a goal for being in a particular profession of their like and interest, but study and work in some other profession, as per the wish of their parents or other family members. Suppose a person who is an engineer might have been a good dancer/ a Sanskrit professor instead. In another paper, note down your life’s desires.

Question yourself, ‘What are the desires in my life?’, ‘What is the activity that makes me happy?’

Decide what you enjoy doing the most: Try to figure out that, on doing which activity you enjoy the most. Start asking yourself, ‘On doing which activities, do I feel satisfied and joyful?’ Some people find pleasure in reading novels, and others find pleasure in taking their dogs for a walk, while others may find it interesting to do gardening. Create a list of the activities that you enjoy doing the most and those which make you happy. These fields, in which you find your interests and passion, are the solid fields for you. They are your strengths.

Consider what motivates you: You should also decide what motivates you and persuades you in your life to do better, apart from your passions and desires. Ask yourself some questions such as, ‘When do I feel motivated?’ Note down the answers to those questions on a piece of paper. The activities you do/the desires you want to do and keep you motivated in life can help you achieve your best performance in studies/your field of work. The activities/areas that motivate you are those fields in which you are the strongest, .i.e. they are your strengths.

motivates you


If a person tries to identify his strengths and weaknesses, then only he can be able to sharpen his strengths and try to remove his weaknesses. This will motivate him to perform better in his/her work/studies. Pursue your hobbies/interests with great determination, and do what you enjoy the most, along with your daily routine.

We hope this article helped you learn something new. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.