Modern society is very into “self-help.” We are encouraged to work on our weaknesses, and to improve them so that they are no longer considered a weakness. I guess that sounds great, in theory. I mean, if we could take our weaknesses, work on them, and became the most improved version of ourselves, with no weaknesses at all, why wouldn’t we do it?

But let’s face it. In reality, that’s a big bunch of hooey. You know it. I know it.

Instead, I think we should embrace our strengths, and let our weaknesses go to hell.

Not too long ago, I mentioned this theory to my friend Amy. It was just a random conversation we were having before writing circle, where we were talking about how much effort should be put into improving one’s self, when I made my statement. She looked at me like she’d never heard anyone say it. In fact, she even wrote a blog post on the two sides of thought.

Let’s take me for example. I’m not the most patient person. I’m more of a “cut to the chase” type. I’m not a huge fan of small talk. And I’m honest about things. If someone asks me something, I’ll tell them the truth. So, if you ask me if your butt looks big in those jeans, be prepared for an honest answer. I’m not going to go walk up to someone and tell them what I think without them asking me, but if they do ask… well, I’m not going to lie.

To some people, these traits could be seen as a weakness. In some people’s opinions, I should be working toward the goal of being nicer and more flower-y with my speech.

Instead, I played up the strength of this. I made my “tell it like it is” and “cut to the chase” personality my trademark on this blog. If you want business info in plain language that you can understand, you know where to go. You come here.

And if you want to know if your blog looks good, you come to me. I’ll tell ya.

Now, let’s see how you can put this into play. If you hate math, don’t try to do your own taxes. Hire someone. If you suck at writing, don’t put pressure on yourself to create epic blog posts or fancy newsletters each week. Focus on smaller blog posts and simple newsletters.

Use your strengths to build your best business, ever! If you’re constantly working on your weaknesses, you’re basically just sitting your strengths over to the side to wither.

And, of course, I am mostly talking about business right here. If you, or someone you know is a raging alcoholic, constantly cheats in a relationship, or has some other less-than-stellar personality trait, I’m not saying that they should embrace it as a strength and f@*k the world. I’m not giving anyone license to be an ass.

So what do you think? Are you ready to say “hell, yeah, I’m an awesome ____________, and if I can’t do _______________ so great, I’m okay with it?”

About the Author

Crissy Herron is the founder of Indie Biz Chicks. She is the self-described "World's Best Aunt," loves Motion City Soundtrack, is awesome in the kitchen, and is a proud resident of The Mitten State. (that's Michigan, by the way.) And, oh yeah, she used to live in Alaska. (she likes the cold.)

  • Bravo Crissy! I love this post. I am also of the school of thought that your strengths are what is going to make you a success in whatever you do. I forgot this for a moment at my day job and tried to make myself a details person. Who am I kidding? I am not a detail oriented person. I can be better at it, but I will never excel in organization. I am a big picture person, a problem solver, an innovator. I need to embrace and capitalize on this. I once read a book called “Is Your Genius at Work?”. Very enlightening and a huge motivator to do what I am best at and forget the rest. Thanks for the great post!

  • I’ve seen this thought in several places lately. Why do we as humans assume we have something to work on? We’ve been trained to think we aren’t good enough somehow and that sucks.
    I’m all for embracing strengths and working with someone else to make up for the areas that I’m not so great with.
    Something else I love is acknowledging the things that make us feel strong even when we aren’t exactly good at them. That is a strength as well.

  • Hooray!! For anyone who desires to figure out their top talents/strengths, the Gallup organization published a book which has been recently updated entitled “StrengthsFinder 2.0”. They also have a website.

    After going through the workshop when sponsored by my day job, I found the exact things I though were weaknesses were actually great talents that I have since developed into strengths. That part is easy because it is so natural to grow strengths from natural talent. In learning how to work with my strengths, I have accepted things about myself I always seemed to fight before. What a freeing discovery.

    I have nothing to do with the book except having benefited from using it to grow.

    Again, bravo!!
    Diane 🙂

  • You really hit the nail on the head! Why not strengthen your strengths? There are several schools of thought on this as your friend Amy could attest to but why try to strengthen a weakness when we’re already good at something. If you strengthen that strength then you can help others with it. You could use that strength with work or to teach someone else something new. If you are always trying to strengthen a weakness then you may become “a jack of all trades but a master of none.” I say go with your strengths. We were all given gifts and using them would be the best way to show appreciation for those gifts!

  • I do believe in embracing your strengths, and there is power in that, if we spend energy on our weakness’s then that is where our energy will go. Embracing what your good at, using your strengths and your weakeness’s will fall into place and like so many people. Either they delegate that task embracing someone else’s strengths. I am terrible at math, I know it, I have been all my life, made it through but acccepted it. My strength is on the other side of my brain, and what a lovely brain it is!

  • YES! way to tell us! It is good for ME to read this and just concentrate on the strengths. Thanks!!

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