More on Strengths and Weaknesses

An image showing a woman in the warrior yoga pose, showing her the strength and her body, and a perfect illustration for the post about strengths and weaknesses.

Note: this post turned out a bit longer than was initially intended.

I have written about strengths and weaknesses before, when I did the a personality test and the outcome was that I have a Defender ISFJ-Y personality.

The chest showed my strengths and weaknesses to be as follows:

SupportiveHumble and shy
Reliable and patientTake things too personally
Imaginative and observantRepress feelings
EnthusiasticOverload myself
Loyal and hard-workingReluctant to change
Good practical skillsToo altruistic

For this post, I have decided to do a couple of other tests, but before I did that, I had listed some of the things I know are my strengths and weaknesses. It was interesting to see whether the tests aligned and most of them did. I tend to draw a blank when someone ask me what my strengths and weaknesses are, and this was a good exercise to really think about it.


I identified my strengths as follows:

  • Perseverance, determination: I have never been one to give up in difficult situations, and am mostly determined to get through it, to persevere and make the best of it. There are only a handful of examples where I gave up, when I realized that no matter what I do, things will never be resolved. Examples are my first two marriages.
  • Always positive, optimistic: Even in the most difficult of times, I tend to be positive; to be optimistic. I try to see the best side of things, to take away the positives and forget the negatives.
  • Respect: I am always respectful to all people, respect them for who they are, and ‘preach’ to others to do the same. I once saw a quote from an unknown author, and this is exactly how I ‘operate’: “I don’t follow the ‘respect is earned’ philosophy. I respect everyone automatically and then each person has the opportunity to lose my respect based on their behavior.”
  • Loyal: When I am committed, I am loyal. I wouldn’t have been working for the same company for 16.5 years had I not been loyal, or stayed in marriages way pass their ‘due date’.
  • Team player: One thing I constantly ‘preach’ about at work is that we are one team and we should always be there for each other, and serve the clients. Clients aren’t interested in who does what — all they want is to be helped with their requests. I am always willing to help my team members, and even when I was the manager, I never felt to good to do simple filing when I knew the ladies needed help. However, I am not always a team player…
  • Planning/organizational skills: I am definitely not one to dream up new ideas, but tell me where we are heading and I will clearly plan the path to get to our goal. Planning and organizing is something I enjoy doing, and keeping to the planning gives even more of a kick!


I could have done a LONG list of what I see as my weakness, but decided to keep it to the following:

  • Handle change bad: This is something I didn’t realize about myself until the past ten years. I always knew I didn’t like surprises — even though I have gotten a bit better with that — but I never realized that when routines change, or a new policy is adapted, I tend to go into panic first, need a couple of days to adapt and then I am on board. To see some people going along with change in such an easy manner, makes me feel guilty when my first response always seem to be defensive. I just don’t like change, while at the same time knowing that things can’t always stay the same.
  • Forget about myself: I can be short about this. I just tend to put others first, and totally forget about myself and my own feelings, mostly until it’s too late.
  • Worry too much: Where I am an optimist, and always see the positive in things, I also tend to worry too much, and those things always come to me at night, when I am supposed to sleep. The thoughts steal my sleep, and even though the optimistic part of my brain tries to see the positive side, the pessimistic side only sees the problems ahead. Part of this is also because I can’t handle change, and need to know what’s ahead to be prepared, but life just isn’t like that.
  • Like to work alone: Where I am a team player, and love to work in a team, I prefer to work alone. My work is my work, and I don’t want anyone meddling in it. The bigger picture is to serve the client, but I want to do my work the way I want to do it, and also prefer to be left alone to do it. Actually, I now wonder if this is really a weakness…

Both strengths and weaknesses

There were some things I couldn’t classify as only a strength or only a weakness:

  • People pleaser: I love helping people, and making them feel good, but in the process I tend to forget about myself.
  • Empathic: This, for me, ties in with the previous point. I feel other peoples emotions, and tend to do all to help them when things are not going well, and once more forget about myself, or take their emotions with me, and let it weigh me down.
  • Perfectionist: Wanting to do things well, and working hard to do so, have served me well in the past, but it has also been cause for lots of stress, because I can be incredibly hard on myself with something is less than perfect. I have been more vigilant about this since my burnout in 2012, and allow myself more mistakes than before. Still, I tend to be hard on myself when I really, really want to do something well. I am always the first to blame myself..
  • Traditional: I tend to stay with fixed routines, which can be good, but sometimes change is needed, and you have seen what I said about change above. I tend to eventually find the balance between the two, though.

Final note

While writing this, this thought come to mind: isn’t it interesting how we call it ‘strengths and weaknesses’ and not ‘weaknesses and strengths’? Why do we always start with our strengths? Is this to make our weaknesses ‘less bad’? Interesting to ponder…

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay

Life Matters

8 thoughts on “More on Strengths and Weaknesses

  1. I can identify with so much of what you have written as your own strengths and weaknesses and see much of this in myself. I wonder if that is why we get on so well? It is interesting what you say about the ones which you see as both strength and weakness. This so so true ?

    1. I think we do get on so well because in many things we are similar, but also because we strengthen each other when we need it 🙂

  2. Marie, a great reflection on yourself and the different aspects that make you you. I’ve learned over the years that how and what I thought of myself along with my assumptions about the questions and choices did greatly affect how I responded to the choices and thus what the results-interpretations were said to show.
    You might find it interesting to recall the settings when you took the personality inventory or inventories. Perhaps some further insights will come.
    I wonder why do we use “strength” and “weakness” as the “Sorting Hat”?
    I wonder.

    1. I have really wondered the same thing, as the things listed as weaknesses definitely doesn’t make me feel weak. I know I am not good at them, but they don’t make me a weak person. And I do believe we continue to grow throughout our lives, and these tests should maybe be done more frequently as we go through life and learn new things. As always, thank you for your comment, David 🙂

  3. I remember Management Training sessions that addressed “SWOT” – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
    The key was to not just identify which types you are, but to learn how to turn a Threat into an Opportunity, and how you can sometimes use a perceived Weakness and use it in a Strengthening way.

    My main Strength is also my Weakness – I tend to think things through, perhaps too much. Some people see it as procrastinating or not wanting to take a risk. As one boss said about me, I infuriated him at times as I pondered and analysed a situation. But, he said, if I said something was OK, you could bet your life on it.

    1. Oh I remember SWOT from my studies too… I hated doing those, whether for myself or for our company. As for a strength also being a weakness… mine is perfectionism. It helps me do my job well and being focused, but it also is something I trip over frequently.

  4. I too found that some traits I could not define for me personally as a strength or a weakness – they seemed to be a bit of both depending on circumstance.
    I think maybe Strength is said b4 weakness because lets talk about good first lol
    May xx

    1. I think you are right, May, re strength before weakness. And I also believe that when we know our weaknesses, we can try to turn them into strengths 🙂 xox

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: