How Do You See Your Own Weaknesses? 

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No one is perfect. We all possess a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. 

But when it comes to our downfalls, we have two choices of how to view them:

  1. As fixed limitations 
  2. As growth opportunities

Yes, that’s right, it’s totally possible to transform your weaknesses into strengths. But to do so, you must first understand your flaws.

As someone who has been on a personal development journey for the last 10 years, I have uncovered and transformed several weaknesses (and continue to do so).

So, if you’re ready to evolve into a better version of yourself and finally reach your potential, read on. I’m sharing the strategies and methods I used to identify my blind spots and overcome them.

The Concept of Self-Awareness

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses comes from having high self-awareness. 

Self-awareness is how well we recognize and understand our personality, including our default thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

But people can only become self-aware if they consciously perceive that they are not their mind.

Let me explain.

An unconscious person believes all of the thoughts their mind produces without question. They think, “If I think this, it must be the truth.”

However, someone with high self-awareness sees their true self as a separate and unique entity to their mind. 

You might see your true self as a soul, spirit, or internal guidance. It doesn’t matter what you call it; the point is that to have self-awareness means you understand your being consists of more than just a body and a mind.

When we are self-aware, we know how we operate at our optimum level.

Here’s an example.

I know that because of my childhood programming, I have limiting beliefs about money. While I have done a lot of inner work to change these beliefs, sometimes, something can happen that triggers those old beliefs.

Because I have a high level of self-awareness, I can observe and catch this trigger, allowing me to reject or transform the thoughts/emotions created by it. 

Thanks to my self-awareness, I don’t resort back to old thought patterns and behavior.

The two types of self-awareness

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The example above relates to internal self-awareness, being conscious of our thoughts, feelings, and actions. But we must also work to build external self-awareness.

Let’s explore the differences between both types.


Internal self-awareness is our level of understanding of our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, values, strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. 

Strengthening this type involves introspection and self-reflection. As we gain more insight into our inner workings, we can better ensure our actions and behaviors align with our values and beliefs. Thus, the more internal self-awareness we have, the more we can live authentically.


External self-awareness is about understanding how we are perceived in the world. With high external self-awareness, we know how our behavior, actions, and words impact how others see and react to us. 

This type of self-awareness is especially important for leaders. Those with high external self-awareness can adapt their communication style to inspire, motivate, and persuade others. 

Why does self-awareness matter?

Research studies show that high personal awareness benefits our well-being and life experience in many ways. For example, a 2005 report by Paul J. Silvia, who has written various books on personality and social psychology, found that people with high self-awareness:

  • Can exercise higher levels of self-control
  • Are more creative
  • Have higher self-esteem

Another study found that high personal awareness improves communication skills. The study involved a group of full-time employees who participated in training interventions and questionnaires designed to measure their self-attentiveness and job well-being at three different time points over six weeks. 

The employees who demonstrated high self-awareness reported better communication with their colleagues than those with low self-awareness.

The Danger of Blind Spots

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Blind spots are aspects of ourselves that we are not conscious of. In other words, they are personality traits, behaviors, beliefs, or thought patterns we demonstrate but aren’t aware of.

If this is something negative, it becomes a hidden personal weakness that can hold us back or cause self-sabotage. It can affect all areas of our lives, including our relationships and career success. 

Sometimes, it can also affect other people or society, especially in the case of behavioral blindspots.

Common blind spots

Here are some common examples of blind spots:

  • Never asking for help due to a belief like no one else is competent enough or that you will appear incompetent if you do.
  • Interrupting others to give your input and never letting people explain their thoughts and beliefs.
  • Refusing to accept responsibility and always blaming others. 
  • Underestimating your abilities or skills (imposter syndrome).
  • Being defensive or dismissive when given constructive criticism.

How unchecked blind spots can hold us back

Unchecked Blind spots stifle personal growth and prevent us from reaching our full potential. Plus, as many relate to our communication, behavior, or emotional awareness, they can negatively impact our relationships, too. 

Here’s one example.

We all have ingrained tendencies in how we deal with conflict. Mine is avoidance, which means my preferred way to deal with conflict is to avoid it. This means I will likely walk away from arguments rather than try to fix the issue and avoid difficult conversations altogether. 

When I was unaware of this, I struggled to maintain happy and fulfilling personal and professional relationships. My relationships were full of poor communication, lack of understanding, and resentment.

Luckily, I became aware of this blind spot and was able to work on my communication. But if it were to remain a blind spot, my relationships would continue to suffer and eventually break down.

Here are some other ways that blind spots can stifle our growth. 

  • Poor decision-making – We all have unconscious biases and stereotypes that can affect our judgment and lead to biased decision-making. As a result, we can make choices based on incomplete or inaccurate information.
  • Missed opportunities – Blind spots can prevent us from recognizing opportunities that align with our strengths and interests. So, we might overlook chances for career advancement, personal development, or meaningful experiences.
  • Poor mental health – Without understanding the root causes of our emotional responses, we struggle to manage them, which often leads to increased stress and anxiety.

Techniques to Discover Your Weaknesses

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So, how can we gain more awareness of our strengths and weaknesses? Here are the techniques I have found most effective. 

Self-reflection exercises

To increase your internal self-awareness, I recommend doing reflective and introspective practices. The following activities will help you learn how your mind works, which makes detaching from your thoughts and beliefs much easier.

  1. Journaling 

Journalism is one of the best ways to learn about your thought patterns and emotional tendencies. I recommend jotting down your most apparent thoughts and strongest emotions each day, along with what happened around the time you experienced them. 

After a month, review your journal entries to see which thoughts or emotions come up most often. Reflect on what causes these thoughts/emotions and see if you can find any patterns. These could signal your blind pots.

  1. Meditating

According to Frank John Ninivaggi, a Psychiatrist who wrote the book Learned Mindfulness, developing self-awareness involves practicing conscious awareness of our bodily sensations, emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Meditation allows us to gain this awareness as we sit in stillness and silence and connect within.

As our minds and bodies are intertwined, our thoughts manifest in our bodies as physical sensations, like tension, tightness, and pain. Regular meditation increases awareness of these, helping us uncover our recurrent thought/emotional patterns.

  1. Investigating your triggers 

Do you find that a particular behavior or action of others triggers strong emotional responses within you? Sometimes, this is due to our own weaknesses mirroring back to us. For example, if your partner’s lack of discipline grinds your gears, this could be because lack of discipline is also your weakness. 

Next time a behavior or action of someone else triggers you, practice mindfulness. Take slow, deep breaths and sit with the feeling for a few minutes, allowing it to come and go like a cloud in the sky. Then, reflect on why it triggers you. Can you think of any recent situations where you behaved in that same way?

Feedback loops

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I have found the best way to increase external self-awareness is to consult the people in your life who know you best. By having honest conversations with people you respect and trust, you can learn about your tendencies through past examples they give you.

However, it is essential to ask someone who is highly self-aware themselves, as they can give you the most honest, helpful, and accurate feedback. This can be:

  • Close friends
  • Mentors
  • Family
  • Colleagues 

Also, note that some people will refrain from being totally honest because they don’t want to offend you. To prevent this, I recommend asking very specific questions where the person can tell you both positive and negative things about yourself, such as:

  • What are three things I am good at doing?
  • What are three things I could improve at doing?
  • What are my three best traits?
  • What are my three worst traits?

You can also ask people to rate you from 1 to 10 on certain qualities. Many people are more honest when giving feedback via a number rather than a word, as numbers are less harmful than words.

It is also important to seek feedback from multiple people instead of just one or two. That way, you can compare the results to see the consistencies. 

For example, If 5 out of 6 people say you often interrupt them, there is a good chance that this is a real weakness. Whereas if only 1 out of 6 people say you can be arrogant, this could be just them projecting their own blind spot onto you. 

Online assessments

While inner work and seeking feedback from others are the most effective ways to learn about your weaknesses, online tools can also help you. 

The most reputable one is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This introspective self-report questionnaire determines your personality type based on your psychological preferences. Knowing our personality type can give us insights into how we perceive the world and our possible strengths and weaknesses.

But remember, these tools should be precisely that – a tool to use alongside your inner work. Doing one of these tests is not enough alone; you have to do the hard stuff, too. 

But trust me, all those hours of meditation, journaling, and long conversations with your loved ones are worth it. Once you uncover your weaknesses, you can then transform them into strengths and access your full potential!

Transforming Weaknesses into Strengths

How Do You See Your Own Weaknesses? 

No one is perfect; we all have flaws and weaknesses. So, if you uncover several negative traits, don’t beat yourself up about it. 

The good news is that all human beings are capable of growth; we just need to see our weaknesses as opportunities to become better versions of ourselves. This is known as a growth mindset.

Adopting a growth mindset is essential for any personal development journey. It doesn’t matter how many hacks and techniques you try; if you don’t believe you can change, you won’t!

Observe your self-talk

As our self-talk determines our mindset, watch how you speak to yourself. Telling yourself you’ll never be good enough will hold you back from transforming your weaknesses and, instead, will keep you stuck.

Whenever you notice a negative thought about yourself, try to change it by immediately telling yourself the opposite. For example, if you unconsciously tell yourself you are not confident enough to speak in public, reframe this to something like “I confidently and clearly express myself to others.”

Once you become aware of how your inner critic tries to hold you back, create affirmations to combat this negative self-talk. Speak these affirmations to yourself in the mirror morning and night and write them down multiple times each day.

Visualize yourself possessing the qualities you desire 

Visualization has been proven to be a powerful personal development practice. There is a well-known study on the mental rehearsal technique (a form of visualization) used by athletes. 

The 1996 study, conducted by Dr. Blaslotto at the University of Chicago, involved three groups of basketball players. One group was told not to play basketball at all, one group played as usual, and the third group visualized hitting every free throw instead of playing. 

After 30 days, all groups were tested on their improvement. While the group who did not practice at all showed zero improvement, the group that visualized instead of playing had almost the same improvement rate (23%) as the group who actually played (24%).

This groundbreaking study proves that we can overcome our weaknesses and build our strengths by visualizing ourselves becoming better. 

Other actionable steps to turn weaknesses around

Along with affirmations and visualization, here are a few other tips for overcoming your weaknesses.

  • Find Role Models – Look for a positive role model who embodies the person you want to become. Choose someone who excels in the areas where you have weaknesses, then study and adopt their approaches, strategies, and mindset.
  • Gain the necessary knowledge and skills – If your flaw is related to a lack of knowledge or skills, invest time in learning. Take courses, read books, watch tutorials, and practice to improve your proficiency. Alternatively, if your weakness is related to a behavior, study how to change that trait. 

Maintaining Self-awareness in the Long Run

Self-awareness is a continuous practice, and slipping back into our old ways is much easier than changing them in the first place. So, to ensure you keep evolving, maintain intentional and consistent effort by doing the following:

  • Continuous learning – Continue delving into the world of personal growth by reading books, listening to podcasts, and having discussions on the subject. Speaking from experience, as long as you continue to prioritize self-growth, you will keep moving forward.
  • Regular check-ins – Every month, sit down and reflect on the progress you have made. Then ask yourself, “What can I do next month to move closer to the person I want to become?”
  • Seek support – Seek out like-minded people who are also on the path of personal development and become accountability buddies. Convey your goals (which weaknesses you want to overcome) and schedule regular sessions to share the actions you’ve taken to move closer to your goals.  
  • Practice self-compassion – Remember that setbacks and failures are a natural part of the learning process. So don’t be discouraged when you slip up and resort back to your old habits.

Final Thoughts

Identifying and transforming your weaknesses is no quick or easy ride, nor are there any shortcuts to arriving at your best self. However, by building self-awareness, you will gain more and more insight into what’s holding you back.

And as they say, knowledge is power. Whether it’s a limiting belief, a negative behavioral trait, or a skill you lack, you CAN overcome it! Good luck!

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