Most of us tend to want to work on our weaknesses. (We’ve been told this our whole lives and have come to believe it.)
Working on our deficiencies is hard…and not much fun. We don’t thrive in our weaknesses.
…….and – working on our weaknesses is NOT the best use of our time – allow me to shed a little light on this…
WORKING on our weaknesses causes most of us stress, worry, and irritability. WHY would we want to work on things that are not any fun and that we really are not very proficient?
For me – working on taxes and dealing with any of the issues associated with taxes like tax strategy, etc. is at the very top of my weak zone. I cannot tell you how much I dislike doing taxes! It zaps me of my energy and literally gives me a headache. There is no way this side of eternity that I will EVER enjoy working on this stuff! (BUT – it IS a necessity unless I want the IRS harassing me my whole life!) Some people do their own taxes, like my father, to save money and put lots of time and energy into doing them. I would rather pay the cost – whatever it is to save me time that I can use on my strengths and for activities that will actually build my business and make me more money (so I can pay more taxes!) I am never going to be a tax professional (much less, even proficient at doing taxes) no matter how much energy and work I put into it!
It is going to take a lot more time and energy to become proficient (if that can ever happen) at doing things in our weak zone.
NOW – I know some of you may be thinking, “Well, if I start working on some things in my weak zone, I may come to enjoy them.”. THIS can be very true…
For instance – I used to HATE to write! I loathed my high school english classes and my college composition class (apologies, Francis Barber & Greg Belliveau!) . It was not something I enjoyed and it never flowed with me. It was not until my fourth year of graduate school when it was time for me to write my Ph.D. dissertation, that I started to enjoy writing. (Maybe it was because I was writing about something that was in my sweet zone?)
THIS is why it is smart to do what flows naturally for you and leave the things that are not in your strength zone to someone else. (Spending some money on this is WAY worth it!)
Why not have someone cover for us in that area?
For instance: Let’s say that you are not a detail-oriented person. If you run a business and hate looking at the details because it causes your head to hurt, your eyes to glaze over…you just end up spending way more time on that kind of stuff than is normal – (like I do with tax related tasks). Hire somebody to cover that part for you. (That’s what tax preparers and advisors are for!) Someone who can flourish in that area. (And they would do it better than you would anyway!)
Seems to me that many of us say – “Oh, I’m working on that…that’s one of my downfalls!”
Wouldn’t You Rather Be Superb at SOMETHING?
My thing is…why work on what we are NOT good at when we could be flourishing in what we are ALREADY good at? WHAT would happen if we could put most of our time and energy JUST doing what is in our sweet zone. Working on our strengths – putting in the time – has the potential at making us WORLD-CLASS at what we do well.
Best selling author and leadership thinker, Dr. John C. Maxwell said one time, “Staying in your strengths give you an advantage. In a world where people spend much of their time shoring up their weaknesses, your focus on maximizing your strengths will set you apart from others.”
How true is that?
There is a SYNERGY, when we work on what we love – because we love what we do…and we are living in our passion.
This smacks of the 80/20 Principal that is applied to every aspect of life. If we work in our sweet zone 80% of the time, we should be way ahead of where we would be if we only work in our sweet zone half of the time.
John Maxwell also said, “Work isn’t work unless you’d rather be doing something else.”!
BONUS: When we work in our sweet zone, we will never work a day in our life.
IDEA: Let’s say your situation is such that you can’t have someone else to do those things that would be in your weak zone. Get together with a couple of people who know you well, who are successful, and who care about your success. Put together an “advisory board” to help you process and think through your weaknesses. These people can help to take the strain and striving out of your weakness – it may also make it a fun process while at the same time allow you to not fall victim to your weak zone and be blindsided. Each one can help each other address their weaknesses.
FIND people that have your back.
Life would be so much more fun if we concentrated on what we do best…and what we do best with no effort at all!
Take a moment – NOW – and write down your strengths that just flow from you when you are in your zone. Figure out how to use them.
What did you learn?
Now – what are you going to do about it?
Love to hear your stories below…