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10 Ways How To Identify Your Personal Weaknesses

Identifying Personal Weaknesses – Improve Own Weaknesses Into Strengths

Everyone has a list of weaknesses that are present in their life.

Some are more obvious than others but either way, it is important to identify them and learn how to turn them into personal strengths, or else they will continue to hold you back in life.

While identifying weaknesses is important, research shows that focusing on strengths can be even more powerful for achieving success. The HIGH5 strengths assessment provides an objective way to uncover your unique strengths profile and understand how to optimize your natural talents. By taking this science-based assessment, you’ll gain insights into how to leverage your strengths to overcome weaknesses and unlock your full potential.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can identify your weaknesses and improve on them to turn them into personal strengths.

What are Personal Weaknesses?

Personal weakness is a behavioral weakness that makes it more difficult for you to fulfill your potential. These weaknesses can be both mental, physical, and emotional. Such behavior prevents you from achieving your goals and fulfilling your potential in life. Moreover, these weaknesses can prevent you from achieving success in your career, personal, and social life.

10 Ways How To Identify Personal Weaknesses

While techniques like watching your thoughts and practicing self-awareness are helpful, an even more effective way to comprehensively identify your strengths and areas for development is through a validated strengths assessment like the HIGH5 test. This proven assessment provides an in-depth, multi-dimensional analysis of your unique talents and patterns. By understanding your complete strengths profile, you can gain powerful insights into how to maximize your potential and address blind spots productively.

The following list identifies some of the most common ways to find out what your personal weaknesses are in your own life.

  1. Watch your thoughts.
  2. Practice self-awareness.
  3. Take an honest look at your relationships.
  4. Get a coach.
  5. Keep a journal of your thoughts and actions.
  6. Track what’s working and what’s not in your life.
  7. Get feedback from others you trust.
  8. Keep a list of the things that make you happy, sad, or angry each day, and think about how those feelings could be impacting your life.
  9. Rewrite rules for yourself as if they were laws that must be obeyed by everyone.
  10. Set a timer for thirty minutes and write down everything that comes to your mind at the moment.

Let’s dive deeper into each point.

1. Watch Your Thoughts

Our thoughts are just as powerful and important as our actions.

A thought is an experience that has been conditioned to take place within the mind in response to a stimulus from external or internal sources.

To be aware of your thoughts, it is important to have an awareness of what you’re thinking about and how those thoughts make you feel.

By watching our thoughts, we can identify the negative ones and change them into more positive ones that will serve us better in achieving our goals.

2. Practice Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is a term used to describe the act or state of knowing oneself and one’s environment, synthesizing this knowledge into new perspectives for action with compassion toward oneself and others.

During this process, you will learn more about yourself and how your environment impacts you.

3. Take an Honest Look at Your Relationships

Everyone has three types of relationships: personal, professional, and social.

As a child or teenager, it may seem impossible to separate these, but once we’re grown up we have to choose which ones are most important to us.

If one is holding you back from achieving the things that matter to you, it might be time for a change in that relationship.

4. Get a Coach

A coach acts as a career guide on our journey through life by helping us focus on our personal strengths while also addressing our weaknesses proactively.

This allows us to become aware of what we’re doing and why we do it, which is important in helping us identify the steps we need to take toward achieving our goals.

A coach will not only give feedback on how you’re doing but also provide support for you when you are struggling during your journey.

5. Keep a Journal of Your Thoughts and Actions

Writing things down helps them stay with you longer and makes it easier to recall them later on when you need them most.

There’s nothing like penning an idea down quickly before it evaporates into thin air.

Keeping a journal of your thoughts allows you to see patterns in your thinking that can help you identify what triggers certain ways of thinking or behaving within yourself.

It may be as simple as keeping track of the books, people, or events that trigger certain thoughts or feelings in you.

6. Track What’s Working and What’s Not in Your Life

By taking the time to identify, record, and consider what makes you happy, healthy, productive, and fulfilled (versus the opposite of these qualities), you will gain greater clarity about what matters most to you in each of these dimensions.

At the same time, it is essential to be aware of how other things are not contributing to your happiness and fulfillment.

By identifying these areas of non-fulfillment, we can make better choices for ourselves going forward that are more likely to bring us closer to our goals.

7. Get Feedback From Others You Trust

Your friends and family may know things about you that even you aren’t aware of.

Having a fresh set of eyes to see things from another perspective can be extremely helpful – sometimes you just need an outsider’s perspective to help you understand things better.

8. The Things That Make You Happy, Sad, or Angry

Keep a list of the things that make you happy, sad, or angry each day, and think about how those feelings could be impacting your life.

Our moods have a great impact on our thoughts, and therefore our actions. We need to pay attention to our feelings and how they are impacting us to make positive changes.

It’s been found that those who tend to identify their feelings regularly and reflect on how they impact them are more successful in work and relationships than those who do not.

9. Rewrite Rules for Yourself as if They Were Laws That Must be Obeyed by Everyone

This is a great way to see if what you are thinking and feeling really does make sense. If it doesn’t, then you can rewrite the rules for yourself into laws that do.

This will help lower your stress level by giving you more control over how you interact with the world around you.

Weaknesses in your life that don’t serve you can be turned into personal strengths that do by changing your mindset because your mind is indisputably the single most important thing in life.

If you master it, you’ve mastered everything.

10. Set a Timer for Thirty Minutes and Write Down Everything That Comes to Your Mind at the Moment

Finally, what we tend to forget is that the mind likes keeping things it considers important inside, where it thinks no one else can see them.

When you start analyzing what’s really on your mind, this often results in thoughts and feelings that you might not want to address yet.

It takes time for us to get used to being transparent with ourselves. But once we do, great things are bound to happen.

30 minutes a day is all it takes, and then you can set your timer for another day.

Why It Is Important to Identifying Personal Weaknesses

It is important to identify your weaknesses as well as to identify your personal strengths, or else they will continue to hold you back in life.

Identifying these personal weaknesses is the first step towards creating a productive change in your life.

They are the reasons why you don’t achieve what you want and make excuses for not going after your goals. That is, of course, if they aren’t out of your control.

Unfortunately, they usually are for those who have them as bad habits or personality flaws. But there is still something that can be done about it.

The benefits of identifying your weaknesses and converting them into personal strengths are many.

These include:

  1. You will be more knowledgeable about yourself and the issues you suffer from.
  2. This will make you wiser and more self-aware of your needs, wants, and how to avoid any mistakes in life that might have otherwise occurred because of them through ignorance or carelessness.
  3. Understanding what motivates you for better (or worse) can help guide your future actions towards achieving goals and improve yourself as you go along in life
  4. With a clear understanding of who you are, it becomes easier to create plans with specific objectives that are tailored to getting one closer to where you want to be in life – both physically mentally, spiritually, etc.

List of 45 Personal Weaknesses

The following is a list of 45 personal weaknesses that are common in many people.

  1. Jealous
  2. Suspicious of others in everyday life.
  3. Lack of self-esteem, confidence, and life balance.
  4. Low boredom threshold (repetitive and boring tasks).
  5. High irregularity in moods, vivacity, liveliness, and enthusiasm.
  6. Impulsiveness – making decisions too quickly without thinking about the consequences first.
  7. Anxiety
  8. Not good at following the rules and regulations.
  9. Lack of foresight – “a sense of not thinking ahead or planning”.
  10. Procrastinates on starting tasks until right before the deadline.
  11. Unrealistic expectations in challenging situations
  12. Have to be constantly busy or occupied
  13. Needs constant attention (praise) from others to feel happy, fulfilled, and content
  14. Has difficulty making decisions without feedback from others.
  15. Experiences feelings of guilt very easily; dwells on mistakes made over and over again even if it was long ago and nothing can be changed now.
  16. Trouble understanding what motivates them.
  17. Need to have a sense of purpose or they feel like there is no point in living – cannot settle down for long periods.
  18. Irregular sleep patterns, leading to mood swings.
  19. Suffer from bad dreams when sleeping.
  20. Impulsive behavior
  21. Lack of teamwork skills
  22. Has low self-esteem
  23. Inflexibility. Can be overly critical of themselves
  24. Blaming others for their own mistakes or shortcomings in life.
  25. Highly uncertain about how to move forward with their lives
  26. Complains a lot about the way things are but rarely takes any action to change them.
  27. Has difficulty focusing on tasks requiring higher-level thinking.
  28. Unable to get out of negative moods
  29. Anxious and worried all the time about things that might or might not happen.
  30. Believes that life is never going to work out for them – Feels hopeless about the future
  31. Is easily discouraged by any obstacles in their path; quit too soon before achieving desired results.
  32. Has a hard time getting along with others
  33. Trouble making decisions on his/her own and needs to have a lot of input from others before making one.
  34. No sense of purpose or direction in life; does not plan far ahead into the future.
  35. Feels apathetic and indifferent about their health, doesn’t do anything to improve it (exercises/diet)
  36. Emotional roller coaster when stressed out – feels depressed and sad all the time but never knows why.
  37. Doesn’t have the mental strength to deal with strong emotions
  38. Very high anxiety levels
  39. Overly sensitive to negative feedback; criticism, disapproval from others, and ridicule from peers (shame)
  40. Can’t stand being alone or quiet – always needs something going on in the background.
  41. Low self-esteem – has trouble accepting compliments from others. Feels unworthy of positive attention
  42. Doesn’t like to have a lot of responsibility for things
  43. Needs constant approval and praise from others for own actions/initiatives
  44. A negative outlook on life; constantly predicting doom and gloom.
  45. Thinks that everything feels boring or pointless

Pro Tip From HIGH5

Rather than solely focusing on perceived weaknesses, try reframing them as opportunities to better utilize strengths. For example, if procrastination is an issue, identify strengths like Strategist that could be leveraged to create a system for staying on track.

Why Our Personal Strengths and Weaknesses Matter: The Research

Research also confirms that one person’s core strengths and weaknesses matter.

In fact, “focusing on employee strengths during performance reviews was shown to increase workplace productivity by up to 34%”.

Also, “strengths and weaknesses are highly contextual and dependent on the mix of our values, goals, interests, and situational factors.”

How to Turn Personal Weaknesses Into Personal Strengths

To turn a weakness into a strength, there are a few different ways to do it. Sometimes you can work on your weaknesses by becoming proficient in them.

For example, if you are really bad at remembering the names of people you see every day, then you could set a goal for yourself to learn the name of every person who works with you.

This way, you know who everyone is and stop wasting time trying to remember their names when they come up in conversation.

Another way is to delegate tasks that involve your weaknesses so that it does not hold back your project.

You could take the easy route and just hire someone else to do it for you, or find someone on your team who can help or has those skills and make sure they do it.

You could also get someone on your team that has a similar weakness so you can help each other out.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

Delegating tasks related to weaknesses is smart, but an even better approach is to intentionally partner with colleagues who are strong in those areas. This allows you both to operate from your strengths, which you have identified with HIGH5, while complementing each other’s gaps. 

Why Interviewers Ask About Weaknesses

Job interviews and applications are used to determine how good of a fit an applicant is for the job.

Why Interviewers Ask About Weaknesses

Interviewers must know about the professional strengths and weaknesses of a person applying for employment for their company so they can match them up with appropriate positions.

Knowing what to expect from potential employees leads to achieving maximum productivity and quality among your team.

Job interviews are necessary for employers to evaluate candidates, and for job candidates to know if the company is a good fit.

The questions asked during a job interview aren’t meant to catch you off guard or make you look bad.

They’re designed to uncover your personal strengths and weaknesses, determine whether or not you can do the work required of the position, and find out if you’d be a good team member.

Remember that potential employers want to hire someone right for their business, so they will ask about things that could potentially impact your ability to perform well on the job.

Before interviewing with an employer, research what type of position they’re hiring for and how it works within the company.

This will help you prepare better answers to questions about your professional strengths, weaknesses, and motivations for the job.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

Before an interview, review your HIGH5 strengths report and have examples ready for how you’ve leveraged your top strengths in professional settings. This highlights your self-awareness and commitment to personal growth.

How to Answer Interview Questions About Weaknesses

The first thing you must do in answering any question about your weaknesses is to identify what type of weakness you are being asked about.

Are they exploring whether or not you would be a good fit for the job because of it, or are they trying to see if there’s anything that might make you “unhireable” for different reasons?

When answering interview questions about weaknesses, consider how it could help them determine whether you’d be an asset to their company and can do the job at hand.

Give examples that prove your understanding of what makes up a professionally acceptable answer.

This can include a lack of confidence, an inability to get along with other team members, and underachieving as compared to ones who have similar responsibilities.

Identifying Personal Weaknesses FAQ

What are Common Employee Strengths and Weaknesses?

Common employee strengths include: “I work well under pressure”, “I work best when there is someone to bounce ideas off of” and “I’m organized and good at following directions.”

Common weaknesses can be things like: “I am so focused on the task I don’t always pay attention to important details or interruptions”, “I get frustrated easily and yell at people when things don’t go my way” and “I am somewhat impatient.”


In conclusion, everyone has their own set of weaknesses and strengths. Some are more obvious than others.

But it is important to identify them and learn how to turn them into strengths, or else they will continue to hold you back in life.

Learning how to change your behavior and focus on what you are good at can be difficult, but it is important to remember that everyone has their own set of personal weaknesses.

Unless you work on them, these weaknesses will never go away entirely, so you need to figure out the best ways to identify them and get better at them, turning them into strengths that can be called upon when needed.

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