Evaluating Your Strengths And Weaknesses
So, who are you, anyway? First, let me tell you the end right now at the beginning.
When we come to the end of this article and you have learned a few things about yourself that you didn’t know, you’re very likely going to approve of the person you find.
When most people finish taking a good look at themselves, they’re pretty happy with what they see.
Second, some of the exercises might ask you questions you haven’t thought about before but do your best to answer them because they will give you insight into your preferences.
An important part of overcoming procrastination is getting to a point where you want to do the things you need to do because you like them. The more you know yourself, the better you’ll be at framing your tasks in terms of your preferences.
This exercise should give you an idea about how you perform on projects currently. Think about a project you have successfully completed — at work, at home, or in a social situation. Answer the following questions:
- What did you do to make the project successful?
- What skills did you use?
- What support did you have?
- Did you encounter barriers? How did you overcome them?
- Think of at least three things that made the project successful. What were they?
- Try to remember the feelings you experienced at different stages during the project – what were they?
- Try to remember what strengths and weaknesses you displayed during that project. Name as many as you can.
- If you had a similar project to do in the future, what skills would you carry over from the first project?
- Overall, what did you learn from the project?
- Ask these questions to other people who were involved in the project. Compare their answers with yours. Did you learn anything new from their answers?
This exercise will tell you something about your attitude toward goal setting. Which of the following statements apply to you?
- Generally I like to plan things in my life.
- I like to live for today and not think about tomorrow.
- I know what I like to be doing in five years and in 10 years.
- I love surprises.
- I have a clear idea of what to focus on at work and in my life.
- I only like change when I have a plan.
Whether you prefer planning or spontaneity, there is a planning style that is perfect for you. What changes planning from drudgery to something positive is flexibility and the ability to make alterations when necessary.
Will Power And Motivation
Let’s talk about willpower and motivation next. To some extent, they go hand-in-hand because the more willpower you have, the less easily you give in to distractions and the more motivated you are to begin a task and to complete it.
Which of the following statements fit your personality?
- “Work before play” are words I live by.
- I can play anytime.
- I am easily distracted.
- I don’t like to be interrupted when I’m working.
- If I don’t finish it today, I can do it tomorrow.
It’s easy to put things off for all kinds of valid reasons. But if you’re procrastinating for other reasons, you need to identify those reasons. Do you really want to take on this project?
Is there any common thread running through all the tasks you are putting off? Do you feel anxious about your skills? Your ability to complete the task?
Try to understand why you are unable to start – or finish – certain tasks.
Fear Of Failure
Fear of failure can stop you dead in your tracks even though everyone fails sometimes. It can interfere with your time management, your productivity, and even your relationships.
High standards are a good thing; unrealistically high standards (perfectionism) can lower your self-esteem and immobilize you.
Answer often, sometimes, or never to the following questions:
- Do you see failure as something that happens to everyone?
- Do maintain your positive attitude after suffering a defeat?
- Do you network to find out what went wrong?
- Do you support the decision that was made?
- Do you try to learn from your failures?
- Do you keep your allies so you can win in the future?
The more times you answered often or sometimes, the more effectively you cope with failure. Feeling rejected or threatened when something doesn’t turn out as you had hoped is somewhat natural, but passion and anger can be destructive if they’re not managed.
Prioritizing And Managing Time
Sometimes, we procrastinate because we believe we don’t have time, but the truth is that we don’t know how to manage our time or how to prioritize.
Use the following questions to assess your time-management skills:
- Do you tackle the most difficult tasks first?
- Do you have a “to do” list?
- Do you say no at times when asked to do something?
- Do you prioritize your tasks and work on them in that order?
- Do you allow a lot of introductions?
- Do you do things yourself instead of delegating them?
No worries, these skills are ones you can learn.
Evaluating Your Skills And Personal Qualities
In this exercise we’re going to think about what we do well. Make a list of all the things you are good at.
You could ask somebody who knows you well. Now, make a list of all your positive qualities. These lists will help you determine your strengths.
The key here is for the person you are asking is completely honest about your strengths and isn’t just telling you what you want to hear.
Assertiveness And Influencing Others
How assertive you are and how you interact with others can directly affect how much you procrastinate, and also how well you initiate and negotiate tasks.
Your answers to the following questions will let you know how assertive you are in four areas: at work, at home, in public, and with friends.
- How do you respond when you were criticized by a superior?
- What do you do when you notice that somebody has worked especially well or extra hard?
- If you have to confront a subordinate or coworker for lateness, and productivity, or dishonesty, how easy is it for you to act?
- What do you when you find yourself with a store clerk who ignores you?
- How do you react in a movie when the people next to you are continuously talking?
- How do you respond when a friend persistently uses you to complain to?
- When you want to ask a friend to repay a loan, how do you proceed?
- What do you do when you feel put down my friend?
- When one of your parents criticizes you, how do you respond?
- What do you do when everyone leaves the house cleaning to you?
Now, let’s think about how you react in these situations.
- What do you say and do?
- How do you feel about the behavior?
- What are your short-term gains or payoffs?
- What are the long-term negative effects?
- What are the risks in behaving more assertively?
Awareness about your skills and personality traits is the first step toward strength. You can’t change what you’re not aware of. So, take a look at all your responses and ask yourself what they tell you.
Please remember that this is not about focusing on your weaknesses alone. Your strengths are just as important in helping you to succeed.
So, in the next article in this series, we’ll look at how to build on your strengths, improve on your weaknesses, and develop your skills.
One way to beat procrastination is to stay focused and many people struggle with this. If you want to learn more about staying focused, check out the featured resource below for a free report; download, read it and take action 😊