How to identify your personal weaknesses

Written by brenda scottsdale
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How to identify your personal weaknesses
Identify personal weakness to improve your personality. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

It's important to take a periodic inventory of your personality weaknesses to continue to develop and grow as a person. According to the website, people compete in both their personal and professional lives -- those who have the most strengths generally win. Great leaders are often very in touch with themselves and constantly working on improving their weaknesses. Benjamin Franklin, for example, compiled a list of 13 of his own personal weaknesses and he spent the rest of his life improving on these weaknesses. (see reference 4)

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Use a checklist, which may expose you to traits you would not have thought about on your own. Focus on your weaknesses, rate each on a Likert-type scale, on which 1 indicates the weakness only applies to you a little bit and 5 means the weakness is a very prevalent trait.

  2. 2

    Use the same checklist, this time focusing on strengths. After you rate all the strengths applying to you, circle all the words you did not rate. Add to this list the strengths you ranked at only a 1: Personal weaknesses may actually be strengths that are underdeveloped because of a lack of information, training or focus.

  3. 3

    Show the list to one or two people you trust, and ask them what they think. They will give you objective feedback. What you thought was a weakness may actually not be perceived as such by others; and by contrast, other people may point out one or two new weaknesses to you.

  4. 4

    Keep a journal of criticism given to you by others for a month. At the end of the month, look over the journal and note any patterns.

  5. 5

    Read e-mails, formal performance reviews, or letters people have written to you identifying any weaknesses noted. See if you can discover any patterns over time.

  6. 6

    See a therapist. If you are unsure what your weaknesses are, you can seek the help of a professional. They can administer psychological tests and interviews to provide you with insight into your weaknesses.

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