Let’s Not Pathologize the Strengths and Weaknesses Thing

I can’t imagine you complaining about tulips not being fragrant.

Or that hyacinths don’t have wide, luscious petals.

But it’s really common for people to pathologize their “weaknesses.”

People will say things to me like,

“I’m not good at taking risks.”


“It’s so hard for me to follow through on things I start.”

I can tell they’ve gotten shit for this, or at a minimum, have struggled with comparing themselves to others in this category.

I used to do it, too.

Strengths and weaknesses are just two sides of the same coin, in different contexts.

If you’re not a big risk-taker, I’ll infer that you make really thoughtful, evidence-based decisions.

If it’s hard for you to follow-through, I will infer that you are a catalyzing force.

There’s nothing wrong with you.

Plus, my understanding of the science is that it’s much more effective to capitalize on your strengths, then to try to change your supposed weaknesses.

I’m not great at execution. Strategy comes so much more naturally to me. I used to shame myself for not being better at execution.

I CAN do it...I worked for years in program management.

But it is exhausting for me.

Now, I have my life increasingly set up to use my strengths.

Just this morning, I paid someone across the world to sit with me on zoom while I prepped my taxes.

I don’t shame myself for not executing things on my own, I just use my strength in strategy to do what works.

He didn’t help me at all with actual work.

Someone asked me, “What does he do while you’re working!?”

“He’s just essentially babysitting me,” I say.

“He’s probably organizing his porn collection or something!”

“Great. That’s fine with me. I don’t care.”

How much more effective would you be if you didn’t shame yourself for your supposed weaknesses, and instead constructed your work around your strengths?

From what I see in my clients, not just much more effective, but much much happier.

If you want to explore working together, you can set up a free exploratory call with me here.

I appreciate you reading. I’m in your corner.


Emma Garrett is an Executive Career Coach, helping high-integrity leaders position themselves for what’s next in work and life. Ready to start doing things differently? Consider scheduling a free call to share your situation and goals or checking out the resources at