Focus on strengths (Photo Credit: Candie_N, Creative Commons/Flickr)

Do you suffer from I-need-to-be-good-at-everything-or-I’ll-never-be-successful syndrome?

I do. I sometimes feel like I need to be in on everything and understand everything (especially in my work in communications) in order to get ahead and do well. Yet in my attempts to do it all, I’m not nurturing my strengths and moving myself forward professionally. I’m compromising excellence.

This post by Amber Naslund explains why we all need to let go of things we’re not good at:

There’s probably something that you don’t know much about, or that you aren’t really good at, but that you’ve felt compelled to do anyway because it was considered a prerequisite of a promotion or a different step in your career that you wanted to take. You probably struggled with it, felt guilty that you weren’t good at it, hesitated to talk to your boss about it because if you admitted that it wasn’t your strong suit, you’d probably limit your career development opportunities…

But there is an absolute moment of diminishing returns when grinding endlessly against your weaknesses becomes a liability, and your effort will be much better spent leveraging the things you’re actually good at.

It can be liberating to let go of things you’re not good and focus on being excellent. To do so, you have to do quite a bit of reflection, and, depending on your work, be thoughtful about how to navigate around your weaknesses, as it may not always be possible to drop them completely (and this is not the same as, say, not doing things you don’t like or annoyances that come with every job).

But what I love most about focusing on your strengths is that you can make yourself more open to collaborations and partnerships with others who excel where you aren’t so strong. I think that by letting go, you can let others in.

What do you think?