The Diaries Of A Weak Achiever: Discover Your Strengths
I have always been a weak student in school. This was due to my parents sending me to a school where the language spoken was not my first language. Over time, I came to realize that I was not as good as my peers due to the language barrier. Thus begins my story, the diaries of a weak achiever.
One of the main reasons I am writing this is to encourage others who know of others who have been facing similar issues at school. It is my hope that such diaries would help them gain a little perspective in terms of what a weak achiever can do at school.
Today, I will be writing about the importance of discovering your strengths.
But I have no strengths
This is a very common statement made by a lot of students. It is as if that the entire system has trained them to feel inadequate about themselves. It does not also help that the students are expected to perform well in every single subject that they study in. However, this is not always the case.
There are many countries where the system forces the students to be good in every single subject. Often, students are expected to ace every single subject until they complete high school. However, they are not allowed to focus on the career path that they choose until they leave for university, they start to focus on the subjects of their choosing.
The thing is, I have many friends who have no idea what to focus on as a career. This has led them to join courses that they have no interest in which has led them to the job that they dislike.
So How Do You Discover Your Strengths?
The answer is simple, you just have to look. The problem with looking is that it is at times too daunting that even looking for one is very difficult. Looking at books on psychology, you will find that we humans stir far away from pain. With that, discovering your strengths can be an extremely painful process. As such, here are a few handles to help you along the way.
You can opt for what I call, the top-down approach, basically, you look at your strengths by asking others who are of authority. After asking a few teachers and others in authority, you start to quickly realize what your strengths are. This can range from character strengths to your affinity towards a particular subject and sport.
From there, try looking at what career opportunities these strengths of yours offer. Of course, not everyone has supportive teachers and people in authority to point out what your strengths are. If you are one of those individuals, you may want to consider the bottom-up approach.
In this approach, you work your way up towards your strengths. What you can do is first pick a few jobs that you would consider cool or high-paying. From there, do a quick research to see what are the skills are you need. You can do so by just Googling or consulting someone who is in that field.
For example, if you find that being a lawyer is a rather cool job, why not ask a lawyer about it. Questions that you may want to consider asking are:
i) Is the course tough? Do many fail?
ii) How is the pay like? Is it enough for your daily needs?
iii) What kind of character or skills must you possess to do well in this industry?
This should give you a pretty good idea. From there, you can start honing your skills and abilities. Make those skills and abilities your strengths. But wait, you may be thinking, I thought a strength is something that you have or born with? For that, I will illustrate this with a story.
I was a weak achiever in school because of the language barrier. I was sent to a chinese school but my first language is English. Thus, I could not do well in science, maths and history. All of which were in Mandarin. As such, I discovered that I could feel sorry for myself or I could work with my weaknesses.
Thus, I partially translated the subjects that I was weak in to English. I found out that ultimately, I was not weak in maths and science but I was weak in Mandarin. If I were to claim that I have no strengths and admit defeat, I probably wouldn’t have gone on to obtaining a scholarship and being where I am today.
Thus, no matter how poorly you are faring at school, remember this, we all have our own unique set of strengths, discover them. Or else, build a weakness into a strength.