Should you focus on what you're talented at or be disciplined about improving your weaknesses?


To determine whether to focus on talents or improve weaknesses, experts suggest a mixed approach depending on the context and goals.

  1. Blended Approach: emphasizes the importance of a blended approach in training. While bolstering strengths is crucial, not addressing growth areas can be a disservice. In challenging situations, working on weaknesses — mental resilience in Schumacher's example — can lead to significant growth 1.

  2. Focusing on Strengths: Conversely, advocates predominantly for focusing on one’s strengths. She argues that extraordinary achievements come more readily from leveraging one's inherent talents than from improving weaknesses, which can erode self-esteem and mental well-being if focused upon excessively 2.

  3. Leveraging Strengths: Similarly, advises focusing on hard skills where one is strong and addressing weaknesses in soft skills like emotional intelligence, which can be crucial for overall success 3.

    Strengthening Weaknesses

    Jen Schumacher discusses the importance of addressing both strengths and weaknesses in training. By self-assessing and practicing skills during tough runs, athletes can experience tremendous growth and develop mental resilience.

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  4. Effort and Talent: points out that effort is crucial and should be valued possibly even more than talent. Effort is needed to build skill and also to make that skill productive, suggesting that persistence might often outweigh innate ability 4.

  5. Role of Motivation Over Talent: also underscores the importance of motivation over natural talent. Persistent effort and drive often lead to greater improvements and successes than talent alone could 5.

Overall, while focusing on strengths can lead to significant and fulfilling accomplishments, addressing key weaknesses, especially those that might hinder one's broader capabilities (like soft skills), is also crucial. This indicates a sophisticated balance between leveraging one's best attributes and improving areas critical for overall success.