Blind to Our Strengths

“We are not just blind to our weaknesses, we are also blind to our strengths.”

-Adam Grant

I have been working with clients on defining and owning strengths for almost 20 years and I can tell you that almost all of my clients are initially blind and often dismissive of their strengths. On the path of self-discovery and growth, we often notice our weaknesses and focus on where we fall short. We tend to ignore our strengths; the qualities that define us, shape our actions and contribute most to our success remain hidden in plain sight. 

Why are we blind to our strengths?


Humility vs. Self-Awareness

Humility is often celebrated as a virtue, however, there’s a fine line between humility and self-deprecation. While it’s important to acknowledge our limitations, it’s equally critical to recognize and embrace our strengths. True humility lies not in denying our capabilities but in acknowledging them with grace and using them to uplift others.

Fear of Vulnerability

Acknowledging our strengths requires vulnerability. It means putting ourselves out there, owning our accomplishments, and risking rejection or criticism. For many, this fear of vulnerability acts as a barrier, preventing us from fully embracing and expressing our strengths. But it’s only by embracing vulnerability that we can truly unleash our potential and make a meaningful impact in the world.

The Power of Feedback

Feedback, both positive and negative, plays a pivotal role in uncovering our strengths. However, we (especially women) often dismiss or discount positive feedback, attributing our successes to external factors or downplaying our contributions. By learning to accept and internalize positive feedback, we can start to recognize and appreciate our strengths more fully.

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