Accepting a Weakness?

Examine Your Weaknesses
weakness noun
1.the state or condition of being weak.
synonyms: frailty
feebleness, enfeeblement, puniness, fragility, delicateness,
2. a disadvantage or fault.
Synonyms: Fault, flaw, defect, deficiency, weak point/spot, failing, foible,
Shortcoming, imperfection, blemish, chink in one’s armour
With such definitions and synonyms combined with a puritan work ethic, there is little wonder why our culture and society views weakness – and in particular admitting to them – with such negativity. In many areas of life it is seen as, quite simply, unacceptable. Nowhere  is this more so than in much of the world of business where accepting weakness is regarded as kryptonite.  Ours is a ‘can do’ society where those viewed as being ‘in control’, or those who make things happen, especially in the teeth of a storm, are greatly admired.

Real life strategies, especially at work, need more than gung-ho attitudes to stay the course


The trouble is that often we fear our weaknesses and seek to keep them hidden  – sometimes even from ourselves. Such negativity thrives in the dark corners of our consciousness and if left to its own devices it festers and grows. Many believe that if they admit to a weakness they will be judged and criticised by their peers (as if those same peers do not possess weaknesses themselves). The internal corrosion of fear and self-judgment and the stress and anxiety it creates is not only damaging to our health, but is also completely unnecessary.


The acceptance of weakness has to be clearly defined. Surely we all accept the fact that we are not going to be good at everything, that our abilities, our thoughts and actions all have their ups and downs. Weak points are inevitable but accepting that fact does not mean we are giving in to or indulging a flaw – it is a simple matter of reality and the sooner we grasp that fact the sooner we can get on and do something about it.

If we ignore where we’re vulnerable, rest assured our competitors will not

In businesses one so often hears military and sporting metaphors but many ignore an attitude to weakness prevalent in elite sport and the military: they ignore it at their peril. They may wish to conceal any weaknesses from a tactical point of view, but behind the scenes their attitude to weakness is realistic, pragmatic with a very practical and upbeat outlook.


  • Once accepted, a weakness can be quantified, understood and work can begin to do something about it – a small piece at a time if necessary
  • There is no longer fear being challenged at our most vulnerable points as we begin to rise to the challenge of addressing them
  • When weaknesses comes to light, be grateful. Knowing they are there is half the battle because whether we like it or not, they’re there
  • Being more intimately acquainted with the topography of our abilities and characters  makes us better equipped to face life on our terms. If we know where the ditches are we can avoid driving into them
  • Enormous motivation and forward momentum comes from tackling a weakness as opposed to ignoring it
  • Whether weaknesses are neutralised, contained, or even removed altogether, we can then concentrate on the game winner: playing to our strengths.

If we do not manage our weaknesses, we can be certain that, 

sooner or later, they WILL manage us.

We hone our strengths and seek to perfect them as they are our vanguard in life. But improving a weakness, even by a few points can raise our whole performance right across the board.

Alan Keyse is a fully qualified Business and Life Coach who now applies his 30 years of experience as a sales executive to coaching Emotional Intelligence to business leaders, executives, managers and their staff either in one-to-one sessions, in groups, or speaking to larger audiences.

Alan Keyse