Your Weaknesses Can Say as Much About You as Your Strengths– So Work on Them

This weekend I spent some time working on my strengths. I entered a time trial race and got 2nd place. It’s really fun at times to focus on what you are good at. But, in athletics as with life, sometimes most energy should be focused on weaknesses.

For example, I am a good, strong flat rider. But why would I go out and ride the flats all the time? All that is going to do is reinforce what I am already good at. There are two things that are my weaknesses in riding – leg speed and hills. Therefore, I should spend as much of my riding time as possible working on both those things.

The same is true in life. I’ve recently been reminded that one of the things I am really bad at is considering the needs of others before my own. So, that is something for me to keep in the front of my mind and work on daily in little ways.

The same is also true in the professional life. If I only focus on my areas of strength, then I am not growing in areas I need to. Some of the areas I’ve
committed to working on this year in my professional life are algorithms (technical) and public speaking (managerial).

Working on my personal and professional weaknesses can sometimes feel as painful as being 30 minutes into a steep hill on my bike. But, I know that suffering through the work will pay huge dividends when it comes time for my next race of truth. And, I’ve also found that working on my weaknesses somehow ends up strengthening my strengths at the same time.

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Sarah Clatterbuck
I am a front-end engineer and engineering manager at Yahoo! by day and an avid cyclist and runner in my spare time. I race for a women's cycling team called Velo Bella and coach on weekends for the Bay Area Velo Girls. As a native to the Bay Area, I love all things adventurous and regularly travel to ride my bike, trek, try out new languages, and sample local cuisine. I feel as though I'm always learning new things in this great adventure called life, and am eager to share my experiences with others.