Why Facing Your Weaknesses Will Cause Opponents To Reveal Theirs

Weaknesses are aspects of your being which cause avoidable delays in the achievement of your goals. Whether your goals are personal or professional, you are likely well aware of weaknesses you have that you’d be better off without.

Understanding the need to rid yourself of weaknesses is difficult to translate into fruition. Habits die hard, and weaknesses even harder. The successful suffocation of a weakness is a journey which starts at vulnerability and ends with a self-forgiving understanding. In between, there’s struggle. A weakness eliminated will leave you battle-tested, open-eyed, and more perceptive to further weak spots in yourself and others.

This article is about how our understanding of opponents in any realm is benefitted by facing and eliminating weaknesses of our own.


Vulnerabilities Are Best Studied in First Person

There are universal rules to any competition, whatever form it may take on. One of those universal rules is: take advantage of your competitors’ mistakes whilst limiting your own. Your effort to limit your own mistakes and recognize them in your competitors will benefit from stringent self-analysis.

Facing your weaknesses will help you identify and exploit the weaknesses of your competitors. You will be better able to recognize the signs of vulnerability in others, such as hesitation, insecurity, fear, or frustration. You will be able to anticipate their mistakes in things you’ve already made mistakes in and capitalize on them.

The act of being vulnerable is best studied in first-person. The moments in which we feel self-doubt, the times when we lose focus on the objective, and the gaze of an individual who’s never been there before are all easier to recognize when you’ve already felt and lived them.


Exerted Effort Allows for Accurate Prognosis

When we face our weaknesses head-on, we gain insight into the psychology and motivation of our adversaries in the same environment or context. By experiencing the challenges, doubts, and fears that come with confronting our flaws, we develop empathy and understanding for those who struggle with similar issues. We can then use this knowledge to anticipate their moves, exploit their vulnerabilities, and counter their attacks.

For example, imagine you are a salesperson who has a weakness in public speaking. You often stutter, lose your train of thought, or say the wrong thing in front of potential customers. You decide to overcome this weakness by taking a course, practicing regularly, and seeking feedback. As you do so, you learn about the common pitfalls, mistakes, and solutions that public speakers face. You also discover what makes a speech engaging, persuasive, and memorable.

Now, suppose you have a competitor who is also a poor public speaker. You can easily spot their weakness because you have been through it yourself. You know what triggers their anxiety, what makes them lose confidence, and what makes them look unprofessional. You can then use this information to your advantage by preparing better presentations, asking challenging questions, or highlighting their flaws in a subtle way. By exerting effort to overcome your weakness, you’d have gained a prognostic edge over your opponent.


The Path Already Traveled Holds Few Distractions and Noise

To the tour guide, the tour is unimpressive. To the Sherpa people, Everest’s summit is the middle checkpoint of a strenuous objective.

The tour guide or the Sherpa are people who have already traveled the path many times and know the details and challenges along the way. They are not distracted or impressed by the sights and sounds that may captivate those first seeing and hearing what they’ve already seen and heard. Similarly, someone who has made a habit of self-analysis and improvement is not easily swayed or intimidated by the obstacles and temptations that may hinder their goals in doing so.

A habit of facing weaknesses head-on will leave you with a better understanding of what it takes to succeed and what can prevent you from doing so. You will have a higher standard of performance and a lower tolerance for excuses. You will be able to spot the signs of weakness in others, such as fear, doubt, hesitation, or arrogance. You will be able to exploit those weaknesses to your advantage, or help others overcome them if you choose to do so.

Read our analyses of current events by becoming a subscriber.

Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims. Please critically analyze all claims made and independently decide on its validity.