Here is an excerpt from my book, SEVEN STEPS TO INNER POWER, where I discuss how to assess strengths and weaknesses:
When assessing your strengths and weaknesses, be careful to be objective and not critical. If you were given a bag filled with both real and synthetic diamonds and were told to separate out the real ones, your first task would be to gain complete knowledge of the qualities of the real diamonds as well as the characteristics of the synthetic ones. As you went about the task of separating the real ones from the synthetic ones, you wouldn’t impose emotional value judgments on either kind of diamond. You wouldn’t say, “This wonderful, beautiful, real diamond goes in this pile,” and “This disgusting, terrible, phony synthetic one goes in that pile.” No, it would be an objective, clinical undertaking designed only to create a group of real diamonds.
Here’s another example. When a surgeon operates on a patient, he cannot be afraid of the amount of blood the procedure will produce or hesitate to use his knife and cut through tissue. His objective is to reach the malignancy or make the adjustment that will help his patient become well again. Let’s take this hypothetical example one step further. Imagine that you are in a situation where you are not only the surgeon but also the patient. Of course that is scary. Yet you must have the courage to “operate” on yourself with the same objectivity you would use with your patients if you wish to rid yourself of what may be life-threatening.
Now apply this analogy to your own life. I’m not talking about performing real surgery on your body but looking clinically at your strengths and weaknesses and deciding where you must perform “surgery” on your character or your habits. Maybe what is really holding you back and needs to be surgically removed is the habit of drinking too much alcohol or eating too many sweets or constantly criticizing yourself or others. Remember that you don’t need to make value judgments about yourself when identifying your fears, weaknesses, or strengths. When you discover that you have certain strengths, determine to keep them, but do not become overly confident or egotistical. When you find your weaknesses, determine to eliminate them, but do not fall into a mire of depression, dejection, or self-condemnation. All of us have weaknesses.