When it comes to personal development, the main goal is not always to be better than the person next door — though that’s not always so bad. The main goal is to become better than we were yesterday, and in order to do that, we need to know where we were yesterday and where we stand today. Conducting a monthly or quarterly SWOT analysis of our life is always a good idea, because whether we decide to change ourselves or not, things change around us.
Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different”-C.S. Lewis Tweet this
In business terms, a SWOT analysis is when we measure our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. To apply it to our own life, we need to ask the following questions:
1.What are our personal strengths/weaknesses?
It’s not always easy to find our own strengths and weaknesses. As humans, we tend to view ourselves differently than how others view us. So it’s always best to seek the help of others. Whether it’s a therapist, a personal coach, close friends and family, the more people we ask the better. One or two strengths might start appearing more than once and we would need to focus on those.
“Friends are the mirror reflecting the truth of who we are.”Tweet this
Tip!: Sometimes people who piss us off the most are the ones who are most honest, so don’t discount their answers.
Once we know our personal strengths, we need to brainstorm ideas of how to capitalize on them in order to advance our careers and personal relationships. When it comes to our weaknesses, we can either choose to work on them when they’re acting as barriers to our progress or we can choose to work around them and ignore them if they don’t hinder us that much. The main idea is to be aware of them and fine-tune our lives to better use our strengths and dampen our weaknesses.
2. What are the opportunities and threats that exist around you?
The opportunities and threats we face deal with our environment; they could be the people around us or the company’s hierarchy. Change comes at a price. People around us might not like it. They might start talking about how we’ve changed and how they don’t particularly like the new us. Why? Because stepping out of the comfort zone threatens them somehow. So it’s a given that when we start making progress, we might need to shed a few relationships along the way, but that’s okay, because every space somebody leaves empty gets filled by someone better.
3. Finally, what does the V in ‘SWOT-V’ stand for?
The V stands for our personal values that define the important things in our lives. They help us look at the big picture and prioritize every aspect of our live. Possible values could be courage, honesty, loyalty, integrity, family. To know your values you might need to sit with yourself and look at life-altering moments in your life that felt right, and ask yourself, “Why did I make that particular choice?” The undercurrent of an important value may be lying beneath that choice. And another less obvious way of discovering your value is to figure out what makes you angry with passion. For instance, one value that usually inspires a lot of anger is injustice.
So if you’re trying to figure out your life right now, take the first steps to SWOT-V analyse your life.
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Photo: “Xhienne — SWOT pt.svg” Wikimedia Commons