Individuals that are interested in improving their mindset, skills, and traits are usually prone to succeed. Personal development is a mandatory process in case you’re looking to create a better personal and professional life. Mediocre people usually don’t have big ambitions. Therefore, personal development could be a strange concept for them.

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably looking for ways to advance your abilities and career. Let’s get straight to the subject!

SWOT stands for “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats”. The SWOT analysis was first conceived in the early sixties by a group of intelligent business people. Its main purpose was -and still is- to help business organizations get out of different crisis and improve their overall performance.

However, the SWOT analysis is not meant to work only for businesses. You can use this analysis method in order to boost your personal development efforts. Moreover, this powerful strategy facilitates the opportunity to learn more about your own self.

Self-awareness is a highly important trait in today’s business marketplace. Self-awareness is linked to emotional intelligence, a trait which seems to gain more and more importance for today’s big brands.

Why Would You Apply SWOT on Yourself?

There are several reasons to perform a SWOT analysis on a personal level. Josh Watson, HR manager at Career Boosters suggests:

“Performing a personal SWOT analysis is much more effective than simply looking at your strengths and weaknesses. Most individuals believe that if they can find their weaknesses and strengths, their introspection process is done, and they’re good to proceed. This strategy can be effective, but it can never be as effective as a personal SWOT analysis.”

Here are the main three reasons for performing a “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats” analysis on yourself:

1. Improves Your Self-Awareness

Every time you’re looking for answers “inside”, you’re working on your self-awareness capacities. The more you work on it, the more you’ll know what’s going on with your feelings, thoughts, and behavior.

2. Provides Strong Personal Feedback

Feedback is critical – not just for businesses, but also for people who’re looking for progress. Constructive feedback shows you where you’ve gone wrong. It also helps you figure out the actions that you need to take in order to improve the final results.

3. Keeps You on Track

Life is never easy, and it always comes with surprises. Every person must have gone through rough times, and honestly, these are the times that influence our personal growth the most. By performing a SWOT analysis while you’re already aware that you’re not where you’re supposed to be in life, you’ll be able to get back on track.

In other words, SWOT helps you gain a better perspective on both your professional and personal life. It works on your mindset, and it helps your leverage what’s best for you. Now let’s take a closer look at how a SWOT analysis is performed. If you’re eager to start, take a piece of paper and start following my lead.

How to Perform a Personal SWOT Analysis?

The first and most important action you need to take is quite basic: you need to clear your mind and put yourself in a state of absolute honesty. If you only have a few minutes to do this, I’d suggest delaying it for later. This process requires all of your attention. Because SWOT stands for more than just one concept, we’re going to take each part in turn.

I want you to ask yourself these questions. Please try to focus as much as you can on the answers that you write down. By following this exercise, you’re basically communicating with your own self, and you’re finding out where you stand in the present moment.          

Strengths
  1. What talents have you been born with?
  2. What your strengths are mostly praised by other people? (Teachers, Friends, Family)
  3. Which skills have you developed until this very moment?
  4. What traits and skills do you have which other people don’t? (Include your skills, connections, education, or gifts)
  5. What personal achievements are you mainly proud of?
Weaknesses
  1. What important actions do you usually avoid?
  2. Which are your biggest disadvantages that often drag you down?
  3. What weaknesses do other people see in you?
  4. Which of your habits are disempowering?
  5. Are you content with your current skills and knowledge?
Opportunities
  1. What aspects of the present marketplace can you leverage the most, right now?
  2. Can you create your own opportunities by delivering effective solutions?
  3. Is your field of activity and industry currently growing?
  4. Are there new demands for skills and traits that you possess?
  5. Are there any major changes at your company? How about changes in your niche market?
Threats
  1. Do your weaknesses stop you from getting a better job position?
  2. Which are the biggest dangers to your long-term goals?
  3. Are there any significant technology changes that are threatening your present activity?
  4. Are you neglecting important aspects of your profession?
  5. Is there a very strong competition for any of the job posts you’re looking to occupy?

Conclusion

If you’re willing to work hard on your personal development, you’ll find that life becomes more enjoyable and easier as the time goes by. While knowledge is power, self-awareness means balance. Both of these traits are important for whoever wants to overcome their current condition and become better individuals.

Written By
Eva Wislow is a career coach and blogger from Pittsburgh. She loves helping people achieve life satisfaction and success at work.

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