A person’s abilities include both their strengths and their limitations. Examining both of these will help to establish the kind of clear vision that will help you maximize your potential.

Lets look at strengths first. When you think about your preference your particular strengths will come to mind, because people tend to enjoy the things they can do well best. Sometimes a strength seems natural because it is something you learned to do without ever having to work too hard. Some strengths you struggled to develop and still work hard to maintain. How do you determine what your strengths are is difficult for some but the following questions may help:

  • What have you always been able to do well?
  • What have others often praised you about?
  • What do you like most about yourself, and why?
  • What is your learning-style profile?
  • What are you accomplishments at home? At school? At work?

Knowing ones abilities, just as knowing ones preferences, is very helpful in finding a job that will make the most of them and one that you will enjoy.

Next thing to look at is ones limitations because no one is perfect and no one is good at everything. Even though everyone has limitations it doesn’t make them any easier to deal with the frustration, stress and anger they cause. The two most common ways of dealing with limitations are ignoring them or dwelling on them. Both of these are natural, but neither is wise. The third and best way is to face them and to work to improve them while keeping the strongest focus on your abilities. By ignoring ones limitations a person can cause themselves to be unable to accomplish their goals. Dwelling on them can make a person forget that they have any strengths at all. Facing limitations and working to improve them is the best response. By having a healthy understanding of ones limitations can help you avoid troublesome situations.

A*bil"i*ty (#), n.; pl. Abilities(#). [F. habilet'e, earlier spelling habilit'e (with silent h), L. habilitas aptitude, ability, fr. habilis apt. See Able.]

The quality or state of being able; power to perform, whether physical, moral, intellectual, conventional, or legal; capacity; skill or competence in doing; sufficiency of strength, skill, resources, etc.; -- in the plural, faculty, talent.

Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren. Acts xi. 29.

Natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study. Bacon.

The public men of England, with much of a peculiar kind of ability. Macaulay.

Syn. -- Capacity; talent; cleverness; faculty; capability; efficiency; aptitude; aptness; address; dexterity; skill. Ability, Capacity. These words come into comparison when applied to the higher intellectual powers. Ability has reference to the active exercise of our faculties. It implies not only native vigor of mind, but that ease and promptitude of execution which arise from mental training. Thus, we speak of the ability with which a book is written, an argument maintained, a negotiation carried on, etc. It always something to be done, and the power of doing it. Capacity has reference to the receptive powers. In its higher exercises it supposes great quickness of apprehension and breadth of intellect, with an uncommon aptitude for acquiring and retaining knowledge. Hence it carries with it the idea of resources and undeveloped power. Thus we speak of the extraordinary capacity of such men as Lord Bacon, Blaise Pascal, and Edmund Burke. "Capacity," says H. Taylor, "is requisite to devise, and ability to execute, a great enterprise." The word abilities, in the plural, embraces both these qualities, and denotes high mental endowments.

 

© Webster 1913.

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