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What is Your Biggest Weakness?

I was tagged by Ken Simmons (@kensimmons) in the blog chain started by David Stein (@made2mentor).  Here’s Ken’s post and the original.  There are several other posts including ones by Brent Ozar (@BrentO) and Thomas LaRock (@SQLRockstar).  So I guess I’ll add mine.

This is a very hard post for me to write for two reasons:

  1. Who likes to publicize where they struggle?  I know I prefer to talk about successes and strengths.
  2. I tend to be very critical of myself (and others many times), See Joe Healy’s comments on my blog post about areas where SQLSaturday #21 – Orlando could have been better, and others usually have higher regard for my knowledge/abilities than I do, so it’s hard for me to pick one weakness as my biggest.

Maybe procrastination is it, as I know you are all saying, “Get to the point, what’s your biggest weakness?”.  Okay, okay, I’ll pick one.

I’d say my biggest weakness is lack of confidence.  I know I may not come across that way, but while I may know something intellectually I hesitate to implement for fear I may be wrongIn some ways this is a good thing because it makes me plan, learn, and test more, but it can be a bad thing because it can make me get stuck in one place when I should be moving to another.  The funny part of it is, each time I finally move or when I do the thing that I’m afraid of, none of the things I worried about happened.  For example, whenever I speak, whether on technical topic or in elsewhere (I speak in church regularly), I’m EXTREMELY nervous and think “What if someone in the crowd knows more than me and shows where I’m wrong?” or “What if the projector or demos don’t work?”, but once the talk starts, I’m fine.  I’ve spoken probably hundreds of times, and I still fight the fear.  I do the same thing when I learn something new for SQL Server or when it’s time to apply a Service Pack or upgrade, “What if it doesn’t work?”.  Well, experience tells me it most likely will work, especially if I tested it, and experience also tells me that I’ve recovered from disasters before, so I can probably fix it.  It’s funny though because the only time I’ve had problems is when I didn’t worry at all, what does that mean?

I’m not sure all who have been tagged, so I’m not going to tag anyone else.

Comments

Posted by Steve Jones on 15 December 2009

I think most of the very successful people suffer from this. It's what drives them forward and keeps them learning. They always underestimate their abilities.

However you are a brave man. In spite of the fear, I do see you moving forward.

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