I write and talk a lot about the importance of celebrating your strengths as opposed to spending all your time trying to fix your weaknesses. But here's a secret about smart, confident, successful people–they actually fail a lot.
Those people don't like to fail, but they understand that the more often you challenge yourself, the more often you're going to fail. And they're not afraid of it. They know that you can't have a big success without some failures along the way. And the most likeable of them aren't afraid to talk about their failures. They'll share those stories openly and maybe even laugh at themselves when the failure was embarrassing.
When you can laugh about a failure, a weakness, or something that was outright embarrassing, it's endearing. It shows confidence and how comfortable you are just being yourself. People love hanging out with others who are like that. And colleges love those people in their classes and dorms.
Those who can laugh at themselves would have no trouble completing the following statements. In fact, they'd probably enjoy it.
1. I am quite possibly the world's worst__________.
2. The most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me is ___________.
3. It bothers me that I don't seem to be very good at ___________.
4. I think my greatest weakness is____________.
5. An example of a time I failed (and I mean really failed) was ___________.
Try it. Complete the blanks and have a laugh.
I'm not saying you should resign yourself to failure and give up. I'm saying that the only people who never fail are the ones who always take the easy way. Take the harder way and have a laugh when it doesn't go so well.
There's a reason why college applications and interviewers ask questions like these (#5 shows up on lots of college applications). They want the people who are confident enough to risk failure and still hold their heads high when it happens to them.