Personal SWOT

Personal SWOT analysis

A personal SWOT Analysis is a useful tool to help you plan a future direction, by knowing more about yourself now.

Doing a SWOT analysis will improve your self awareness and help you develop a plan that will help you to improve and grow as a person.

By identifying and harnessing your strengths, while being aware of your weaknesses, you naturally become more self aware. And this improved self awareness helps you use these these strengths & weaknesses to your own advantage. Now.

The outcome will be a few personal actions or goals to take you in a direction that is ideally suited to your ability and desire.


Personal SWOT analysis – an examination of ‘self’

Yes, a Personal SWOT is an examination of yourself, by yourself. It’s an examination of your personal Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.


A personal SWOT analysis is not what other people think about you, and not what you think others think about you.


Side note: what other people think about you can be good to know at some point, but do a SWOT analysis first. Find out more here-> Johari window

Personal SWOT

For the analysis, use each of these four elements as prompts to help you think about and then write down your thoughts, starting with Strengths and Weaknesses. 

Just focus on these two elements initially.


These are the things you are particularly good at – either by natural ability, or through learning and experience.

This is ‘internal’, this is about you. 


What are the things you aren’t so good at? Again, either  naturally or just do not have the skills or knowledge.

This is where some self-awareness is required. Be honest, but still be kind to yourself. Do not beat yourself up.

This is ‘internal’, this is about you. 

These two, Strengths and Weaknesses, are completely about you. 

Once you have spent time and know these two better, they naturally lead on to help answer the new two elements 

Next, focus on the last two elements


So, given your Strengths and Weaknesses, how could you benefit, improve and grow as a person?

This is ‘external’, this is about what is around you and relates to you. 


Given your Strengths and Weaknesses, what could de-rail, harm, or negatively impact you?

This is ‘external’, this is about what is around you and relates to you.

Yes, a Strength can be a Threat

Strengths can have a down-side when used incorrectly, or too much. Take care when applying your strengths, as they can become a weakness without you realising it.


  • some people are naturally quick-witted, which can be viewed as a Strength. But taken too far, and used too much, quick-wittedness can be seen as condescending and arrogant behaviour by others.
  • Leadership is also a strength, but to much with no delegation can be viewed as micro-managing and lack of trust. 


Side note: taking these examples, the Johari window could help to identlfy Blind Spots.

Yes, a Weakness can be an Opportunity

A weakness is often an opportunity to grow as a person, or show self-awareness.

It is also the basis is a very common question in job interviews . . . “What is your biggest weakness?”.


The importance of doing a SWOT in context

There are two important factors to consider…

  1. Your key Life Areas, and
  2. The Role you have in each life area

Imaging doing a SWOT analysis on yourself, for everything about you. It would be quite a stack of thoughts, but all mingled together. And rather hard to really assess.

Now imaging focusing on ONE part of you life and doing the SWOT again. Lets say, your Family. A SWOT will be much more related as you focus just on you and your family.

Repeat for each life area.

And each time think about the role you have. So for Family, the role may be ‘the mum’, ‘the dad’, etc.

For work , it could be ‘the expert in my field’.

Knowing your role will help to clarify the SWOT elements.

How do you write a personal SWOT analysis on yourself?

The exercise of doing a SWOT analysis is very simple – the hard (‘ish) bit is the thinking required.
Our suggestion is to start with just a pen and a few page of paper.
  1. Chose a personal Life Area (a context), and the Role that you do in that life area
  2. Write down a list of your Strengths
  3. Write down a list of your Weaknesses
  4. For each Strength identified, write down what Opportunities may exist. Do the same for any Threats. *
  5. Then, for each Weakness identified, write down what Opportunities may exist. And again, do the same for any Threats. *
  6. Lastly, for each Opportunity and Treat, make a list of actions that you need to do to address these – to benefit from an Opportunity, or to reduce the impact of a Threat. 
  7. For each action, make a plan to complete it, and a target date for completion.
* The internet can be a great source to identify wider, more generic opportunities and threats. But, you need to consider the closer-to-home opportunities & threats that are particular to your situation…and technology is no substitute for brain power and thought.
In the video below the presenter discusses SWOT in relation to your work, which is good starting point. But don’t stop there, do a SWOT analysis for ALL of your Life Areas. Do a SWOT analysis on your Career, you Family, your Health & Fitness…  
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