Using the SWOT Analysis for Personal and Professional Growth

25 Jul

by: Remie Longbrake | published: July 25, 2019

Many businesses use the SWOT Analysis to evaluate the organization. It allows for a good internal assessment of competition and planning of projects. The same principles in business can also be used for you in your growth journey...both personally and professionally.

Essentially, in the business realm, the business can initiate growth from a SWOT Analysis to determine future goals and evaluate risk areas. The SWOT analysis technique is a time proven method for having a business take a realistic look at where they are today with a focus on where the plans are to be in the future. This same techniques can be prioritized in a way designed for individual professional and personal growth. 

So you ask, what does the SWOT Analysis consist of?

SWOT includes these key areas:

Strengths – We all have our own specific strengths that need to be understood and implemented if success is to be reached. Write down all of your strengths that are related to that certain outcome. How can your strengths help you achieve the result? First determine what is the result you want? Better fitness, better paying job, communicate better, related to your health, fitness. It's up to you.  Some of your strengths could include being a morning person. Could you wake up just a litter earlier to get in a workout? Is your strength being motivated? If it's your career you want to improve, before looking elsewhere, can you see what you can do at your present job to take on more responsibility? If that is a resounding no, then look at your strengths to research a company where you can excel at. We all have different strengths, use yours to improve yourself and your circumstances. The worst thing we can do is be content where we are at. If nothing else use your strengths to help others. Maybe you could teach a yoga class, help with after school reading or writing skills. Have a green thumb, perhaps help out a neighbor, friend or those in your community. I guarantee you will feel much better about yourself, plus using your strength really does make a difference and other are appreciative for that.

Weaknesses – We all have certain weakness that affect each one of us in a different way. Assess and understand, however don't let those limit your opportunities to create success and obtain your goals. Actively and accurately access what those weaknesses are. I've been an introvert for a long time. Maybe that's you. Don't let that stand in your way. Set a goal to meet more people. Make it exciting(enough), go to a networking event. Meet people you can relate to, ideally in your profession or those who tend to be ambitious. If you want to grow, you have to get out of the comfort areas. Be specific, go with goal in mind to get 5 names and numbers. Take the next step, set up a meeting or phone call with them. Learn about what they do, you may make a friend and possibly gain more business. That's how it's done. No matter what you weak area is, could be your communication skills, computer skills, cooking skills, etc, have the goal in mind that you really want to excel in this area. Then do all you can to get to where you want to be. Be realistic with your time line, but do not give in to excuses or setbacks(and yes those will come).

Opportunities – Have the capacity to see opportunities for personal and professional growth. This takes time, but by knowing your strengths and weaknesses, you allow yourself to see opportunities more clearly. Fundamentally we need to take action when those opportunities are presented. Do not sit back and readily wait, create them and take the necessary action steps. It's important to visualize what you want long term. What is the plan to accomplish that goal? What opportunities are you creating to get to the next step? Have a tiered system to accomplishment. If you only plan for the long term without creating a plan to get there you are setting yourself up for failure. Too many of us see the long term goal, which is great, but essentially what are you doing today to get to that point. If the goal is fitness, the initial step may be to get to the gym initially 3 days a week. Progress that to 4 or 5 down the road. If it's finances, what can you do now to achieve your result? Can you take on extra work, a side gig, save more, cut back, etc. Same in career. Where is the company going, is there room for your growth, what can you do more to increase your pay and responsibilities within that organization. Of course opportunities are everywhere, just keep in mind it starts with you!

Threats – Just as businesses face threats, both internal and external, so do we. Often the threat is ourselves and our limiting beliefs. Additionally, it could be a state of fitness and health, being overweight, feeling tired, depressed. Additionally we often are hanging out with the wrong crowd. We are essentially the people we associate with. It's the lifetime of being told by our peers and influencer's to take actions that may not have achieved the best results. This directs our thoughts and belief patterns. It is important to realize past results do not equal future outcomes. This is easier said then done, however with the right analysis and proper planning for threats, both internal and external can be successfully accounted for and the proper actions can be established.

A great SWOT analysis will allow you to get a comprehensive look at where you presently are. A clear path for future goals and improvement can be achieved. This can be utilized for so many aspects of our professional and personal lives. Possible areas include our fitness, career, finances, habits, relationships, and others. Many people will utilize the SWOT analysis as a way to make decisions regarding day-to-day, month-to-month and even longer. Still others will NOT use the SWOT analysis as they are negatively caught up in the limiting patterns and make excuses for why their goals are not being fulfilled. If that is you however, it's important not be discouraged. The key is to realize those areas, account for them, and practice daily improvement.

Using the SWOT Analysis can be greatly beneficial to long-term and incremental success. Do an analysis on yourself or work with me and lets access your journey together. You may download your free SWOT Analysis sheet from the Resource section at or contact me for more information.

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