We typically are quick to point out our weaknesses, whether to others, or within ourselves. We can often fixate on those perceived weaknesses giving them more weight than our strengths and positive attributes. But often, those “weaknesses” are our strengths, we may just be overusing them.
When I look back to my life before walking this path, I often fixated on things to the point of obsession. Those things I obsessed about easily turned into dysfunction or behaviors that could easily become harmful. But when I started to get well I was asked to write down all the things I perceived as wrong, or the things I thought made me weak, now, I would have never described myself as weak, and still wouldn’t, but I certainly thought I had weaknesses and shortcomings. One of the things that was first on my list was my stubbornness.
I knew my stubbornness had been my downfall many times in the past, and, had kept me sick to the point of almost no return. My stubbornness along with my pride and ego, had to be redirected if I was going to get well. I thought to myself, if I could use my stubbornness for bad I can certainly turn that around and use it for good. I worked on using that same stubbornness to fight for my life and my health, and I reserved my pride for the milestones I reached in my recovery, the ego, well, that had to be sidelined, as it always seemed to get in the way of my best self and making the next right decision, but I learned to let go and trust the path I was on, and learned to sprinkle my stubbornness and pride with some humility to keep them right-sized as I set out on my path of well-being. There were other lessons I learned along the way, my impatience with myself was an overuse of my drive and ambition, both attributes could be strengths, and are in my life today, but an overuse of them leads me to be short of temper and impatient with those I see as standing in my way or slowing me down. I still struggle with that one today at times. But there were many examples in my life, that when I looked at my weakness list and really got honest about the root of where they came from, most of them did come from strengths I had, I had just supercharged them so much they turned into weaknesses.
It’s about letting go a little, not trying to force the outcome we want and trusting that we are where we are meant to be in that moment, even if it’s uncomfortable, it may be just where we should be to learn what we need to learn. Trust. Learning to trust. And learning to focus on our strengths, those positive parts of us that make us unique, or successful, or shine bright, learning to love all the parts of us that make us us. And finding a way to turn those weaknesses back into the strengths they were born from, so that we can be the people we were meant to be before we got lost in who we thought we were not. It’s also about allowing ourselves to continually become who we are, to remain teachable and open to new ideas, and give ourselves as much time as we need to find our path.
Look at your weaknesses today and see if they may just be an overuse of your strengths. Then ease off and let those overused weaknesses slide back to the strengths column. You have more strengths than weaknesses, you’ve gotten this far, but just think how much further you may go with more strengths working for you instead of against you. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do tend to focus on your perceived weaknesses? What do you think they are? What don’t you like about them? Can you identify what strengths they may be? For each weakness, write down the opposite attribute. Do you recognize those opposite attributes in you? Do you see a connection between what you see as weaknesses and the positive attribute is? How many connections can you make between your weaknesses and your strengths? How can you work on redirecting those weaknesses back into strengths? Many times what we think are our greatest weaknesses are an overuse of our greatest strengths, it’s all in how we choose to look at them.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you