L3: Weaknesses as Strengths

I am a controlling perfectionist who worries about everything that I can’t control (which is just about everything) and obsesses about everything else. I always try to take on too much and refuse to accept help from others. These characteristics cause me a great deal of stress; I direct a lot of energy toward managing and, of course, trying to control them. But I also have learned a lot about myself and become a stronger person as a result of recognizing and gaining a deeper understanding of these weaknesses. By admitting that I have weaknesses, naming them, and increasing my awareness of their effect on my life, I have opened myself up to change and growth.

My deepest and most flexible strengths are most easily revealed when I examine and engage with my vulnerabilities. Working through our weaknesses provides us with opportunities to strengthen our character, expand our abilities, and develop self-confidence. In order to effectively change our ways, we may seek information or support from our peers, mentors, or even from new individuals or organizations. This leads to new and renewed trusted relationships, an expanded network, and a system to monitor and reinforce changes that we choose for ourselves.

Our weaknesses can feel prohibitive, frustrating, and overwhelming. Choose the path of the breakthrough rather than that of the breakdown. When you become aware of a weakness wreaking havoc in your life, recognize and seek to change your thoughts and behaviors.

What are your weaknesses? Think about those aspects of your personality, skills, and knowledge base that are yearning for cultivation. Use your strengths and competencies to develop these areas, seeking help as needed. Set incremental goals to monitor and document your success.

All human beings have self-defined weaknesses. In addition to dealing with your own needs, you may sometimes feel equally distressed about the weaknesses of others. Extend patience and compassion to others who are on their journey toward self-realization. Focus on strengths, develop complementary work teams to minimize the impact on your organization’s results, and provide opportunities for ongoing learning and growth.

Allowing our weaknesses to surface may feel uncomfortable, but in this struggle we will find hope for the future, appreciation for what we have, and determination to achieve positive personal or organizational change.  The arduous process of living through our weaknesses is a transformational growing pain.

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