There’s a way to make your weaknesses your strengths, but it’s probably not how you think. It’s not by grinding away trying to improve them. It’s by realizing that they can be a strength when applied properly and in the right context. Check out the video and the post below for further explanation.
Nearly everyone wishes they were different. They see people who are funnier, more charismatic, more outgoing, more disciplined and wish they were like that. The truth, however, is that most people are capable of bringing tremendous value and impact to the world. For most people, the things about us that hold us back or that we wish were different are often just the flip side of our greatest strength. Those who lack drive and motivation often struggle to accomplish their goals. However, that same quality often makes them a lot of fun to hang out with. People feel comfortable around them and are able to relax. People are more willing to open up and share with them because they don’t worry about being criticized or judged.
Unfortunately, the converse is also true: the flip side of our strengths are often our weaknesses. Those who are full of drive and ambition are able to push through and accomplish their goals. However, if that drive is not applied and expressed properly, it becomes oppressive to others and causes us to get burned out. That strong drive makes them intimidating and unapproachable. As a result, they have a harder time connecting with those who could really benefit from their help.
Life is a tightrope walk of trying to grow our strengths and minimize our weakness, realizing that both are simply different expressions of our personality. As a result, don’t gripe about your personality; instead, realize that it carries a specific gifting that, when applied properly, is capable of bringing tremendous value and impact to others.
If you’re an extrovert, don’t be jealous of those folks who are the life of the party. Instead, realize that those folks often struggle with the lows of being alone and are often pretty discontent unless they’re the center of attention. Recognize that your ability to be comfortable alone or in small groups opens up tremendous opportunities to (a) get a lot of things done (reading, writing, working, etc.) and (b) build closer friendships with a few people. That’s how deep connections are made and lives are powerfully impacted. Then learn from the extrovert how to build more connections.
Likewise, the extrovert should use his ability to connect with lots of people to network for his business and to connect members of his different social circles in a way that benefits them all. He should use that strength to speak in public or to groups. He should engage the quieter and shyer folks at outings and help them to feel more comfortable. Then he should learn from those shyer people how to build deeper connections within his larger circles and how to use non-social time to his advantage.
Simply put, our natural personalities carry within them the ability to make peoples’ lives better or worse. When we use them to help people, we make them a strength; otherwise, they are a weakness. So, the next time you complain that “you’re not like him” or get jealous of someone else’s strengths, realize that every strength can become a weakness and every weakness can become a strength. So, figure out what’s holding you back, then turn that personality trait into a strength. This is the man’s life. Godspeed.
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