How your weakness can be a strength
Each of us has our own fragilities.
Extroverts, for example, are often great at creating new business relationships and sales but are lacking when it comes to having a disciplined system of follow-up. Introverts are often entrenched in sticking to a well-planned and proven way of doing things but may struggle to engage in an emotionally persuasive way with potential clients. Highly organized and concrete sequential types are disciplined laborers in the field of sales but are thrown off their game when new circumstances require a sudden change.
The truth is we all struggle with specific skills or a lack thereof. Yet some of history’s most notable achievers overcame their biggest weaknesses or turned them into a strength. Here are just a few.
The Apostle Paul described himself as unpolished in his speech, yet he became one of the most impactful messengers of Christianity, convincing thousands to follow in the faith.
The skateboarder Tony Hawk lacked the strength of larger skaters to yank the board up in the air. He turned his disadvantage into a strength by inventing ‘ollying’ where he stomped on the curved end of the board to get elevation or ‘air’. Problem solved.
Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for not being ‘creative enough’. Coaches wouldn’t give young Michael Jordan a chance to play on their team because he was too short.
So how do we address where we lack? Here are a few ways to begin.
- Know specifically where you’re lacking strength.
- Decide what weakness you are going to commit to addressing.
- Engage with a person who possesses the strength you want to develop and ask for their input and how they developed their skill.
- Set specific benchmarks to measure your improvement.
- Read. There’s a universe of knowledge available on nearly any subject. Invest the time in educating yourself.
- Find a workaround that addresses your weakness. If it’s phone reluctance use set a goal to make at least xx amount of phone calls a day before you can go home. If it’s speaking in front of a large group take a class on public speaking. If it’s staying organized enroll in a time management course.
- Embrace where you are today but commit to incremental improvement.
Take a few moments and write down your personal and/or professional weaknesses in one column and in the other how you will begin to transform that weakness into a strength or asset.
“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”