If you’re subscribed to the blog, a few months ago I shared in my newsletter that I had been living out only part of who I am. It’s been said that our greatest strength can also be our greatest weakness. Here’s what I failed to see: The parts that made some people reject me, feel intimidated or uncomfortable around me, or downright hate me, are STRENGTH as much as they are weakness.
I internalized them only as weakness. Those characteristics led to pain + pain is bad = those characteristics must be killed. I’m not especially good at math but it makes sense right? As women, too often we cue into our weakness far more quickly than we give ourselves credit for strength.
How might your weakness be a powerful strength?
- Maybe you struggle to work on a team or you get frustrated following the lead or ideas of others. Your strength could be in drive, determination and leadership.
- Perhaps you find yourself being taken for granted; or you hang on to unhealthy or destructive relationships, or a job you hate. You have the strengths of loyalty, service and sacrifice.
- Do you hate conflict and avoid it at all costs? Does criticism make you want to crawl into a hole and die? Your strength may be kindness, compassion and cooperation.
- Do you spend hours or weeks or months working on a project or set goals well beyond your current reach? Your strength could be learning, discipline or achievement.
- Are you inflexible or obsessive compulsive? Do you struggle to control, fix, or please? Your strength could be in vision, organization or creating unity.
The problem with focusing on our weakness is that it drains and discourages us. When we begin focusing on our strength we find energy and inspiration. As we continue to walk into our strengths we begin gaining momentum and the courage to take our power back. We often don’t think about it that way, but when we believe the perception of others, over what we know to be true about ourselves, we give our power away. It’s time to take it back.
- Become aware of yourself and how you operate. Tools like the Myers Briggs, Strengths Finder (which you will first need a copy of the book Strength-Based Leadership for a code) or the Enneagram are great at giving you insight into who you are. Chances are you’ll read the results and be blown away at how accurate they represent YOU, even if you couldn’t articulate it.
- Stop trying to change your weakness. Seriously. Stop. Spend energy and time growing your strengths instead of focusing on your weakness. You’ll be way more productive. And happy. And who doesn’t want happy?
- Trust your strength. As you begin to harness and offer your strengths to the world you’ll become more and more who you really are and that is freedom. God gave you your specific strength for a reason and He has a purpose for it.
- Be your best. It sounds simple but no matter how confident or secure we are we can get sidelined by someone else really crushing it. Don’t try to be them. BE YOU. You don’t have the same set of skills, talents, strengths and experience they do. You have your own amazing collection and you can only crush it being you.
- Get better and go farther faster by creating a team or community. No great thing is created alone. Once you begin to know and hone your unique, beautiful strengths you’ll realize how much you need the gift of others’. Whether you’re building or creating something or merely living out your daily life, you need others with different strengths to balance, compliment and pour into your own.
Your greatest strength can often be your greatest weakness…but your greatest weakness may also be your greatest strength. God made you by design, not by accident. You were perfectly crafted and created to use the combination of experience, skill, talent and strength that He planted in you.
Don’t squash it because someone else doesn’t see it. Don’t reject it because someone else doesn’t value it. Don’t compare it because someone else is crushing it. Take the time to figure out who you are and how you’re wired; discover the strengths that are intricately woven into your DNA; fight the temptation to focus on your weakness; trust your strength; be your best; and find your people. God has amazing things He wants to do in and through you but you’ve got to let Him do it.
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