We hear "discover your strengths" and "don't worry about your weaknesses" all the time.
I do agree with this sentiment. But here's what I don't agree with. When people focus on their strengths exclusively, then the weaknesses they should be looking at and changing, are often not looked at and beyond that, forgotten about.
The ones I run into frequently - these "weaknesses" - are communicative in nature, directly impacting how others see us and how we see ourselves.
For instance, if people experience you as rude, but you describe yourself as blunt, that needs to be looked at.
If you can't stop interrupting, that's not okay. It's also BS, because you can. No one else is in control of your mouth. Believing you can't change something because of x, y, or z is the first problem.
The above examples are ones I commonly hear. They come from long-held beliefs and experiences you've had. Somewhere along the way you decided:
- I'm just blunt (accompanying thought often, "they need to not be so sensitive")
- This is just how I am (implied is, "there's no way I'll change, deal with it")
- I can't stop interrupting! (accompanying thought often, "besides, I'll forget what I want to say")
You've also had others confirm who you are (and aren't) so you really hold these beliefs about who, how, and why you are the way you are, deeply.
At this point if this is you, you may feel a little weird reading this - stomach a bit tense, goosebumps, relief washing over you, a little ill-at-ease, whatever. Something is shifting though.
But do realize: looking at this, changing some small aspect of you (the one that's popped into your mind) - it is actually possible for you to do that. It's free, and "trying on" even a small change can drastically improve your life - not to mention the lives of those you communicate with a lot.
Previously, when someone (this might be an ex) challenged you to get better at.... or stop being so... you wanted to get defensive, irritated and then withdraw.
You just couldn't quite see what their problem was. You felt wounded, vulnerable, and just not comfortable. You may have lashed out with your suggestions their improvement too. If this isn't you, you know someone who has reacted this way when YOU have suggested change.
It's the proverbial wheel in the cage mice run on, but it's our wheel. When someone tries to interrupt our motion and get us to look closer at what we are actually running on, we run faster as we defend who we are and lash out.
What we need to do is consider who we say we are outside of a difficult conversation, in the quiet, still moments - moments when nothing external will distract us.
Because sometimes, it's time for a change. That may be why your eyeballs landed here, because now is the right time for you to really stop and think about all this.
So if you are thinking "aha" or "hmm.....maybe there's something to this.." ponder for a moment with me.
Consider that what you tell yourself about who you are and who you are not may be limiting your life experience. So at the very least, this is worth thinking about. Could it be true?
Interested in talking about this more? Get my book (yes it's about a**holes, but so much more) on Amazon or from here if you want a signed copy - and contact me to discuss the speaking, training, and coaching services I offer.
Until next time, enjoy your day~