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4 Lessons That Are Hidden In Your Weaknesses

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focus on your strengths

We all have weaknesses. That isn’t really a problem, though. After all, if everyone has weaknesses, then the most successful people around have some, too. They succeeded despite them – or in some cases, because of them.

The truth is, if the world’s most successful people got where they are today without their weaknesses barring the way, your weaknesses needn’t bar your way to success, either. The only problem comes if you use your weaknesses to convince yourself that you can’t possibly succeed. But if you use your weaknesses wisely, you can find them to be a source of success.

Here are 4 things to remember about your weaknesses:

1. Your weakness may be someone else’s problem rather than yours

Not everything that someone else tells you is a weakness. Often we are quick to believe what others tell us. We feel judged and convicted by the court of others’ opinions. Yet the problem isn’t necessarily us. The other person may simply be wrong.

Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first job in television because the boss thought she was “too emotional” and “not right for television.” Rather than believe the boss’ verdict on her and try to tone down her trademark enthusiasm, she built on it. Eventually, she found someone who would let her use it. The result? She rode her enthusiastic nature into a billion-dollar career.

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” – Epicetus

2. Your weakness may only be in your own mind

We can build negatives up in our minds to the point where we feel they are insurmountable, when they actually aren’t. For example, a person may feel that the lack of a college degree eliminates them from any chance of success when in reality, it is highly possible to succeed without a college degree.

Sometimes all we need to do is change the way we look at our weakness. Actor, Bruce Willis, suffered a severe stutter for the first twenty years of his life. Rather than letting it isolate him from others, he used it as a way to develop a sense of humor about himself, put others at ease and make them laugh. Those qualities are a large part of what later made him an Emmy-winning actor and popular action movie star.

 

3. Your weakness may have a strength embedded in it

Go to any article on the topic of job interviews and you’re likely to find an article on the most dreaded question asked by employers: “What is your greatest weakness?” There’s something important to be learned from the advice given in those articles. Focus on the strength that accompanies your weakness.

For example, “I don’t do well with details,” is just a negative way of saying, “I’m good at focusing on the big picture or I’m too much of a perfectionist,” is a negative way of saying, “I’m very thorough and conscientious.”

Albert Einstein was considered slow and uninterested in learning as a child, always lost in abstract thoughts that were far removed from what his teachers were trying to teach him. But that penchant for abstract thinking ultimately led him to complex theories about time, space and matter that revealed his true genius.

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill

4. Your weaknesses can be defeated by effort

Sometimes it’s our efforts to overcome our greatest weaknesses, the tragedies that we face, that become the source of our greatest successes. Billionaire Richard Branson has made his fortune from being at the forefront of technological advancements. Yet no one who knew him in his childhood would ever have anticipated his success.

Branson is dyslexic. He struggled in school because little was known about dyslexia at the time. He was categorized as lazy, disruptive and uninterested in learning.

So, instead of focusing on reading about the technologies that fascinated him, he focused on surrounding himself with people who were experts in those technologies. He used his people skills to meld those experts into teams that could produce new approaches to old problems. Then he marketed the resulting products and services skillfully to build eight separate billion-dollar businesses.

Rather than focusing on the seemingly negative aspects of weaknesses, view them as they truly are, parts of what make you unique. Build on them to bring out the positives in them. Reassess them to see how you can use them in a positive manner.

Do you focus on finding the positives in your weaknesses or do you not focus on weaknesses all together? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Janet Anthony is a blogger from Kansas city and content writer at EssayKittens.com who has been writing professionally for five years now. She mostly writes about inspiration, blogging, motivation, and self-development. Her motto is “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows”. You can connect with Janet through her Twitter or Facebook.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Victoria

    Dec 22, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Janet, Wonderful article and you’re a very talented and insightful person. #3 resonated with me and I’m going to put this technique into very good use. Starting tomorrow ?
    Thank you very much and Merry Christmas?

  2. AUBRIE RICKETTS

    Jul 25, 2016 at 3:43 am

    Janet, what a great article. I think that embracing weakness is one of our biggest challenges. Great job assessing the four biggest weakness we need to address. Personally I think the biggest weakness is the one we have set in our own mind as you point out in #2. I often point out my weaknesses preventing someone else to do it for me. Do you think this contributes to the weakness or helps reveal it?
    Aubrie

  3. Toño

    Jul 25, 2016 at 2:40 am

    Janet, I enjoyed your article and actually got some deep thinking on definition my own weaknesses. I like your #1 point and now can see you’re very much right about. If one person has an idea about your abilities it means only that. It’s their perception and not necessarily the world truth. Love it!

    Thank you for great read, very well done, would like to read more in the future 🙂 Much love and appreciation~

  4. Chris

    Jul 23, 2016 at 5:38 am

    The stand out point for me here is that effort can overcome any weakness. I love the example’s of successful people that you use, I’d have to say my quote for effort over weakness would be Jack Nicklaus the golfer “The more I practice, the luckier I get”

    We do take what say people about is seriously and we shouldn’t. Your article shows just a handful of people that didn’t listen to other people or let their weaknesses get in the way, and we’re glad that they didn’t. The scary and almost sad thing about this is: if we think about how many people have listened to those negative people and walked away from their dreams, imagine how many more awesome people we would have in the world, it could be such a different place.

    Great article, thank you

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Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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