We each have our weaknesses, but that doesn’t make us weak. Don’t despair. Don’t give up. There are ways to turn each weakness into a strength. First, you have to be honest with yourself about what your weaknesses are. Then you can begin working on them. You'll be all the stronger because of it.
Here are some key ways you can transform your weaknesses into strengths to be proud of:
1. Appreciate your vulnerabilities.
Oftentimes, one's vulnerabilities are seen as shortcomings or soft spots, but that is not necessarily the case. It’s true that vulnerabilities are raw, messy, and often full of emotion. Where there are vulnerabilities, however, there is also depth and truth. There is openness and honesty. There is opportunity. Let the opportunity in!
2. Face your fears.
Be honest with yourself. Admit that you are afraid. That is the first step. Then, decide how you can and will deal with that fear. In doing so, you are making a plan. You are being proactive. Instead of letting your fears take over you, take a leap of faith and take over your fears. You will likely find out you can do more than you had ever thought possible — and enjoy yourself while doing it.
3. Grow from your mistakes.
No one is perfect. If you are human, you have made a mistake or two (or a few… but who’s counting?). What one does after making a mistake is what sets apart those who want to challenge themselves to change and those who will remain complacent and continue making the same mistakes. Don’t be complacent, but also, don’t be too hard on yourself. Learn from your mistakes. Perceive them as lessons learned or growing pains. Chances are you will come out a better version of yourself than if you had never made the mistake at all.
4. Embrace your discomfort.
Recognize what makes you feel uncomfortable. Find out why that is and, as Sheryl Sandberg would say, lean into it. Figure out what do about it so that you can channel that discomfort that’s keeping you from doing something you’re interested in into a discomfort that will push you to try something new. Apply that to everyday scenarios, and see what great change comes of it.
5. Celebrate your differences.
People oftentimes think that sharing similarities with others is what works best. While having similarities is important, differences make us each unique. They set us each apart. There is value in not blending in and instead standing out. Having new and different ideas, varying perspectives, and ways of being can foster more productivity and creativity. Don’t shy away from what makes you stand out; instead, highlight it.
6. Take good care of yourself.
This is sort of a catch-all for whatever other more specific weaknesses you might have (i.e. unhealthy indulgences and/or bad habits). Be honest enough with yourself to admit that you have something that needs to be changed. We are all works in progress, but life is not limitless. So, tune into your weaknesses and use them as fuel for self-care for your mind, body, and spirit. Only then can you begin to live a life guided by good and positivity.
Jackie is the owner of her blog Moments of Musing, where she writes about her life as a wife, mom, and more living in New York City. She works with survivors of intimate partner violence.