“First I overcame the pangs of isolation, born in an undesirable body in an unforgiving time. Next I addressed the fire of anger, as a result of rejection and mockery. From here I moved to the plane of denial, where the self met the hoard in a devious stew….
It was at this time I first faced the spectre of oblivion that had seemingly been ordained for one bearing my mark.
However, from this abyss, I manoeuvred into a new slipstream, meant for wanderers and thinkers alike.
Through this current I felt a freedom and a function, a form and fellowship, except this was a fellowship of one.
Within this singular race I ran a different sprint…one made from all the shortcomings that became shortcuts.
In the end, we arrive where we started. It is through rejection that I was forced to look inwards. It is inwards where I found a calling…this calling was telling me something I could already feel. Those who feel…are those who create.”
This is all about perception, bottom line and resilience, top line.
Using the famous SWOT analysis as an analogy for one’s life, how we handle decisions, changes and circumstances more or less dictates how we navigate through our years. By using the SWOT model you can start to see that a strength is relative to the opportunity and threat that coexist with it. Strength therefore, doesn’t live in isolation of the other elements of the model. Weakness is exactly the same. Weakness is relative to opportunity and threat too. Now here’s the cool part;
By understanding your strengths you can isolate your weaknesses and in doing so, put a plan in place to develop one and negate the overall effects of the other. If you ignore your weaknesses, they can only be linked to your threats, but if you acknowledge them and work on them, they become part of your life’s toolkit and not just something others can attack you with.
Now to Resilience:
Dealing with and managing weaknesses is by no means an easy win. This is where you have to show insight, foresight and hindsight. Insight, because you understand who you are, foresight because you are aware of how you need to be to progress and hindsight, because you’ve seen the effect of this issue in the past.
Insight+foresight +hindsight = Resilience
Weakness therefore is something you manage as opposed to something you are exposed by or help captive by. You control it, it doesn’t control you.
To be honest, my fundamental belief on this issue is that only the individual can ultimately make his/her life better for themselves. Words are hollow if not truly meant or backed up by sincere devotion to learning, change or action, regardless of who says them.
A good coach makes you want to be better because you have accepted your own need to want to be better. The coach cannot take your decisions for you or tell you what the right decisions were.
It’s not words that change your life, its perspective change, perception change and often a change in your understanding of purpose.
Facing the ‘self’ and removing the trait of denial is a sure fire way to eventually find a path or route to making your life better.
The advice of another is exactly that, advice. The actions of the individual will always outweigh external advice.
Actions change people and the best actions are those that have been taken as a result of knowing what, why and how the action was needed and having awareness of the outcome you want from the action.
For me this is not the way I approach the issue, but I do understand the question premise.
I deal with it this way….
I value my strengths and apply them to my life in the best way possible, knowing that sometimes it may not work out. In doing so, the amount of value I have for my strengths starts to turn into a desire to know them better as each day comes and goes.
For me therefore, knowing my strengths helps me value them, which indirectly provides a base for them to develop alongside my own personal development.
In terms of weaknesses, I see them as reminders of what happens when I don’t know/understand my strengths properly. For me, they are reminders o my fallibility, humanity and self. If I am cognisant of my strengths, it means I am aware of my weaknesses. Together, they stay in a symbiotic relationship and therefore do not need to duel with each other as ‘good and bad’, but as siblings trying to be raised the best way.
In a roundabout sort of way…yes. We are very binary creatures who ca get very afraid of the ‘grey’ areas of life. We tend to like the meta narratives of good and bad, but don’t like having to apply them to ourselves often.
So when things go wrong….we look for reasons…excuses and blame.
When things go right….we look for praise, reward and attention.
What we need to do is show more gratitude and awareness of situations and issues that affect us and others. We need resilience and respect, strength and compassion as mutual friends of each other, not exclusive entities that are laws ‘unto’ themselves.
‘IT’ can be anything from the meaning of life to the pay rise you think you deserve but haven’t really merited. Be real with your mindset and expectations will never be too far ahead of your abilities. No one can coach you into a successful person per say, into a ‘go-getter’ etc. Coaches who are good at their job give you the necessary ‘space’ to work out your own issues and needs. They don’t diagnose them for you. You have to do that for yourself. You have want to ‘work it out’. If not….read on.
We don’t like the idea of having to work ‘it’ out because:
We prefer to have things handed to us rather than have to work for them
Anything that challenges our need to be right automatically makes us disinterested
The idea of having to expend energy on pursuits that we can’t guarantee a selfish personal outcome for is beyond our imagination let alone our grasp
We would prefer to continue in ignorance rather than face the task of hard work, effort and sacrifice that may change both our mindset and worldview
We want to believe that things are the are the they way are even if they are causing us no great benefit as human beings
We struggle with what we don’t immediately understand
We will follow the crowd under the assumption that others are doing what we would have done had we be in the position of decision maker
If there is no apparent need for effort, we see that as evidence for us to leave matters as they are
If others have worked it out, then we can copy them
Working it out means we have to act and we generally don’t like being put on the spot to do so