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.
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
It’s not often that we can be honest, in its most raw form. Honest that is, with our own selves. Of course, the world outside is increasingly fraught with social regression and a form of self-imposed recidivism (we are going backwards into groupthink). The level of stress placed on our shoulders, the expectations we carry, the lack of time and patience. These are all creating a ‘loop’ of constant tension, be it for arbitrary or profound issues alike.
Now this may sound a little OTT, but the gist is as follows; it is becoming a more stressful world and the term stress has many meanings and associations with other behaviour patterns such as tension, lack of confidence and direction. For this piece, I wanted to focus our attention on a type of stress that we bring to our own door. The type we create with bad ideas and even worse decisions. Admittedly, this is a tough pill to swallow, but if you truly have a desire to improve your sense of self and develop your abilities, then this form of self-reflection is essential to that exact progress you seek. So let’s dive in and examine in short and easy to understand statements, how we bring stress to our selves.
How self-created stress emerges…from the actions of others to my own:
Created when I lack control over my environment (things that I directly influence)
Arises when others do not take responsibly for their actions and choices and neither do I
Arises when I make the wrong choice or action but deny it
Created when I promise too much to myself or someone else and can’t fulfil
Proves that I’m still ‘living’ but most likely have things worked out in a less effective fashion and this has impacted on me
Proves that I still matter to someone or something enough for it to create ‘meaningful’ dilemmas, but I might be approaching matters incorrectly
Something that happens when you want something too much (unrealistic expectations)
When you need a break or rest (but refuse to acknowledge it)
The natural environment of modern society and its processes (I just accept it and don’t fight back with passion and vision)
Interestingly, the last one is very strange, because it is as much about stress as it about or own inability to recognise how much ground we concede to norms and values without questioning them. Slowly, they build a wall of passive acceptance in us despite our own path becoming difficult. We end up taking on the stress because we don’t feel we can resist these conventions and therefore by default, we accept change is not a realistic option for us.
Stress is about manageable emotions and feelings that have been allowed to manifest themselves as more. They become like bullies, like a ignorant person you meet who you know should know better, yet they don’t. Stress arises from normal mundane matters that have become more siginificant due to our own lack of will, time or understanding in how to handle them originally. Stress nags your mind, preys on your weaker thoughts and exacerbates existing negative perceptions we may hold. Showing greater will, determination and awareness generally results in you being more able to address matters and make decisions. Nerves are different to stress and anxiety is different to it also. If we can learn to separate the nature of the emotion being felt, we have a chance to work on its root cause or least put in place steps to help limit impact.