I often get to interact with amazing people who are so focused on their shortcomings that they fail to notice the areas in which they excel. They beat themselves up for struggling with “___________” or not being good at “______________.” Phrases like, “if only…” dominate our conversations. It may go against conventional wisdom but I often find myself telling folks to quit trying to improve the areas in which they are weak.
Embracing weakness can be very freeing. It allows you to invest your energy in more productive directions and enables you to see your strengths more clearly. Personal limitations don’t have to be bad things. They can serve as guides and boundaries that can help point us in what is often the opposite direction.
I cringe when I hear parents tell their kids that they can do anything in life if they just apply themselves hard enough. This may sound harsh but that’s probably just not true. Most of us are, well, just average and all of us fall below even that at some point. Most folks find contentment by having a balanced understanding of what they’re good at and what they’re not so good at. This allows them to focus on the former while figuring out how to survive the latter.
A lot of it comes down to being honest with your-self and creating a strengths-based identity. It’s probably a waste of time trying to be something that you’re not capable of. If you have a hard time assessing your strengths, ask your friends or family for help. Sometimes acknowledging and accepting weaknesses can be especially difficult. Counseling can help with perspective building and can help generate insight that may help you get unstuck.