It’s time to slay your biggest weakness by facing it head-on and overcoming it. Here’s how.
Let’s face it, we all have weaknesses — and most of us ignore them, pretend they don’t exist, and choose to focus only on our strengths, which means we don’t do anything about our shortcomings. So they grow and continue to hold us back.
Here’s the straight truth: your biggest weakness is a security blanket (more on that later) that’s preventing you from achieving your full potential.
The good news is that you’re in good company — because most people are in the same boat. But that’s not a good excuse for not trying to overcome your biggest weakness. And you can overcome it, but only if you’re willing to face it.
Before we go any further, I want to be clear about something. Overcoming your greatest weakness won’t be easy. In fact, it will likely be quite difficult. But people do it every day. And so can you.
How can you learn to face your weakness and finally overcome it? There are five key steps to facing and overcoming a weakness, steps that will help you face it head-on and finally conquer it:
1. Lean Into Your Imperfection
Facing your weakness requires you to acknowledge and accept that you’re not perfect. And acceptance means that you’re okay with this simple truth and can admit it to yourself and others.
Why is it that human beings accept that people, in general, aren’t perfect, yet are embarrassed to admit their own imperfections? One word: vulnerability. Imperfection and weakness mean that we’re vulnerable.
Being vulnerable opens a host of scary emotions that you don’t want to feel. But I’m going to suggest that you turn that vulnerability on its head and leverage it to your benefit.
How? By leaning into it, feeling all the emotions that you’re meant to feel, and recognizing that it’s courageous to do so. Because letting go and allowing yourself to feel the raw emotions that come with being vulnerable is brave. And it’s time you acknowledge that bravery and claim it.
This process is how you’ll face your biggest weakness — and it will also help you make the radical changes you need to overcome it.
2. Tap Into Why You Want to Make a Change (and What It Will Do for You)
Your next step is all about getting clear on why you want to overcome your weakness in the first place. Now, if you’re thinking that this is easy to do, you’re only partially correct. Because I want you to get extremely specific (which may not be so easy).
Ask yourself what would be different about your life, how you’d live it, and how you’d feel should you conquer your weakness. Answer all three questions (because they are different) and then ask yourself what benefit you’ll get out of that (the benefit of the benefit).
This forces you to go much deeper, so that you have a big enough reason to be willing to do the work that’s necessary to conquer your weakness.
For example, assume you have a habit of not showing up to functions and events that you’ve committed yourself to. It’s a huge weakness you know you should work on.
You realize that, should you overcome this weakness, you’ll be getting out more often (and hence connecting with more people), no longer be lying to others or yourself, and stop feeling guilty.
The benefits of those benefits are that you’ll feel more loved and cared for, be living in alignment with who you want to be, and feel more happiness and positivity about yourself and your life. These latter benefits are more likely to keep you working hard toward changing your behavior.
3. Ask Yourself How Your Weakness Is Serving You (Because It Is, In Some Way)
Remember I mentioned that your weakness is a security blanket? It’s time to figure out what this weakness has been doing for you. Because it’s been developed over time as a way of coping or dealing with the world around you and the people in it.
Ask yourself what purpose your weakness is serving. How is it helping you? When asking yourself this question, consider what you might be hiding from.
I know these are difficult questions — and likely push you back into the realm of vulnerability. But remember: being vulnerable is what will help you make the radical changes you want. And it shows that you’re courageous (feel free to remind yourself of this often).
Once you identify how your weakness has been serving you, ask yourself whether you need this service any longer. Question the assumptions you’ve been making that have allowed you to lean into your weakness.
There’s usually a deeper meaning behind why you’ve allowed your weakness to hang around — so get clarity on what that is and find a new way to deal with it.
4. Leverage Your Strengths
Now is the time to list your strengths. If you’re having trouble getting started, don’t stress over it. Everyone has strengths — even you!
Ask several people for what they perceive to be your top three to five strengths to get started. Even if you can list some of your own, I recommend that you ask others for their thoughts (because they likely see you differently than you see yourself).
Once you have your list of strengths, ask yourself how you can leverage one or more of them to help you overcome your weakness.
How will this work? Let’s go back to the example above and assume that you’ve identified that two of your strengths are overcoming obstacles and connecting with people on a deep level when you’re in their presence.
Based on this, you decide that you’ll re-frame your weakness as an obstacle to be conquered. You’ve done this before and know that you can do it again and it will help your mind shift into action mode.
Given the second strength listed above, you also realize that the events you haven’t been showing up to are opportunities to use your gift of connection. And you decide to focus on the benefits that you receive from these opportunities (because they make you more likely to want to show up).
At the end of the day, you’re using your strengths to re-frame your weakness and shift your mindset (making it easier to change your behavior). The mind is powerful and it’s time you use it to help you conquer your weaknesses.
5. Get the Support You Need
Conquering your biggest weakness isn’t done overnight and (as mentioned above) may not be easy. It takes hard work and repetition, which is why you’ll need support.
Remember that you’re human — meaning that help is sometimes needed. Everyone has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. So why not utilize the strengths of your family and friends?
There are others who have been through the same thing and conquered it. Ask questions and seek their support for they’ve been where you are now and can provide you with guidance and encouragement.
You know people who can keep you accountable. Grab hold of them and ask them to provide you some gentle accountability. Having this support will make it easier to do the work necessary to face your weakness head-on, help you to stay the course in changing your behavior, and may even speed up the process.
This process won’t be easy. It’s about facing your fears, your doubts, and what makes you feel vulnerable. And working hard to overcome what makes you weak. It’s about change, which is scary.
But change is constant, so you might as well take control and change something that will benefit you and your life. Because you’re so worth it.
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: How To Face Your Biggest Weakness (So You Can Finally Overcome It).