For the sake of this post, I am going to assume we all have weaknesses and strengths. If this is not true of you, my congratulations or condolences. I am not sure which.
I am also going to assume that most of us don’t like to do what we are bad at (weaknesses) and prefer to do what we’re good at (strengths).
The exciting thing is, we can leverage our strengths to avoid using our weaknesses as often!
Recognize Your Weaknesses
For example: As soon as I get my heart set on a new idea, I’m like the squirrel in Ice Age that pours all its energy into holding, coddling, and chasing my precious acorn. I will scale cliffs, confront polar bears, cut a hole in the ice with toenail clippers–whatever it takes.
However, thirty minutes later, when a walnut slides in, I abandon my poor acorn pursuit of the new nut.
Before you start crying over the acorn’s fate, let’s look at the positives. The first step to change is acknowledging the problem. I accept that I will always be a powerful “quick start” that does not understand the word “consistency.”
Instead of trying to fix our weaknesses, recognize that we have equally as powerful strengths.
Once we’ve acknowledged our problem and our strengths, there’s just one step.
Leverage Your Strengths
I admit, when I heard the number one component of a successful blog is consistency I considered quitting before I began. When I heard most bloggers quit after 18 months, I gasped. If most people failed at blogging in that short of time, I was destined for failure.
Then I remembered my quick start strengths.
Right now, (December 6th, 2014) my energy is passionately pouring into this blog. I talk blog. I think blog. I write blog. Instead of letting that energy go to waste, I’m pouring it into archiving posts.
I have a list of 50 blog titles I’d like to write and 27 drafted posts. You may not see some of these posts until March or August of next year, (and for that reason, I’m hoping blogposts are like fine wine and cheese–better when aged) but I have them as back-ups. I’m taking the excitement of the new and fresh and storing away provisions for the winter.
That way, when I’m over chasing my walnut, I will still be able to provide for my acorn.
That’s me. What about you?
Do you get stuck in ruts and stick with projects to the bitter end?
Use your scheduling abilities to plan one unusual, out-of-the-box event each month (Skydiving, bird watching, going to a different grocery store). Shake your patterns and keep from growing old and dull.
Don’t remember where you put . . . anything?
Use your people skills to convince your organized friend to help you make specific places for everything.
Can’t resist those shopping cravings?
Use your love of new things to encourage good habits. Every time you leave the store with ONLY what was on your shopping list, add $5 to your “end of the month” shopping trip jar. (You’ll spend less, and end up with less junk you don’t need).
Over analyze everything?
Research the negative effects over-analyzation has on your life and the ways you can avoid it. Make a list of the facts and tape them on your door. Analyze the list before you go to bed.
Make decisions hastily without all the facts?
Use that initial urge to “do-something-now” to immediately fill out an Impact Filter. (A post coming soon about a vital tool our family adapted from where my dad works as a life coach). If it still sounds like a good idea, do it. If all the facts don’t line up, you will talk yourself out of it.
Too driven and demanding of others?
Use your intense will power to force yourself to say a positive thing to each person you meet. They’ll perform better, and give you more slack if you impatiently tell them to step up to the plate.
I don’t know what your weakness or strengths are, but you do. (If you don’t, take the Kolbe A Index)
Take a moment to think about your greatest weaknesses.
Instead of trying to change how you’re hardwired, think of how you could leverage your deeply grooved strengths to avoid succumbing to your weaknesses.
It won’t work every time.
Sometimes we need other individuals in our lives to synergize with and compensate for our weaknesses.
But even this small mindset shift can be powerful.