Warning! Don’t Read This Unless You Want To Get Rid Of Weakness!

Ha! You can’t get rid of your weaknesses, so why are you giving it any attention at all?

You think you can get rid of your weaknesses, but you can’t.  You spend time and energy trying to make yourself better in an area you suck at!  This approach will never make you better at what you aren’t good at, it will just make you feel like a failure.  Have you noticed?  Have you ever thought that you should turn your weakness into a strength?  It won’t work.  You need to focus on what you are good at and let go of what you aren’t.  Guess what?  Someone else is good at what you horrendous at doing.  Hire them!

Our strengths our found in living our purpose.

We are strongest when we share our gifts with the world not when we are obsessing over what we don’t do well.  The best way to do make our significant contribution is by developing our natural talents into strengths.  In this process our purpose will manifest more easily and you’ll be happy camper.   You’ll feel more fulfilled.  You’ll experience life as an empowering adventure.  Don’t ask me how, I don’t know.  I just know fulfillment is the result of developing your innate gifts and you can’t do that when you are investing so much energy into what isn’t working.  Focus on what you are naturally good at and your weaknesses won’t get noticed.

You have natural talents.  Find them!

Each one of us has talents that are unique and endearing; they are innate in us.  Developing our talents is what will contribute the most powerfully to our expression.  When we develop our natural talents, they turn into our strengths.  Use your strengths to get ahead, not your weaknesses!  Our purpose is found somewhere in our strengths, not our weaknesses. 

Focus on your strengths not your weaknesses.

I’ve thought about this a lot and then I ran into Marcus Buckingham.  Online!  Do you know him?  He’s real cute.  I watched his segments on Oprah and then I snagged Michelle’s book before she left for China.  She’s only gone for ten days, so I had to read fast.  Marcus talks about Strengths and Weaknesses in his book, Now, Discover Your Strengths. He relates his concepts to the category of work and career, but I see the correlation to living your purpose.  He says to focus on your strengths and manage your weaknesses.  In our culture, we are taught to improve ourselves by improving upon our weaknesses.  Right?  Think about the last time you were told (or thought) that you should get better at something you hate doing.  Marcus doesn’t think focusing on your weaknesses works.  I don’t either!  First you need to know what your strengths are, so get his book and find your strengths.  Get a new book, because it has a code you can use to take a quiz.  This is not your typical personality type test that tells you to go into sales or marketing or pig farming.  It’s innovative!  I’ve already made some obvious discoveries about myself.  I say obvious, but until I learned what my strengths are, I just thought I needed to work on the other stuff.  Not true!

What are your strengths?

One of the exercises Marcus asks his clients to do is to identify the activities that leave them feeling strong and those that leave them feeling weak.  I did the exercise and have a deeper connection and understanding of myself than ever before.  It makes sense to me why I react in certain situations in the way I do.  After reading, watching, meditating, and journaling, I have a strength statement:

I feel strong when I connect with people in deep and meaningful ways!

This statement gives me goose bumps and makes me cry.  I knew this about myself, but not in the context of one of my most endearing strengths.  From this simple statement I understand myself in many circumstances I have found myself in.  Here’s an example:

I’ve always judged myself as incompetent when networking in large groups.  I hate it!  But after claiming one of my strongest themes: RELATOR! I can see why networking has been so difficult for me. I LOVE connecting with people and in large group I feel lost and disconnected, at least until I’ve established a connection.

Here is a description of RELATOR:  It’s all about relationships.  According to Marcus, a person with relator as his strength is comfortable being intimate and will be drawn toward people he already knows.  A superficial connection is spontaneously and instinctively deepened.  An authentic connection is desired.  Vulnerability and risk is evident as the ‘relator’ shares himself entrusting himself to the relationship.

That’s me! Now I know how important it is to understand, not judge, our behavior.  Recently, I attended an event with about 300 people.  I was told to bring LOTS of business cards.  In the first 20 minutes of the presentation, the speaker told us that we had 2 minutes to collect as many cards as we could.  Then he said, “GO!”  Immediately the person next to me asked me for my card.  I immediately responded with, “No!  I want to get to know you first.”  I spent the entire 2 minutes with this one person.  My behavior in this situation was instinctual and spontaneous.  I didn’t even have to think about my response.

At the time I thought I did it all wrong, but today I can see that to connect with others in deep and meaningful ways is instinctual for me.  I don’t have to be something that I am not because the weakness dictates what I should develop.  No!  Connecting is natural and invigorates me.  Someone without my strength would have a different experience and depending on her strength may even be invigorated by the networking process.  Yuck!

Focus on your strengths!

Do you get what I’m saying?  I’ll never rid myself of this weakness (Marcus calls this strength ‘Woo’).  The best I can do is manage my weaknesses.  Maybe I team up with someone who loves to network.  Maybe Michelle is up in front of 10,000 people speaking her heart out, loving every minute of it.  And me?  What am I doing?  Greeting people.  Welcoming them.  Connecting with them.  I love that.  We both get to do what we are naturally good at!  We get to focus on our strengths and what turns us on.  It’s different for each of us!

What do you think?

I want to know who you are and what strengthens you.  I want to support you.  Not you as a group, I am not talking to the group!  I am talking to you!  I want to know you as a person.  When I write, I know I am talking to a large group of people… But that doesn’t do it for me.  I am invigorated by our interaction.  I am strengthened by the connection we make.  Every comment is important to me.  Every person who subscribes means something to me–a connection!

And now I know that everyone isn’t like me.  Guess what?  There is nothing wrong with any of us.  We’ve just been focusing on the wrong doohickey’s.  It’s only when I judge your weakness that I can’t see your strength.  Here is what Marcus has to say about interpretation:

“And for some strange reason when we do have a precise, commonly agreed upon word for a strong pattern of behavior, the word we use often has a negative connotation…[someone] who can’t wait to act?   She is impatient or impulsive.  People who are brilliant at imposing order and structure on the world?  Anal…People who anticipate and are always asking “What if?”  Worriers.  Whichever way wee look at it, we don’t have a rich enough language to describe the wealth of human talent we see around us.”  –Marcus Buckingham Now, Discover Your Strengths.

Getting rid of your weaknesses is a waste of your time!

Does this make sense to you?  You can’t get rid of your weaknesses.  Ever!  But, focusing on your strengths will have a huge impact on your life.  Marcus made a connection with me through his writing and I have transferred that connection to my work.  Your purpose is found in your strengths.  There can be no other way.  My purpose is to teach concepts that empower people to transform their lives.  Someone with strengths other than mine can teach the same concepts, but they’ll do it in a different way.  I need to teach these concept through deep and meaningful connections.  And as I develop my strengths more fully, my purpose will expressed more and more effortlessly.  So will yours.  Give it a try.  And, please….pretty please… let me know how it goes.

One more thing…  I’m NOT a blogger!

I’ve always resisted being called a blogger, and now I know why.  I didn’t believe I could connect as deeply as I instinctively want to.  Ha! Weakness?  No, I can adopt a new perspective and use my strength of ‘relator’ and make the connections I desire.  I am submitting this to problogger.  To connect!

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