I have been reading a book about how we should all focus on our strengths in life and abandon our weaknesses and I just had to write a blog on it as a life and business coach for the sake of those out there who might give up there dreams based on such a concept.
At first, I thought this might actually be a good concept and in some way’s, I agree with it, but I also completely disagree with giving up growing in a weak area and I want to share with you why.
If I had listened to this advice growing up I would have never learned how to use my strengths to overcome dyslexia. I would have just said, ‘Well I was born with dyslexia so forget reading and writing.” But instead I found within that weakness what my strength was, focused on that and as a result, I became a genius in reading and writing.
So when we are telling people to stop growing in weak areas what we are really saying is, “If you cannot accomplish the end goal the same as everyone else on the planet and if it is work for you then just forget about trying.” But that isn’t how overcomers are created, that is not how anyone overcomes anything in life.
Some of you know that in 2009 a year after I had just started a podcast I had a doctor tell me I had a communication disability and that to overcome I had to focus on my strength in speaking. That was preparing and presenting. He said if I did that one day I would become a genius speaker.
I didn’t think to myself, well I can’t speak so I am just going to give up speaking. Instead, I made it to be the center of my success and it would be required of me to succeed. For six years I prepared and presented on a podcast, now I keep doing videos and TV Hosting and my speaking abilities have expanded beyond what I thought possible. I can speak in front of a group with ease. Have I hit the genius zone yet? I don’t know I will have to have an IQ test again to determine that.
In fact, if you really think about it...the way that many new inventions are created are because of a weakness and determining what a new strength could be in that weakness. Not ignoring the weakness. If Thomas Edison had done that in creating the light bulb failing a thousand times before he succeeded, he would have just though "inventing this is not my strength". Instead, he kept looking for the strength and finally found it!
But my point is this. If I had listened to “focus on what you are good at” I wouldn’t have the success I have today and I doubt any successful person would. In fact, there are a lot of things I do that I am still learning. Such as creating quality videos, learning how to use my camera and trying to be more creative with what I have. And it not only allows me to learn new things, challenges me to grow as a person but also has given me great satisfaction to grow over time and get better at something over time.
We want things fast and not everything in life is fast if you are willing to really go for what you want. I believe that if we focus on what we want and find our strengths within that thing we can do anything.
So the next time someone tells you to be “self-aware” and focus on what you are good at. Throw that advice out the window and use the self-awareness to do the work you need to do in order to achieve your dreams. It may take you longer to get there but make no mistake you can do anything if you don’t give up. Add your strengths to the mix within your weakness and you will be unstoppable.