E021. Full Transcription - Sensibly Happy Podcast

Hello, everybody! You are listening to the 21-st episode of Sensibly Happy podcast. This episode is about weaknesses and their role in our lives.

You have probably asked yourself: “what makes one person more successful than another?” And this is a really valid question. Because if it’s something which we can control, we can use it in our daily life and be more successful as well. I’m convinced that there are some reusable ingredients of success. In this episode we are talking about weaknesses and their advantages and disadvantages. Also, we will talk about the ways to fight weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

Do you have weaknesses?

Hello everyone! Welcome to the 21-st episode of the Sensibly Happy podcast! And today, as always, we will speak about the practical aspects of happiness: what and how can we change in our lives to be happier? This episode is about our weaknesses. Do you have some? I bet you do. Do you want to know how to become stronger? Continue listening.

What weaknesses do we have?

I do have different weaknesses. Most of those I see and understand. And every time it shows up, it hurts me. And of course, there are other weaknesses, which I’m not aware of. But let’s put it aside for now. So you have different weaknesses. Some of those are related to knowledge or education, others are about physical abilities – how quickly you can run, or move, or you just can’t perform specific activities.

Also, we have different face and body features which we are not proud of, and we would be happy to cure that somehow. And of course, emotional specifications play a major role in our life. The list of weaknesses is very long; you know that. But we also imagine our weaknesses by comparing us to others.

For instance, hairless people, in most cases would like to have long and thick hair, but people who have that often don’t appreciate it. And sometimes they are thinking about shaving bold; me, for example. What I’m saying is that sometimes when we are ourselves, we want to be like someone else. And in that case, we treat that difference as our weakness. It looks like we didn’t have too many weaknesses, that’s why we’ve decided to choose one more new weakness. Anyway, it doesn’t matter if those weaknesses are real or imagined once; it makes us feel uncomfortable, and even hurts sometimes.

Know your weakness? Change it to a goal

But I have good news for you. Since you realize that you know about your weaknesses, you can convert that knowledge into a goal. There is an interesting dictum, “The problem is a poorly defined target.” That means that every problem could be converted to a goal by understanding what you don’t like, and what result you want to have. After you’ve realized and admitted that you have such weakness, you can start converting it to something good. Should you change yourself or stay as you are? The answer always depends on the situation and your own decision.

How to fight your weaknesses? Possible options

“But what are the options?” you may ask. And of course, your question is reasonable. You have several options, at least those that I know about.
  • The first one is to hire skills to hire a skilled person.
  • The second option is that you can work hard on your weakness to change it. In that case, you can spend your efforts to become stronger.
  • The third option, you can build your weakness up and direct it to a new goal.
  • And the fourth option is to leave it as your special feature which makes you unique.
Of course, understand that till that moment it’s just a theoretical statement. So, let’s talk about every single case in details.

1. Hire skills

You can hire skills that you are missing to cover some specific area. In most situations, it applies to a business or some kind of services. For instance, to fix some broken device, cut grass on your lawn, or perform a photo session. Those kinds of tasks require a lot of experience or a lot of your time and to improve in those areas would be a good idea for you only in case you like the process, or you want to make some money with that. Otherwise, that kind of weakness is not your weakness, but just a different sphere where you don’t have experience right now.

2. Overcome your weaknesses by working hard

The second option is that you can work hard to overcome that weakness. To be clear, this kind of weakness is one that you can change somehow. I believe that we can change most of the things. But it’s always about the number of resources, about the amount of your time, of your efforts, cause of changes, and consequences of those changes. If you understand the price, and you are so desperate to chase that weakness that you’re ready to pay the price, then welcome to the challenge.

What challenge am I talking about? That could be the goal to change your body, to change your mental and emotional abilities, to change your profession, job, friends, place of living, and so on. I believe that you can become the author of your destiny in most cases. Let’s say, you realize your weaknesses, and you know that many people around you don’t have that weakness. And you’ve just converted that weakness into a goal to become a person who does have that extra skill or extra feature.

Why do weaknesses make you a better performer?

You know that other people have that extra skill, but you don’t. Sometimes, it can make you very strong that you’re able to practice a lot, much more than people who have that extra skill. What does it mean? That means that when you start practising, and will keep practising, at some moment, you can become much more skillful than others. Why? Because they stopped in their growth at some moment of their life, but you continue practising and moving forward all the time while they’re staying. Just realize that thing. Right now, you are much weaker than others in that sphere. But your weaknesses push you hard to spend much more effort than others and achieve better results than others.

One more interesting benefit of having that weakness: it lets you see what others don’t see, because, for them, it’s a natural behaviour or a situation without realizing and understanding that. And if you ask them, “How do you do this?” you can often receive the answer, “I don’t know. I always do that. I’ve never thought about that.” By having that weakness, you’re blessed to see what others don’t see, to keep asking questions, and dive deep into the topic.

Changes in creative spheres

You can say, “Yeah, sure we can change something in a different sphere. But there are a lot of different spheres where we can’t change a lot, for instance, art. Someone is gifted, but others are not.” But I can object here as well. There is a style in the art which is called Bauhaus. It was established in the 20th century, and one of the prominent artists of this style once told an interesting thing, “To be an artist you should be gifted, you should naturally do those things. But if you’re not gifted, you should learn it. And often, the results from a gifted and an educated person are similar. So, keep that in mind and don’t get yourself off this court too early.”

Keep asking questions, be annoying

Do you have that goal – to fight with your weakness? Work hard and ask a lot of questions. Sometimes, you might think, “Why bother other people with those questions? I have that weakness, but it doesn’t mean that I should annoy other people.” But I don’t agree with you. Keep asking, keep being annoying. Dig deep to the root. And sometimes you can find the expert who is looking for someone like you, someone as passionate as you are. And this is where a new relationship starts. If you want to know something, you have questions, be yourself and ask those questions!

Working on your outfit

Another aspect of your weaknesses is how you look. Some of you feel that you don’t look very good, you might feel like you have strange proportions of your body, and you know that you don’t like yourself in the mirror. But in such situations, people often have wrong clothes which makes the problem more dramatic.

But you know what? If you have such a problem, you can partially fix it with changing your clothes. And this is not about spending a piggy bank on it; it’s about selecting the right items, you need to spend more time on searching and fitting. Even if only one out of 20 items fitted you well, that would be the result that will help you. So, this is all about the amount of effort about being self-determined.

Search for an expert who would help you

In most spheres, you can find someone, some experts, who can help by guiding you. If it’s about your look, that expert can tell you what’s good for you and what’s not. If it’s about some skills, the expert can guide you in your first steps and with the development of a plan.

But please, don’t stick to the first expert that you’ve found on the Internet because every expert has own level of skillfulness, as well as an approach to interacting with others. And the best for you would be to find someone whose messages, ideas, and guidance is easy digestible for you.

3. Change the way you see your weaknesses

The third option for you if you have some weakness is to build it up by switching your point of view. I don’t mean changing the situation even to a worse one. What I’m saying is that you can look differently on your situation, on your weakness.

There’s one interesting book ‘How to turn your weaknesses into strengths’ written by David Kerpen. And there is one idea on how we can treat some of our weaknesses as our strengths. The idea is that for some weaknesses we can find strengths by shifting our mindset. For instance, weakness – irresponsible and strength – adventurous; weakness – childish, strength – playful; weakness – inconsistent, strength – flexible; weakness – talkative, strength – expressive, and much more other pairs. Think about that.

Do you remember being berated for some of your features? And can you recall some person who most likely has a similar issue, but is famous right now? This is what I’m talking about. Change your way of thinking about your weakness!

4. Treat your weakness as a special feature

And the fourth option is to leave your weakness as your special feature which makes you unique. And one of the examples is about a person who had a severe stuttering. Long story short, it was really hard for that person to speak, to make up words and sentences, but he studied the piano and discovered jazz style for himself. He was lucky to be introduced to the art of scat singing. This is an art of vocal improvisation without words.

By being very enthusiastic in music, he recorded the first album where he played the piano. And then, thanks to his friends who convinced him to record his voice, he recorded his single, which is called Scatman. Yes, it is about a singer whose name is Scatman John, and his record was sold in millions of copies. This is what I’m talking about. By being unique, with having that specific feature, you can become someone special.

Example of weakness - volatility

Here’s an example from my life, which shows how I’ve been working with one of my biggest weaknesses. And this is a lack of self-discipline or volatility. Starting from university, I was interested in different things. Of course, I dreamt about my own business and making money, but I wasn’t able to achieve anything, to establish any business because every time I was thinking about some new idea in one-two months, I would start getting bored of that idea because, at that moment, I’d discover a new one. And all the time pragmatic ideas, crazy ideas, every time I was interested in something new.

Then, life pushed me to be pragmatic, to be a good employee, and to stick to one topic, and then I started receiving good results. At that moment, I understood that the main key is self-discipline. So, I worked hard to develop it. And I think I succeeded in that. You can listen to the episode E009 – ‘Motivation vs self-discipline’ to learn more about that.

But also, several years ago, I’ve discovered that this weakness is not volatility, it’s a strength which I can call curiosity. I’m capable of being interested in a lot of different topics, and in exploring each of those and to have some conclusions. And as a result, I’m able to create new concepts, new ideas, which are the results of the synthesis of my knowledge from different spheres. To fight with that weakness of not being focused on a single thing, I’ve unconsciously chosen two options. One was to work hard to overcome it and another – to build it up, to change my point of view, to treat it as a strength.

Some recommendations on weaknesses

You don’t need to work with every single weakness you have. Should you be an ideal person? I doubt it. But if your weakness hurts you, you should work with it. And you can’t change it; you probably understand that this is not a one-day journey to change your weakness into something good. But from my perspective, it’s worth all the efforts. In your journey of improving yourself, it is a really good idea to help others with the same issue. Because by helping them you become stronger, and you’ll learn much quicker.

If you don’t have an acquaintance in your environment, then try to find the environment, probably on the Internet, where there are such struggling people. Treat your weaknesses as blind spots. That means that those are areas where you are not experienced enough. And that means that you should find some advice, some help, or some guidance from experts.

Your task for the next week

  • The first step, choose three of your weaknesses and described them in detail.
  • The second step, decide what option out of four points that I’ve explained in this episode would be the best to choose from to deal with that exact weakness.
  • The third step, write a plan for each of those weaknesses, how you gonna deal with them.
  • And the fourth step, start bringing your plan into life.
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