September 20, 2016

Find The Strengths In Your “Weakness”


I have something to admit… something I wouldn’t have admitted in the past because I thought it was a fault of mine—a weakness—and perhaps it still is by some standards, but I’ve come to see it’s also my strength.

You see, I’m a bit of a chameleon.

I’ve always wanted to run from that fact, and I’ve always wished it wasn’t true… but it is. It’s one of those things you always secretly fear about yourself, and don’t want to admit, because you think it means awful things—because you haven’t really questioned that.  The truth is I can blend very well with a wide variety of crowds and people, and I’ve always been able to do that. The truth is I can understand and “fit in with” all kinds of different groups, and different styles…

and up until now, I thought that was about the worst thing you could be. That it meant that I had no true originality of my own. That it meant that I was nothing really special… that it meant that I was really just a fraud.

But then one day it hit me just how much this “weakness” of mine has served me in life and in business, in ways I never realized, or knew it could. Being a chameleon of sorts means you are not super stuck to one identity,  it means you have the power to shift perspectives easily and often, it means you have the ability to understand and “get inside” a wide variety of view points.

Blending-in gives you extremely keen powers of observation. Being able to “change colors” means you’re not stubbornly cemented-in to one style or view.

What this means to my job is that I am able to design for a wide variety of clients, with a wide variety of needs and perspectives. It means I am not stuck delivering them MY VISION and tastes, over and over again, it means I am an expert at bringing out THEIR VISION, because I know how to watch, to observe, and to design for that vision — instead of for my own.

It means I genuinely listen to them, and see them, as they are, instead of imposing my own voice, opinions and ideals over top of them.  It means I let them shine, instead of trying to make ME shine.

What this means to my life is that I’m able to do the same for my family and friends.  It means I get to be there WITH them, and that they can come as they are, and be seen, and understood. Because I DO understand… because I’ve listened.  I’ve paid attention to who they are, and what they value.

It matters to me to understand them,
because it helps me understand myself.

It turns out this chameleon thing I’ve loathed and feared about myself for years is not a liability at all, it’s an asset. It doesn’t mean the things I feared it does.

It doesn’t mean I have no originality—because my unique abilities to blend and observe lead to truly original creations all the time. It doesn’t mean I’m really a fraud, because a fraud is someone who pretends to be something they’re not, I don’t pretend to be something I’m not… I find, in myself, the something of them that I ALREADY AM… and I can always find that.  I find the place I connect. It’s always there to be found.

And what about you??  Perhaps you can ask yourself about some of your own assumed “weaknesses”, and find out some ways that they are actually your strengths.

Ask what do those weaknesses help you to do more of?  What do they make you keenly aware of, or sensitive to?  Or how do they enable you to help, once you’ve learned from them?

Do this for yourself, and see that you have nothing to be ashamed of… dare I say, you might even have a brand new thing to celebrate about you, your business, and the unique presence you bring to the world.

So often the things that look like a terrible mistake,
are really precious gifts in disguise.