Weaknesses are personal. What you perceive to be your weakness, others may perceive to be a gift. What one person sees as a weakness in his or her life, the next person may see as a blessing.
Many people have marvelous gifts and incredible talents but focus on one or two of their shortcomings. They have a hard time moving past their weakness and focusing on their strengths. People with healthy self-esteem are usually those who have learned that their weaknesses are not death sentences and that they have other qualities to compensate for their deficiency.
Shortcomings are just that, short. They are not massive-life-threatening-impossible-comings. Often, our shortcomings, or perceived shortcomings, can be a result of comparisons to other people and their lives.
As discussed earlier in this book, comparing your life and talents to other people is a dangerous thing, especially when working to build healthier self-esteem. Other people do not have your life, your successes, your setbacks, your triumphs, your family, your friends, your struggle, or your soul.
To compare yourself and your shortcomings to another person is to invalidate all that you are in every other area of your life.
“In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”
— Albert Camus
Overcoming your weaknesses may seem impossible, but it is not. People do it every day. You have probably overcome many weaknesses and not really even noticed it. Moving past your shortcomings requires that you love yourself enough to nurture yourself.
If you had a friend who needed help and assistance, physically, emotionally, or mentally, you would go to that friend in an instant. Now, you must move toward the view that
Some ways to nurture yourself include:
Find what you love to do and make time — schedule time — to do it.
Meet the basic needs of your body (food, shelter, rest, intimacy).
Get a massage, learn yoga, or meditate to relax your body more.
Surround yourself with positive, supportive friends.
Allow yourself to grow emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually.
Give yourself a break from self-criticism and negative self-talk.
Give yourself a break from others' criticism and negative feedback.
By following these simple yet monumental tips, you can begin to feel better about yourself, thus allowing you to focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses.
Weaknesses Be Gone!
Another part of nurturing yourself is allowing yourself the opportunity to properly identify and work toward minimizing your weaknesses. You may never rid yourself completely of them, but if they disturb you and are obstructing your self-esteem development, it is important to identify them correctly and work toward improving or eliminating them.
The first step in this process is to stop procrastinating. You may have complained and griped about these weaknesses for years, but now is the time to act. Procrastinating will not eliminate the problem, nor will it allow you to work successfully to overcome it.
The next step is to stop avoiding your weak spots. If you really want to work on them, you must face them head-on. You will need to be relentless in your pursuit of elimination or reduction.
Fighting your weaknesses will require that you are mentally and emotionally aware at all times. It means that you are going to literally “stalk” your shortcomings until you change them or until they no longer concern you.
Avoiding the task or putting the task off until a later date can only serve to damage your attempts and your self-esteem. You will need to make a dedicated decision to work on your weaknesses every day.
Other ways to reduce or eliminate your weaknesses include:
Visualize your life without the perceived weakness.
Set realistic goals to overcome the weakness.
Work toward that goal with every action and interaction in which you engage.
Talk to others about your attempts to overcome this weakness.
Catch yourself actually not doing the “thing” and reward yourself.
Do not become compulsive about this shortcoming.
Do not engage in self-defeating habits to eliminate the weakness.
Remember that every person in the world has weaknesses. Those who proclaim that they do not are sadly mistaken. Don't let this shortcoming overwhelm you or consume you. Remember, just admitting that you have it is half the battle in eliminating it.