Weaknesses. We all have them. We all talk about them, and we all work on them. Weaknesses are a reflection of something that blocks your internal motivator – your Why It Matters. Unique to you, your Why It Matters is the driving force behind what you do. It is at your center, your core.
Your weaknesses typically show up when you are unable to satisfy, fulfill or realize your Why It Matters – it’s been thwarted or threatened. If you can figure out when a weakness first appears, then you can identify the threat and fix it.
For example, Adam Levine is a get-it-done kind of guy. He is motivated by the feeling of accomplishment when he scores a top talent for his team on the popular singing competition show, The Voice. But when Blake Shelton or Pharrell keep him from getting the talent he wants, he gets impatient – and many times, flustered. His Why It Matters runs amok and he reacts negatively. He doesn’t realize that his agitated outbursts have an impact on his co-hosts and the rest of his team, and ultimately, the image he presents to possible future talent – allowing Blake or Pharrell to look better and win them over.
By looking backwards, Adam can review what triggered his anger (his weakness) and make behavior changes. If he can identify the cause of his anger, he can perhaps harness that energy in a more positive fashion, like looking at any roadblock as a project in and of itself and tackling as if it were the foremost goal. If he redirects his impatience to focus on solving the problem – successfully – he’ll feel a sense of accomplishment – something that speaks to his Why It Matters.
So how can you win with your weaknesses?
Step #1: Just Ask
The first step to winning with your weaknesses is to know what they are. Sometimes the most difficult obstacles are the ones we may not realize even exist. You may think the reason you get so angry all the time is actually false, but others might see the truth. Take time to talk with a trusted colleague and ask for a frank assessment of areas you can improve.
Step #2: Understand the Impact
How are these weaknesses impacting others around you and their perception of you? Remember, perception is reality, but you can take steps to help ensure your actions are perceived the way you intend. While these steps can be hard to take, if you are aware of how your behavior is affecting others, you can better understand the impact.
Step #3: Replace the Behavior
Celebrate the knowledge and the self-awareness that you’ve gained and put them to good use. Reflect on ways you can replace negative behaviors or weaknesses so that they become positive behaviors that appeal to what motivates you most – your Why It Matters. Recognize when the weakness is surfacing and conquer it.
Sounds pretty easy when you break it down this way. What do you think of this new way of attacking your weaknesses?
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Brenda Corbett is the co-author of “Why It Matters – The Sherpa Guide to What You Are Looking For.” Based on the compass, the book takes you through four key points: Exposure, Evidence, Excitement and Essence. Combine them and you’ll have your Why It Matters. Discover it today.