Ive often used the thought that if you focus on a weakness the result is still a weakness but a stronger one. And the important consideration here is that a weakness can be improved but its not your strength – so why not focus on taking advantage of your strengths compared to focusing on the negative (your weaknesses).
We simply can’t be brilliant at everything and fortunately the inverse is true as well – we can’t be terrible at everything. Life is experienced through comparing – for instance can you imagine being happy and angry at the same time? Probably not you are either one or the other. You can be both but you need to experience each one to be able to have a comparison. By having something to compare an emotion too you will know what you are and are not. So if you have always been happy (never been angry or sad or anything in between) – you will only know that you are happy through others telling you but if you have experienced something that isn’t happy you can then know the difference.
Coming back to the point at hand, and this is the gift from Rikki’s quote. If you want to learn a competence such as “perseverance / strength” in this case it isn’t learnt from what is easy for you but rather in the difficulties. This means that you will try and perhaps fail, then try again and succeed in somethings and continue in this manner. In doing this, you learn the competence. Not yet convinced?
Lets look at it from the other side. So you decide to focus on the things that you are strong at and you try it out and you succeed again and again. What have you really learnt?
What if for some reason you stop succeeding? Well firstly, this would be a new experience for you. You would need to deal with that experience first. You might feel embarrassed, you might call yourself stupid, useless, you might even want to give up. For some this might happen all in a matter of seconds and they will pick themselves up and continue, for others they the self pep-talk can continue much longer and could even result in them quitting. Can you see the difference now?
How about we take this insight a step further and see how you can begin being your own “life coach” right now with regards to building a competence? Start with the following simple 3 steps:
1. Determine the competence you want to build and actively measure the failed attempts. In this case Success is many failed attempts and Failure is no failed attempts! Do you accept the challenge 🙂
2. Remember that what you focus on you will notice. This means that you will notice this competence or lack thereof more than ever before and it doesn’t mean you are getting worse, you are just more aware of it than ever before. Keep on noticing!
3. Are you judging, criticising yet? Pretty hard not to. The next step is that you might be scolding yourself for doing this – its another judgement trap. Rather just turn your thoughts to the progress you are making? For example, create measurements like increasing the time length before failing? How many times did you get it right before failing?