when your strength is your weakness

Your strength could be your weakness? The title does seem to be a bit of a paradox does it not? How can a strength be a weakness?

For years as a leader in different organizations I had learned something from experience that I regularly taught – that a strength overplayed becomes a weakness. I had found this to be true in my own life and it was often illustrated over the years in the people I led.

As I have gotten older, it has also occurred to me that my strength is my weakness even without it being overplayed – I think!

Based upon my experience, preferences, tendencies, personality, assessments, etc. it seems that I am best at detecting patterns and discerning their source with a pretty high degree of accuracy – especially in regard to individuals and organizations. I also tend to be a decent mid to long-term planner, good at the direction / trajectory, but not so good on the detail.

Well, to do both of those things well, I am continuously evaluating the past for patterns and trying to discern the future which, when turned inward, becomes ruminating on the failures / missed opportunities of my past and then worrying about possible negative outcomes in the future.

So, these healthy / somewhat useful abilities quickly become personal liabilities resulting in worry and anxiety when they are turned inward – which happens too often.

So, a question for you – are you taking your strengths and allowing them to become personal liabilities when you turn them inward in a self-serving way?

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