Identifying the You that You Are
What is always eye-opening to me is the different ways that different people live life.
Being entirely unique, it is always very cool to learn more about others, and also, ourselves.
But, how do we see and truly identify our strengths and weaknesses?
Because, I know that sometimes I am overconfident of my own abilities. Sometimes just because I’ve done something once or twice, I occasionally view that thing as a strength. But, is it one? Probably not.
Maybe I fail at something once or do worse than usual. Why does that automatically become a weakness? It shouldn’t.
I think that outside opinions are essential when it comes to identifying traits about ourselves.
Someone I connected with while in Miami last October, Charles Smith, shared one thing that I could do.
He instructed me to reach out to the closest people to me and ask for 5 adjectives that describe me, 5 words that fit me.
Then, to ask those people to narrow them down to 3.
Finally, Charles stated that I was to ask each individual that I reached out to for the 1 adjective that best describes me.
So I did this.
Is passion a strength or weakness for me? Well, if the closest people are using that word to describe me, it must be a strength. I believe it’s a strength of mine.
Some of the things that were not on the list were words like “creative” or “funny” or “spontaneous” so I would say that those might be weaknesses.
I’ve wanted to do the same thing directly for strengths and weaknesses rather than total character descriptions but have not yet.
“Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought”
— Henri-Louis Bergson
We cannot change overnight, period. But, what we can do is understand where we are and understand where we are seeking to go.
It is important that we understand what our goals are and also, how who we are is different from who we were as it is also different from who we are becoming.
The key is, to be honest. And that’s where the accountability comes into play.
We cannot always see things in the light of being a strength or weakness unless we have someone tell us. But, we have to seek that out from others. And also, seek that out within ourselves.
When I think about weakness I always think about a few things. I think about my emotions first.
When was the last time I was upset? Who was around me and what happened?
What did I do that caused me to be upset?
Because, while I cannot control my external environments, I can control how I react as well as understand things that I did that escalated or led the situation to a point where I was upset.
Ultimately, I search for weaknesses there, through examining and reflecting on past events and conflicts.
I do the same thing when seeking to identify and understand strengths. I reflect on past events, specifically conflicts. Though, this time I look at the conflict resolution and also, how when a similar situation arose after that conflict, how a conflict was prevented.
Strengths and weaknesses are different for everyone and I think that often, people tend to overlook the significance of certain traits or characteristics or mannerisms that they have.
What I believe is that we must not only look at how things that we do and things that we say impact our lives but also the lives of those around us. Because to me, we should all seek to better the lives of not only ourselves but those around us.
I think that through all of this, what is most important to keep in mind is that,
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
— Marcus Aurelius