3 Reasons Why You Should Own Your Weaknesses

paint chips
paint chips

I don’t get along with color chips. I think things match, when they don't.  I don't see "colors" in white when others see hints of green or tinges of yellow.  I routinely pick paint swatches that look horrific on the wall.

I’ve painted rooms Band-Aid beige and eyeball-searing yellow.  I’ve worn scarfs that have no business being paired with a particular top and mistaken navy for black on more occasions than I care to admit.

I wish I were officially diagnosed as “color blind” because then I’d have a good excuse for my choices.

No such luck.  After years of living in denial, I finally see what’s wrong.  Everyone knows the beginning of recovery is with an admission of truth.

My name is Joy. I’m bad at colors.

Sure, aside from a visual assault, this weakness isn’t earth-shattering, but still it demonstrates the principle of how owning your weakness can be beneficial.

1. Others know your weakness

Everyone knew I had a color issue before I admitted it.  People could practically smell the plastic band-aid beige when they went into my living room.  It was SO ugly.  Of course, no one said anything.  However, when I painted the room a different color, the praise for the new color was overwhelming.

Ugly is easily identified.

In a similar way, people see your shortfalls long before you admit them.  If you’re not analytical, don’t try and fake the numbers.  If you can’t punctuate a sentence, trust me, people know.

Don’t let others talk behind your back; acknowledge what everyone knows you don’t do well.  Then, at least, you can be in on the jokes!

2. Help is available

After making a series of poor color choices, I now rely on professionals for help.  At home this means asking my designer friends for advice.  When I buy clothes, I never make decisions alone.

Whatever you DON’T do well, there is likely someone around who can help. If you’re not terribly strategic, align yourself with someone in your organization who IS. Don’t know how to make your presentation short and compelling? Find someone to edit for you. If you don’t read an audience well, find someone who can tell you what cues you’re missing from the audience.

The amazing thing is when you find the person who can help, not only do you allow them to work out of their sweet spot, you free your time to utilize your strengths.

3. The culture improves

No one enjoys “faking it” and when you make yourself vulnerable by owning your weaknesses, you give others permission to own theirs.  Ironically, in acknowledging where you are weak, you are communicating strength.

Don’t “play small” by faking that you are more competent than you are!