How trying to improve on your weaknesses actually robs you of strength

“You’re just not trying hard enough.”

“You just have to work harder.”

“You can do better if you just apply yourself more.”

Are you one of the many adults who can still hear these or similar phrases from childhood?  With the best intentions in the world, the parents and teachers who shared these comments did a really good job of setting up kids for a future of frustration and less-than-brilliant performance.

Fortunately, it’s never too late to have a happy (and productive) childhood, and you can start now to forget those lessons and learn healthier ones.

What’s so bad about trying to improve a weakness?skinny kid by irene nobrega

Actually, there’s a lot that’s bad about it if you take it to extremes:

It makes more sense to hone your existing strengths.

Just think how you feel when you’re doing something you’re already good at.  You’re  confident, focused, energized.  Now imagine spending time getting even better at that activity. What couldn’t you do with even more confidence, focus, and energy?  If you’re already a 7 or 8 out of 10, then becoming a 9 will mean you have even less competition and more stature as an expert in your field.

Strength begets strength. Stay strong.

What sort of results have you gotten by playing to your strengths? Share your success stories with us; this is a place where justifiable horn tooting is welcome!

BTW, thanks to irene nobrega for posting this image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.
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