Facing Your Weaknesses
Estimated Lesson Time: 3 minutes
Nobody’s perfect. Henry Ford was uneducated. Bill Gates was a college drop out. Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke but a few words of English coming to this country. Helen Keller was unable to see, hear or speak at all. Abraham Lincoln was belligerent. John D. Rockefeller almost killed himself with worry. John F. Kennedy was too young, and George Foreman was too old. Each of these successful individuals had to face their weaknesses in order to achieve the level of success they did. To have weaknesses is to be human; to face those weaknesses is to be successful.
The key to facing your weaknesses is first to be aware of them. If you are unaware or just ignore your weaknesses, you are setting yourself up for disappointment or even failure down the road. Others may try to expose and profit from your weaknesses, or on your journey of success you may hit roadblocks or be limited by your weaknesses. Facing your weaknesses begins with awareness.
Facing your weaknesses does not necessarily mean conquering them. If your weakness is the fear of flying, then you can conquer the fear, get someone else to fly for you, eliminate the need for flying, or just take alternate transportation. Here are four effective ways of facing your weaknesses:
- Act on your strengths to compensate for your weaknesses. John F. Kennedy was the youngest man ever elected President of the United States. In politics, youthfulness is more associated with lack of experience and wisdom than anything else. His opponents targeted this weakness, but President Kennedy continued to win the people over with his inspiration and compassion.
- Use other people to compensate for your weaknesses. Henry Ford knew he needed to build a mastermind that would make up for his weaknesses if he were to reach his goal of bringing affordable automobiles to the masses. Helen Keller became one of history’s most inspirational people with the help of Anne Sullivan, who acted as her eyes and ears.
- Avoid your weaknesses. Bill Gates was not the best scholar. His heart was just not in his studies. I am quite sure if Mr. Gates had applied himself and forgotten about tinkering with those silly computers, he could have done very well and impressed his friends and family with a Harvard degree. However, he chose to avoid studies that did not interest him, and he chose to impress the world instead.
- Overcome your weaknesses. Abraham Lincoln was known in his early days as being very belligerent. In fact, one of his harsh criticisms led him into a “duel to the death” with the man he publicly criticized. Fortunately for both of the men, their seconds stopped the duel before it began. From that point on, Lincoln committed himself to overcome his belligerent ways that eventually led him to say, “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker, the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.”
We all have weaknesses that may be affecting our success in our personal and/or business lives. It is important to be aware of these weaknesses then choose how to deal with them. Once this can be accomplished, your weaknesses will no longer be an obstacle on your road to success.
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)