Weakness and strength are opposite sides of the same coin. They are a matter of perspective and application. If you are feeling bogged down by your “challenges,” it’s time to see that you can make your weaknesses your strengths. Here is what I mean.
First you have to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are. My suggestion is to take personality tests or use other types of character assessment tools like your astrological natal chart or palmistry. There are also strengths inventories. This gives you a starting place. For example, my enneagram type is one. My Myers Briggs is INTJ. (Keep in mind that all personality inventories are stereotypes and do not paint a 100% accurate picture of anyone).
Ones have a love of order. This can often result in people who are good at seeing disorder. This trait can lead to perfectionism or a critical nature. Those tend to be seen as less than desirable traits that cause problems for the person who has them and those around them. The other side of that is that ones can be really awesome problem solvers who can cut to the chase.
The difference is the application of the talent. Noticing disorder doesn’t mean you have to fix it. It doesn’t mean it’s bad. Noticing without judging is the key to turning this into asset. The beauty of this approach is that you don’t have to change yourself, just change your perspective.
Twos are great givers. What could possibly make that a weakness? Well, they tend to give until it hurts. They can turn this into a strength by being as good at receiving as they are at giving. This means setting boundaries around what they are willing to give so that they don’t feel taken advantage of. It means asking for help or expressing their feelings. In other words, it is about learning to make love and connection a two way street.
Threes believe achievement leads to love. They tend to be very image conscious. This can be interpreted by others as being impatient, superficial, and unaware of feelings. The three can use make this a strength by using this same passion to connect in relationships. When this happens, the three learns that he can be loved for who he is, not what he does. It’s a win/win.
Fours crave authenticity. They feel deeply and don’t particularly want to escape the deeper, darker experiences. This can leave them in pits of despair. Others may perceive them as moody and self-absorbed. Authenticity is fantastic! Many of us never get there. What can make this a strength is limitation. Rather than making the story bigger than it is and wallowing in the drama, accept the good and bad as they are. You can be authentic without being depressed.
Fives are the minimalists. They like data, science, and information. It’s safe. They feel that people are unpredictable, demanding, and potentially dangerous and safeguard their privacy. This becomes a liability when they are emotionally detached and observe life rather than participate in it. To make this a strength, they can learn to share their information with others in a way that connects them. Another win/win.
Sixes crave certainty in a world that they see as dangerous and untrustworthy. They are great at seeing the worst case scenario and creating plans to avert them. (Think MacGyver). Unfortunately, they can also see danger where it doesn’t exist and create a bit of havoc of their own. To make this a strength, the six needs to come to a place of acceptance that they can’t control everything. When that happens, they can engage in their prevention strategies that protect everyone without it debilitating anyone.
Sevens are the pleasure seekers. They know how to have fun, yet avoid pain. The problem is that they can be seen as undependable, inconstant, and selfish. The other side of this coin is being okay with pain. This brings a more fully human experience that makes life more grounded. It also makes it easier to connect with others who are already on the ground so life can be whole.
Eights are the power seeking guard dogs. They are strong, energetic protectors of the weak. Sounds great, right? Well, not when it comes from a place of fearing being controlled by others. The eight can use this vital energy to more balanced and healthy when they learn that vulnerability is a strength as well, which is the other side of that coin.
Nines seek love by being agreeable. They tend to have a talent of seeing all sides of the story. This can make them appear inclusive, easygoing, and indecisive. This can lead to low self-esteem because the nine rarely acknowledges an opinion of their own or learns to have a sense of self. The other side of the coin of being other-centered is becoming self-centered. I don’t mean in a negative way. I mean that you are the center of your life. If that isn’t reflected in your life, just what are you sharing with others? When you make yourself the center, you have a presence. You flow out into the world. Otherwise, the world is flowing through you, and that’s not really an existence.
So many people attack this in an inefficient way. They try to stamp out their weaknesses, acquire new strategies, or play up their strengths an ignore their challenges. All you really have to do is change your perspective. All strengths and weaknesses have a purpose – usually it’s a way to keep us safe or help us connect. If you can use it in a holistic way, for example: power AND vulnerability; self love AND other love; or living in light AND dark, your traits will never feel like a weakness again.