In a recent coaching conversation with a senior leader, I shared: “Your weakness could be your strength if you embrace it.” We all have our relative weaknesses or fears or gremlins (how coaches often describe whatever deep seated beliefs we’ve developed that as we grow shift from protective to undermining). That notion of making friends with our enemies goes way back. Which is a good strategy, since we’re only human and no matter how developed or enlightened we become, we will always have our “stuff” (humanity).
My client asked what I meant by that phrase. I shared with her the following true story of a good friend and colleague:
When you have a perceived weakness and don’t embrace it, it becomes a burr in your saddle, so to speak. When you accept it, make friends with it, it ceases to have dominion over you.
i.e. a good friend & colleague of mine is a coach who is now well known in Europe, working with very senior leaders. He was giving a talk to a large group of these folks. He knows he has flagrant ADHD and on occasion he can go blank or lose his train of thought. We had talked about him embracing his gremlin, which he referred to as his “cluelessness.” So here he is giving this talk and he goes blank. He stops. He shares that he is just having a blip, and it happens, but no matter, it will come back, and he just moves on. He embraces it, doesn’t hide from it, and just treats it as a “what’s so” in the moment.
Later many people approached him afterwards (remember, these are high powered sr. leaders) and they thanked him for demonstrating a gracious way to be with your own humanity. It was a relief for them to know they could do that. I hope that story helps.
How about for you? Is there an area in your life where a perceived weakness or fear is holding you back?
What would it look like if you “embraced” it, accepted it as simply a “what’s so” devoid of all the meaning and drama? How could you be with it with grace and dignity while keeping your real commitment or purpose or passion in the forefront? What would that look like? Will you do it? When?
Let us know how that goes for you!