I am currently reading the story of Louisa May Alcott (who wrote Little Woman) and her father John Alcott who was a respected teacher and writer in his time.
Today I wanted to focus not on the two of them but on something that Abigail Alcott (mother and wife respectively) said about human weakness that made me think. It is less than one line at the beginning of the book and it said that she believed all human weakness existed to help us become stronger.
What do you think of that as a statement?
It basically means that whatever weakness you have right now its only purpose is to help you grow stronger and when you are able to work through it you triumph in life.
Our life is just a series of weaknesses for us to get through so we can realise just how strong and wonderful we are and our journey of overcoming these weaknesses is what matters most.
So think about what stops you in life right now. On this blog I focus on self confidence but you could focus on any weakness you feel is stopping you from having a wonderful life and consider whether it is there to simply help you get stronger.
Then imagine what your life would be like if you work towards helping yourself become stronger than your weakness.
When I had a lack of self confidence my biggest weakness was believing I couldn’t speak to strangers because I wouldn’t know what to say.
It really limited the type of person I spoke to and how I interacted with new people/in groups. As I worked through that I found the strength to talk to strangers but now I was thinking about what I wanted to say in my head because I was afraid of running out of things to say.
It meant I was talking but not always present and in the moment during a conversation. Eventually I taught myself how to stop being in my head and just be in the moment with that person having enough faith in myself to believe I will always have something to say.
Being able to talk to people I didn’t know was a journey and one I slowly progressed through over time. Now, I can walk into a room and talk to anyone about any thing.
Unconsciously when we walk into a group of people we don’t know we gravitate towards someone who is like us – “you’re like me so like me” – kicks in and its easier for us to talk to someone we see as similar to ourselves because they are the same gender, or race for example.
To overcome that I made a conscious effort to walk in the room and talk to someone I didn’t know who was nothing like me, for example a short, Asian man. 🙂
These were the things I had to do so I could get myself out of my old limiting habits of only talking to people I knew, always finding people who were like me to talk to and making sure I stayed present in the moment in conversations.
If I experienced that weakness as a way to help make me stronger I will say it definitely helped me become a great trainer/teacher because I can relate to different people in my class, which I have been told is a gift of mine.
Now, take a look at it from your life. What is your story? What weaknesses do you have that you want to use to help make yourself stronger?
Thinking about our weakness in this way (as something to make us stronger) is so much better than thinking we need to fix what is wrong with us or thinking negative thoughts about it.
Spend time writing about it in your journal – you will probably gain some real insights into how your life can be so much more rewarding.
It always amazes me how the simplest things can make the biggest differences to our life. Don’t think this is too simplistic to make a difference to you because it can.
It will help you see that everything you do that limits you is simply there to help you get stronger.