By Jodi Botha
All interesting heroes have an Achilles heel – Jo Nesbo
In Greek mythology, Achilles was a hero of the Trojan War. Although practically immortal, thanks to his mother who dipped him in the river Styx, Achilles had a ‘weak spot’ – the spot where his mother held him when she dipped him in the river.
This spot, his heel, has become known in the modern world, as the Achilles tendon. An arrow shot in his heel, by Paris, the Prince of the Trojans, was the end of Achilles.
Even heroes have weak spots, so why is it so difficult for us to face ours?
Weakness and strength form different sides to the same coin. They are opposite to one another because they invariably lead to one another.
Every weakness contains within itself a strength – Shusaku Endo
Knowing what your weaknesses are, is a great tool in your arson to win at the war of life! Making peace with these weaknesses is a whole other ball game.
The process requires authenticity, honesty and bravery, because it is only in knowing our weaknesses that we can OWN our strengths.
If you do not know what your weaknesses are, how could you possibly work towards gaining and learning strengths from them?
So many interesting people in history have had some type of weakness that they either used to their advantage or allowed to be their downfall.
From them, we can learn to embrace our weaknesses – not to settle in the space where we allow our weaknesses to define us but to find a way around them and to use them to our advantage.
Life could be so much simpler if we just embraced who we are in totality – weaknesses, warts and all – as opposed to expending so much energy trying to cover up the areas where we think we are lacking.
I find that people in general are much gentler with you if you are just authentic about who you are
Perhaps your weakness is pride, which, at some point you will realise has the root emotion of fear – fear that you’ll be caught out for ‘not being good enough’ at something.
Pretending delays your growth
If you can stand to face your weakness, the pain will be rewarded with growth and eventually that specific weakness will become a strength. Moving through our weaknesses is a painful experience (in fact, we refer to ‘growing pains’ because they are exactly that – growing AND painful). The reward, however, is worth the process.
Maybe your weakness is vulnerability and that you don’t enjoy being vulnerable and exposed. The root emotion of vulnerability could very well be that you don’t feel safe exposing yourself. You don’t trust that opening yourself up won’t be accompanied by judgement or hurt.
Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning – Benjamin Franklin
Or that someone might take advantage of you. That may very well be. There are people out there who need to take advantage in order to ‘win’ – that is their weakness. Find a safe space, practise being vulnerable in the relationships that really matter and see where and how that unfolds into next-level connectedness!
Every perceived negative holds within it a positive. It is just up to you to face and do the work, irrelevant of how many tries it takes.
We have to continue growing: it is almost as important, as breathing. Nature has taught us that things that don’t grow, stagnate or fade away.
The world needs you to grow and you owe it to yourself to keep evolving!
In KwaZulu-Natal > South Africa