Today, I’m supposed to list five weaknesses and five strengths, so perhaps a better title for this post would be “Achilles with 5 heels,” but Homer’s Achilles was only ever a man with two legs (despite his godly heritage), so that imagery doesn’t quite work.

Without further ado, five strengths and weaknesses that yours truly possesses.

Weaknesses

  1. Unsure of myself: Anxiety and my own self-loathing mean that I am constantly questioning my actions, words, decisions, wondering if I did, am doing, will do the right thing. This uncertainty of mine is definitely a weakness that I will be struggling against for a long time.
  2. Loyalty: I have found that I am strongly loyal to my friends and family to the point where it is a weakness. Being that loyal means that it is that much easier for the people I trust to hurt me in ways that I’m not expecting.
  3. Don’t open up easily: This is specific to people I know in person, obviously. It’s much easier to be open and verbose when hiding behind edited words on a screen and a nom de plume.
  4. Cynical: Perhaps I can blame this on the critical thinking skill that I have acquired with higher learning, but I tend to believe something is in a state like that of Shrodinger’s cat until I know otherwise. This leads to a near constant state of cynicism–questioning whether things are true or not.
  5. Stubborn: My father says, jokingly, “You can always tell a Leo, because you can’t tell them anything,” when referring to my stubbornness (and yes, my sign is Leo; no, I don’t think that actually means anything). My unwillingness to recognize when I’m wrong has led to some pretty tough situations, especially when I’m with people who are just as stubborn (or more so) than I am.

Strengths

  1. Faking it til I make it: While I may be internally uncertain as to what I do, I’m good at pretending that I am confident until I actually am. Because of this habit of mine–faking confidence when I have anything but–I have actually been complimented on my self-confidence many times by friends, family, and others. How I manage to do that, I’m not sure, but I know that pretending confidence, for me, is just one step away from actually feeling confident.
  2. Loyalty: Yeah, I listed this as a weakness, but loyalty is a strength, too. Because I’m loyal, my friends and family know that they can depend on me, and I can depend on them. I have gotten wiser through different experiences in my past that make me more cautious as to who I attach myself to, which makes my loyalty that much stronger and more precious.
  3. Protective: Going along with loyalty, I am protective of everyone that I hold dear. Yes, I am protective of myself, as I have already mentioned, but once someone has earned my loyalty, my friendship, I will always be batting for them. Within reason, of course. (I’m not about to defend a friend or family member who robbed a bank or became a murderer.)
  4. Make good decisions: Because I have a tendency to question the validity of things and prize reason over emotions, I also have a tendency to make good decisions. I don’t rush into things or make choices based on flighty hormones. Even my fast decisions are based on extensive thought and observation.
  5. Stick to my beliefs: It can be hard to get it into my thick skull when I’m wrong, but when I’m right, my stubbornness just means that I will be fighting hard-core for my beliefs. If someone actually crosses me and doesn’t listen to my perspective on something that is near and dear, the gauntlet gets tossed and it’s time for me to go to battle. I stick to what I believe, even though that sometimes looks more unconventional than anything else.

You’ll notice that I started with weaknesses and ended on my strengths. That is because it can be all too easy to turn weaknesses into strengths and forget to turn them back. Instead of ending this post on my weaknesses, I wanted to end reminding myself, and anyone else who bothers reading this, that what we see as weaknesses can also be viewed as strengths. It’s all a matter of perspective, right? Choosing to see ourselves negatively or positively? I might have more weaknesses than Achilles’ one heel, but at least I’m able to look at those weaknesses and turn them into strengths as powerful as that warrior.

-Wilber

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