Knowing your weaknesses may be your greatest strength yet…

I was recently thinking about all of the suffering I’ve gone through. Actually, let’s detail that a little bit more…all of the suffering that I’ve put MYSELF through. We should all be putting ourselves through things. Suffering is a choice. It’s how you DEFINE your suffering that matters. Call it challenge if that fits better, but you can choose how to face the world. You can take control, or you can let the world happen to you.

Take powerlifting…I choose this sport.

As a new lifter focused on one particular goal, we have what we like to call ‘newbie gains’. Meaning that your body is in shock. It’s not used to the consistent and targeted training. After months of discipline that focuses on intensity, form, technique, volume, and dedication to the BIG 3(squat, bench, and deadlift), new lifters can add potentially up to a couple hundred pounds to their three lift total. It’s in survival mode. It’s adjusting and adapting to what it’s being put through.

But as time passes, the body starts to adjust to the movements and the intensity, and the growth starts to level out. What happens most of the time, is that lifters will just put in more work, try more weight, and eat more food. This is great, but issues start to show up. You can’t move forward just by lifting more and eating more. You get tight joints and muscles where your body is overcompensating. You get pains and aches that are telling you where your body is out of balance. Your body’s ability starts to plateau, and you don’t know why…

What new lifters have to realize, is that powerlifting is a game of balance in the body. To be optimal, the body has to engage and work altogether. That means realizing where your weaknesses are at, and building them up to give you better form, consistency and response in your lifts by balancing your body out.

You really can’t recognize what you gain from certain things until you’ve endured or experienced enough of it, changed it and adapted to it. You begin to see where things are off, or are insufficient.

The one thing that we all are doing(or should be doing) is putting ourselves through struggle. You all know what I mean. The struggle to live life on our own terms, to face fears, to see that the world will not kill us, to experience things that will give our lives color. And if we’re not doing these things, then what’s the point? I don’t say this negatively. It should be a real question we ask ourselves.

It may seem harsh, but the world is amazingly sensitive right now. No one wants to deal with the hard things. No one wants to face real questions that may shock our system…all because it may be depressing as f*ck to have to face the truth.

Why aren’t we dating?

Why are we not hanging out with friends?

Why do we hate our jobs?

Why are we overweight?

Why are we unhappy?

Why do we feel empty?

Why are we not making better money?

Why are we not doing what we love?

Why, why, why…

And we usually have some sort of excuse for all of these whys. We make up some bullshit about how we’ve been dealt the wrong cards, why we’re not attractive enough, why we’re not good enough, why we don’t have enough time, why we’re not privileged enough, why we weren’t born in the right time or to the right family, why we weren’t taught well enough…it’s always someone else’s fault, or the universe’s. And by far the most annoying to me(yes, I’m bias), is when it’s said that it’s God’s plan.

Listen…God or no God, you decide which direction your life takes. It’s built by the choices you make, which can swayed by your emotions and even more, your belief about yourself.

When you truly start to believe in yourself — meaning understanding your skills and knowing how limitless you are with the right work ethic and mission — literally anything can happen. And during all this ‘happening’, you WILL suffer. You will start to see where you’re strong. But if you’re truly taking things deeply, you’ll also find out where you’re weak, and you’ll take responsibility for it.

Knowing your weaknesses is by far one of your greatest strengths. Why is that?

To know your weaknesses means that you don’t let them sit in idle. Knowing them means that can buffer the blows from outside circumstances and people prodding you. Let me explain…

My greatest strengths are that I’m empathetic, patient, communicative, resilient, loving, and truly believe in the goodness of people, and also recognizing their ability for evil. I know where to hold up my shield and to remove anything or anyone that’s exhausting.

My greatest weaknesses are, when I get stressed I numb myself for hours at a time, I am in disbelief of my own ability and power, I’m too modest, I can’t be proud of myself, I don’t believe I’m good enough to date, and I can’t commit to one direction. I wander. And that lack of courage to title myself and commit to a path effects EVERYTHING else.

But, to know my weaknesses also means that I never forget them. Yeah, it was super depressing at first stalled me at first. But as ridiculous as this sounds, the more stress that builds from facing the truth about my weaknesses, the more I get fed up with them. The more I have to face them, the more I understand where they show up and why. And oddly enough, the repetition has shown me how much it’s just bad habits and bad narrative…those weaknesses are self imposed. And they direct me, just the way my strengths would.

Just like Eminem in 8 mile, I can call out all of my weaknesses before my enemy has the chance to use them against me. I know where I miss the target. I know where I can take the most beating. And most of all, I know how to handle my insecurities and flaws, in a way that makes sure they don’t defeat me.

Most people avoid the darkness. Most people use the outside world to ignore their internal narrative. Not because its dark and demeaning, but because they don’t know how to control it. So, they let the world take them on a rollercoaster.

Your greatest catalyst….your greatest ally and your greatest enemy will always be you. It’s how you talk to yourself. It’s how you hype yourself up or how you belittle yourself. It’s how you push through challenge or recoil from it. It’s how you convince yourself to move in on the adorable girl/guy that you’ve only ever said 10 words to, or continue to avoid them and dream of them from a distance.

You will always be number one in how to direct your life. And I’m telling you…knowing and honing your strengths will take you really far…but being aware and being able to face your weaknesses will make you impenetrable. And maybe, eventually, your weaknesses will start to take on the attributes of strength.

Stay strong my friends.

Love you.

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