What are you trying to fix about yourself? Are you trying to be more patient? Are you trying to be less competitive? Are you trying to talk less, and listen more?
Maybe we should stop trying to fix the things that are wrong with us — and find out how they actually benefit us.
I joke that my superpower is my anxiety. I can leap to the worst conclusion in a single bound (and I often do). And while it can be crippling, I understand the profound benefits I reap from it. For example, when a fire broke out in my house, I calmly and quickly put out the flames. (I keep a fire extinguisher around every corner, ladders in all the upstairs rooms, and a bulk bag of baking soda by the pots and pans for this very reason). It had never happened before, but I am constantly scanning my environment, thinking of what could go wrong, and formulating a plan in my head to mitigate the risk (and my anxiety). So, when the fire broke out, I executed my plan. No one in my house even realized what had happened.
My superpower has often helped me at my career as well, and I am not the only one. It has been cited that as many as a quarter of CEO’s are dyslexic (a 2007 study from London’s Cass Business School seems to back this up). Well known examples include Richard Branson and Charles Schwab. Accotding to them, their reading disability forced them to compensate by developing high communication skills and a strong emotional IQ.
Paul Orfalea attributes his success with Kinkos to his inability to focus or concentrate, and has written several books reflecting on how his ADHD has actually benefitted him.
Know someone who is impatient? They get things started and moving.
Know someone who is competitive? They are driven.
Know someone who is too sensitive? They are empathetic.
Know someone who talks too fast? They can be helpful persuading a room of people who are likely to disagree.
Know a dreamer? They have vision. And they can find that impatient activator to help them get their dreams going.
It’s time we stop trying to fix our weaknesses and see them for what they really are: our strengths in the wrong circumstances.