Turns Out I Don’t Know My Greatest Strength

how sad is that? I look at myself and honestly can’t pick it out any strengths let alone my greatest one.  I firmly believe that our greatest strengths can also be our greatest weakness and when I look at my own character, the flaws stick out more than the virtues. Given enough thought I’m fairly certain I could turn any compliment into an insult and usually do. Someone asking me what I’m good at makes me feel like I’m in a job interview and I seize up and start to blurt out gibberish but I can answer the greatest weakness question like a machine. It will come as no surprise that I have struggled with low self esteem most of my life, I’ve always see myself as a jack of a few trades but excelling at nothing.

greatest strength steve jobs

I think that  right in the middle of our greatest weakness, you can usually find your greatest strength and mine is empathy.  I work in IT as a day job and my ability to put myself in the other person’s shoes helps me make each client leave the interaction happier than when they entered it. It helps me be a better mother, to figure out what Bear’s frustration tantrums are trying to tell me.  It makes me able to tolerate others behaviour, knowing that the way people treat me has more to do with them than it does me.    It has lead me to buy far more copies of the one Big Issue on street corners, and in my younger days, occasionally burn myself out in an attempt to help someone.  Over the years I’ve worked on building boundaries around my heart for those who might take advantage, to save my compassion for those who deserve it.

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19 comments

  1. Good on you for coming up with a strength even though your mind was arguing with you on it! Keep saying your strengths out loud and it will become easier over time xx

  2. Interesting theory and quote there. I’m sure your friends and loved ones could tell you straight away what your strengths are. We’re always our own worst enemies, aren’t we?

    1. I very much am. My husband actually had to point me in the right direction with this prompt. I struggled with it all week.

  3. It’s hard to identify your own greatest strength, isn’t it? I can’t nail down just one (coz I’m just so great …… totes kidding). My positivity, determination, resilience are three that come to mind. And I think I’m a great mum esp considering I didn’t have a very good example!!! Hopefully my kids agree!!!

  4. You are a beautiful woman who is also a fantastic mother . I am your biggest fan . I love you and I am so proud of you and I do not know why you have low self esteem . You are very talented and creative and super organised . Love you very much beautiful girl .

  5. I love your strength. Empathy is such a gift – to be able to put yourself in the shoes of another and to understand their point of view. It’s a strength that so many of us could benefit from having more of. Thanks for persevering through a tough prompt and coming through the other side!

  6. I completely understand feeling like you could turn every compliment into an insult. I think it’s great that you have empathy and that you also recognise that it can be a weakness if you don’t protect yourself. I think that shows real strength.

  7. Yes I too think that strengths can sometimes be our greatest weaknesses as well.. I was told that recently when I said my strengths were my care and consideration for others.
    Empathy is a great strength!

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