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Strengths & Weaknesses - Finding the Balance

Dear Fellow Travelers,

We’re all aware of the power of water to support or destroy life. This past month, in the state of Texas, we’ve had what can only be described as a ridiculous amount of rain. It’s gone far beyond a nuisance of canceling Memorial Day celebrations and a multitude of other outdoor festivals. The fact is, we’ve experienced property loss & damage, even loss of life. It’s mind boggling. It’s made me think about how something so positive and life affirming, like water, can become destructive when there’s more than needed or desired. It’s that way for us as human beings with personality traits as well.

Years ago, at a leadership training, I received a powerful insight into human nature. We were in a session for identifying our individual strengths and weaknesses. Nothing new, right? Run an internet search and you can read for weeks on the topic, take dozens of tests and see how to play to and build on your personal strengths. Ralph Waldo Emerson has this to say: “Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.” While I see the possibility of this statement in certain circumstances, I must respectfully say that Mr. Emerson’s thought is not always the case. What I learned in my training was an entirely new way of looking at it. Consider this:

A strength taken to an extreme becomes a weakness.

What it looks like is this: A person has a strength for managing groups; if taken to an extreme that shows up as controlling. A person who is good at organizing materials and keeping spaces in order can become rigid and obsessive when that trait is excessive. Can you see how even something wonderful like patience can become unhelpful to us and others if it’s exaggerated?   An overabundance of patience might cause a person to be the doormat of which others constantly take advantage. It’s difficult to be in relationships with controlling or obsessive people and it’s painful to be that person as you see others resist being with you. It’s equally agonizing to be the doormat. It’s the classic case of too much of a good thing.

The shift in perspective on this subject has yielded me two primary gifts I’d like to share in hopes you will find them of use. First, if I’m able to look at where I feel I’m not showing up for myself or others (i.e. a weakness) and trace it back to a strength, I can work from that root to shift the energy. It’s an entirely different way of dealing with this situation. There’s a plethora of information out there about how to “turn your weaknesses into strengths”. Well, if your weakness stems from astrength, that’s like trying to turn an orange into a fruit. Think about it and see where you can identify the connection. What do you see as your weaknesses? Can you see how they could be viewed as exaggerated forms of a strength? The second gift for me in this realization is releasing the judgment I feel for myself about my failings. If I can understand them as symptoms of a strength, it eases the frustration I feel and gives me a positive way of facing them. Releasing the negative attitude about them frees up energy for addressing how to shift them.

So how does someone make this shift? Sometimes just making the connection in our conscious mind is enough. Other times you may find a way to redirect the excess power. Both of these have worked for me at different times. The most important thing is to be kind to yourself and accept all aspects of your personality. Work to keep your energy system in balance through good nutrition, sleep and things such as meditation and energy healing. Just like a child who is overstimulated at the end of a long day and can’t relax enough to sleep, our psyches struggle for balance when we’ve had too much of a good thing. A balanced energy system will provide your most powerful expression. I have found both Reiki & Theta Healing to be effective modalities in helping to achieve energetic balance for myself as well as the clients I serve. If you’d like to explore how they can help, I’d be honored to guide you. 

Blessings & Light,


Every weakness contains within itself a strength.
                                              ~ Shūsaku Endō

4 Comments to Strengths & Weaknesses - Finding the Balance:

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Mary on Saturday, May 30, 2015 3:57 PM
Awesome piece and so true! This is such a different way of looking at a weakness. Will be trying this soon!
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Sherry Cofman on Sunday, May 31, 2015 8:01 AM
I agree, Mary it's a big shift in viewing our weaknesses. It has made a powerful change for me. I'd love to hear back on how you see it working for you.

Deva on Saturday, May 30, 2015 11:58 PM
What a beautiful perspective. It feels like coming to a full circle, without leaning toward this or that, but being aware of the duality of things. Finding the balanced center within, while using the mind to inquire. Thank you Sherry for sharing your wisdom and insight.
Reply to comment
Sherry Coffman on Sunday, May 31, 2015 8:12 AM
You're welcome Deva. Thank you for your gracious feedback.

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