By: Rebecca Ahmed
What is your greatest strength? What is your Achilles heel? When you first look at these questions, you probably feel you have a very sound understanding of where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
It’s something we as humans always want to understand. You do this to leverage your strengths and provide support to compensate for your weaknesses.
What if I told you, your strength might also be your greatest weakness? What if I told you, you might have misunderstood your strengths and have a blind spot into what truly is your greatest weakness?
This past year was a transformative one for me. Through my journey of self-development and clarity, I was brought back to a very specific event in my life that I allowed to dictate how I was showing up in my present, and how my past was forecasting my future.
What is the power of transformational learning? I was taught that it allows you to see what’s in your blind spots. You know what you know. You know what you don’t know. You don’t know what you don’t know. My blind spot revealed that my greatest strength is also my greatest weakness.
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I am the oldest of nine and naturally took on a motherly role being the oldest sibling. I am sure you oldest siblings out there can relate. I took on the caretaker role with the highest honor. Yes, I complained about being the guinea pig, and being held to a higher standard. However, I loved the path I paved for my younger kin and stepped into the honor of providing them guidance based on my trials and errors.
My parents’ relationship resulted in a divorce after ten years of marriage and seven children. There are numerous lessons I can share from this time period, however, one event took place in our house that changed the dynamic of my role as the oldest sibling. My role as caretaker evolved to a story where I believed I needed an armor of strength and protection.
I remember hearing my parents fighting, enough so that I went to their room to see how I might calm the storm. My parents were in my dad’s closet and it was apparent they had been physical with each other, as my dad had blood dripping down his face from scratches, and my mom’s hair was all over the place. I saw my mom with a gun in her hand when they both looked up and saw me.
I am sure various thoughts are going through your head as you read this, however, I share this story not to cause fear or place judgement. I share this because this is the pivotal moment where I chose to take these facts and wear them as my story. This is the moment, I told myself, it’s all on me. It’s all on me to make sure my brothers and sister are okay. It’s all on me, as my parents might not be here one day. It’s all on me to be strong.
Was there a moment in your life that changed who you were and how you approached things? Is this where your inner strength took charge?
I believed it was my responsibility to navigate their relationship, in addition to providing shelter for my siblings from their fights. I learned how to read my parents’ body language, interpret their tone, and feel their energy.
I became the rock, the force, and the superhero dancing around a volcano trying to avoid its rupture. My intuition sensory was on high gear, placing me in the eye of the storm numerous times and keeping us out of harm’s way when I knew the storm was about to unleash.
The strength I gained from this moment is a strength I revel in as I have paved my way through life. I feel honored every time a hardship presents itself as people compliment my strength, my resilience, and my power to be the rock. However, as I mentioned above, this strength also has served as my greatest weakness. How so?
Take a step back and look at my above words. It’s all on ME to be strong. Here I was, with numerous other siblings, a community of loved ones, and yet I never once asked for help and support. My path through life had been relying only on myself, rather than enrolling others and leveraging the power in numbers. The blind spot of my strength and resilience was the power of community.
Learning the power of community and vulnerability and asking for support has been my biggest life lesson to date. Navy SEALs say it best: “One is none and two is one.”
I share this story and my lessons learned to empower you to flip the script. What are your greatest strengths? What are your blind spots? Is there something that occurred that you have taken on as your story? Take this chance to reflect on your journey and actions to truly see what’s in that rear view mirror.
As a co-founder of TURN IT ON, Rebecca Ahmed provides a dynamic approach in partnering with leaders to maximize their potential.
Originally published at https://www.ellevatenetwork.com.