The first podcast I ever was asked to to after I shared my PTSD story, publicly, was a sports biz one. The host asked me: “What do you think we can do to screen for those w MH complications so that we aren’t at risk for hiring those who may be difficult to manage.” I almost had to swallow my tongue bc I couldn’t respond how I actually wanted to, but after a second, I composed myself & said: “Sure we can devise an interview strategy, & if we do that we’ll also ensure we don’t hire: top performers, ppl who stay the latest, ppl who work the hardest, ppl who focus on the minutia, as well as those who are the most ambitious.” Not surprisingly the host moved on to a diff question immediately
When I worked for teams, before MH advocacy was even a glimmer in my eye, I used to tell my staffs: our greatest strengths are also our greatest weaknesses. Now after having done this work for a while, I believe it to be even more true.
If we are meticulous & over-analytical “obsessive types” – we catch errors, we make sure every word is right, we want everyone to feel included. At the same time we often experience analysis paralysis, or we might take a little longer to get a project done.
If we are a free-wheeler, things don’t bother us, we go w the flow, we don’t stress over losing a sale, we come off less desperate. But, we also make mistakes, brush past important directions, have a difficult time setting structured daily goals.
The examples above are in a work setting, but the same holds true in personal life & MH implications: Maybe we are super empathetic & are considered great & loyal friends…but it take its toll & runs us down to where we have less energy on wknds/for vacations. Maybe we are driven & ambitious & high achievers w our hobbies…but bc of it we don’t think as much abt time spent w fam, being there for others, taking time to check in w old friends. There is a Yin/Yang to every “skill” we have.
The older I get, the more I realize – self awareness is the first key & acknowledging our weaknesses are a byproduct of our strengths.
The second key is to use that knowledge to recognize when our strengths becomes a detriment, & work to hone our “skills” that we were given at birth, to be used on turbo when they serve us, & to scale back when they harm us. Not an easy task. One I’m still working on.
Any strengths you’ve found that are your weaknesses, that you’d like to be able to balance better?