Your “Worst” Trait Could Be Your Superpower

The 'flaws' make it beautiful.

The ‘flaws’ make it beautiful.

One of my clients recently told me (and gave permission to quote this),

I realize that my perceived weaknesses were actually my greatest strengths, and now my work depends on those ‘weaknesses’.” 

That’s actually a common experience! A trait in ourselves we’ve hated turns out to be our biggest gift!!

And our career fulfillment might depend on uncovering that gift.

Examples

For instance, quietness or introversion is sometimes looked down on… in Western culture, and in our own minds. It might be seen as “anti-social.” But it turns out being quiet allows powerful new ideas to arise within us, and it allows good listening. Those traits are so needed in our world. Einstein was an introvert. Rosa Parks was an introvert. They both made a huge difference in the world.

I see this happen with my clients frequently, where at first they apologize for some trait, and later they are thrilled about it. It’s exactly what makes them unique. And the world needs that unique trait. It might be their superpower!

Everywhere I turn, I see how suppressing our shadow side can hurt us, and how honoring it can liberate us.

Uncovering My Superpowers

For me, I used to see my introversion and my high sensitivity as curses, until I explored what they really meant. I realize now they help me be naturally good at listening, reading people, and thinking outside the box. I love those things, and so do my clients.

The funny part is I can’t even help doing those things. That’s often why we discount their value. And yet it can be very valuable to the people who need us.

That thing that comes so naturally to you that you can’t help doing it… and maybe people even tease you about it because you do it so much… that could be your superpower.

Another side of me I used to criticize is the part of me that wants to find the easy (“lazy”) way to do things, but now I see that is the part of me that understands finding flow wherever possible. And now I see how that gift is what makes me a good career and business coach, because I can help others find more ease in their work. Who knew that my “lazy” side was actually my gift for finding flow? Now it’s totally central to my work!

My point is that when I learned to work with my natural flow, I can spend more time in my peak creative zone, also known as a high performance zone, and thus bring my best work to the world. Those natural gifts make up my superpower. Now I get to help others find their natural flow!

What’s Your Experience?

Have you had this experience of disliking a trait that turned out to be a gift? Or something you think is your worst trait that you’re wondering how in the world to see it as a superpower?

I’d love to hear it.

Comments welcome on this post, or on my Facebook page.

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  • Dina A

    For much of my life, I hated being so emotionally sensitive to the pain or suffering of others. It wasn’t until I became an oncology nurse that I appreciated my ability to empathize with my patients and their family members. My patients could see my empathy and dedication to them which they appreciated. My empathy also allowed me to work with the patients labeled “difficult” and “challenging” with ease. A little compassion goes a long way.

    • That’s a perfect example, and I’m so glad for you and your patients.. Thanks Dina!

  • This has been such a revelation to me, Val. I’m also an introvert, and have often described myself as “lazy” – but, like you, I’m good at finding flow. I just hadn’t thought of it like that!! Thank you for turning what I thought of as a bad trait into a superpower!! 🙂

    • hi Julia. Welcome to the “Lazy” > Flow superpower club! 🙂

  • Amazing, Val! My problem is a kind of perfectionism that makes me feel so insecure. But I have been making progress and I think I am going to use this weakness to help people to be less perfectionist and doing things, even with some insecurity. Thank dear! Love it.

    • I’m glad you like this idea @disqus_6FRWQ1fSym:disqus. Yes you could help other people with that same challenge and turn it into an asset that way. And you could also look for the positive trait on the flip side of the perfectionism and see that as your superpower. For instance, on the flip side might be “seeing the big potential.”