How To Embrace Your Flaws Into Opportunities to Create Your Brand Story
We’ve all heard the saying “focus on your strengths, not on your weaknesses” countless times. We’ve learned from some of the biggest influencers of our time to ignore –even deny – the parts of ourselves that are flawed. We’ve grown accustomed to society’s blanket-approach to perceived weaknesses as something to be ashamed of.
While there may be some weight to this concept in the context of a corporate career setting, the idea of shutting out pain, trauma, and what we perceive to be negative or flawed traits is really denying the truth of one’s self.
Can I really turn flaws into opportunities?
What I do know is that you don’t have to hide away your perceived weaknesses. You can, in fact, create opportunities for growth and greater self-love, as well as for connection in your business. . And I don’t mean just run-of-the-mill “I’m not good at math” flaws. Even past trauma that often leaves insecurities and fears in its wake can also perpetuate a desire to seek and evolve our life to something greater.
Melanie Greenberg Ph.D. cites that trauma can have surprisingly positive effects on interpersonal relationships, new possibilities in one’s life, personal strength, spirituality, and garner a new appreciation of life.
She says, “Research on posttraumatic growth has also shown that the experience of trauma may lead people into new activities, lifestyles, and/or relationships that make life more meaningful, rich, and satisfying.”
The problem with ignoring flaws.
You end up denying yourself of any learning, healing, or positive change when you ignore parts of yourself that you aren’t proud of or that may have been painful.
It’s our weaknesses that hold our greatest opportunity for personal growth and connection to self.
I have used my own flaws (and Lawd, I have many) as fuel for positive change and motivated me to challenge myself further.
The biggest obstacle, of course, is turning weakness into an advantage. To do this, you need to be willing to allow it to rise to the surface, to look at it objectively, and to see hidden opportunity.
Bring your flaws to light.
Be willing to bring weaknesses to the surface. Suppressing them, hiding them, and ignoring them will never hold healing and doesn’t aid in growth. Examine why you see this experience, behavior, or lack of ability as a flaw. See how it may have led or could lead to something greater in your life. Ask yourself if it really is a flaw at all? Get curious about this part of yourself without being reactive or judgmental.
Most importantly, do not continue the pattern of shame and guilt for this part of yourself. Forgive it, forgive yourself, and release it.
Ditch your fixed mindset.
Instead of looking at your flaws as a great barrier to your life’s happiness (fixed mindset), see them as a way to grow and find new perspectives (growth mindset).
“In a fixed mindset, you want to hide your flaws, so you’re not judged or labeled a failure. In a growth mindset, your flaws are just a TO-DO list of things to improve.” — Derek Sivers
We are all capable of controlling our own destiny, and to truly realize this, you need to believe that the world around you isn’t fixed. That you are able and capable of taking your weakness, your flaw, your bad experience, even your trauma and turning it into a goldmine of opportunity.
I know you’re rolling your eyes at the gratitude cliché. Not to mention the absurdity of trying to find gratitude for things we have been deeply wounded by or feel great shame over. Stay with me, Susan; I promise there’s something to this.
How does one find gratitude to say, sexual trauma? It is possible because I did it. The trauma of sexual abuse took me on a journey of depression, a lack of self-worth, and a lack of respect for who I was for a very long time.
As I dug into this flawed part of myself, I began to see these were emotions that I felt during certain moments of my life. But wasn’t who I was. The emotions were a response, not a signal of my inner Being. When I began to associate ME with a feeling no longer, I realized there was more to me than the trauma.
This experience allowed me to help others heal from their own trauma and not define themselves as “what happened.” I began to forge a deeper bond to myself, to Spirit, and even with clients because I was able to get vulnerable and relate to what they were going through while also giving them hope that, like me, they can heal.
We all have the ability to turn our flaws into opportunities by sharing our stories, by not hiding in shame, and empowering ourselves and others to grow and be extraordinary.
I know you may be like, so now what? This is what becomes, Your Brand Story, by turning your flaws into opportunities for connection
You are more than a past story, trauma, or even circumstance. Chance is if you are reading this, you’ve probably overcome a good deal of shit by now in your life. On a good day pretty freaking proud about that too.
That’s why you continue to follow the desire to have a passionate, purpose-driven business led by the soul. You crave more because you are more and know without a fathom of a doubt you are part of a bigger plan and mission.
What do your people need most? To know it’s ok to be human is what your stories do. They are a connection point for them to know they are not alone. That you get it, you lived through it, and look at you now. That’s some pretty empowering shit right there, my friend. You may still be going through life as you share past experiences; that’s fine; that makes you even more human and even more relatable.
You know your audience wants to be more than a number. They may never get to know you personally, but they feel like you do through the content that you deliver. This is when you serve and share rather than come across as, ‘hey, I’m here to sell you this.’ However, you are still “selling” just in an easier more aligned path for you.
If you need a more walk you through the process of how to develop your story, you may want to check out my mini-course, Your Story, Your Brand, where I walk you through step-by-step to develop this powerful form of marketing of turning your flaws into opportunities to connect to your ideal clients & customers.
Just know YOU are perfect the way you. You only have to change what you choose to improve, not because anything is wrong with you. There are people waiting for you to show them what you are made of, they want to read your story, hear your voice, and know that there is a way because you show them that way.