What is Your Weakness?
You know that awful question that seems to be a staple in interviews?… C’mon, you know what I am talking about, the “what’s your biggest weakness?” question. The one that people not only dread, but at the same time spend time crafting the perfect answer for. I know about this first-hand given that pre-crazy/entrepreneur life, I used to be a recruiter. I coached candidates on how to turn a negative trait or experience into something positive in an effort to prepare them for this dreaded question. Given that I don’t plan on being interviewed for a job anytime soon, I am going to get very real and offer up some insight into my honest answer to this question. I pray that I can spark some motivation.
At one point in my life I would have answered that “I work too hard.” The response that any boss who is considering hiring you (and putting you on salary) absolutely lovesssss to hear. Who doesn’t want a self-proclaimed workaholic who will work 80 hours a week and get paid for 40? However, the current reality around this question is that I have a hard time finishing things that I start. I’ll be the first to admit that I have commitment issues … actually, it’s not so much about committing, as it is to finishing.
“I have a hard time finishing things that I start.”
I will be the first to say that I am an overly ambitious person. I see the silver lining in everything and I deeply desire to help, contribute, or “fix” anything that crosses my path. The cycle is always the same: I always start off strong. I commit. And I prioritize. The momentum, and excitement, and rush of potential and possibilities fuels me forward. However, it is not uncommon that as things start to unfold, fall into place, and come together, I freeze.
Afraid of Failure
Although I am not the most astrologically sound person, it is said that Capricorns are afraid of failure. This diagnosis is spot on for me, and has without fail rung true in my life. Whatever I set my head or heart out to do in life, I commit to not simply doing it, but to strive to be the best at it. As you can image–and to those who can relate–the fear of failure is always in the back of the mind of perfectionists and high achievers. My mentality was always that if I wasn’t the best, then I must have failed in some way. So what is the best way to combat this thinking, overcome this “weakness”, and avoid an insane self-sabotage? Finishing something, of course.
Committing to an Attainable Goal
I love to read… but as you can imagine I have a bad habit of starting a book and not finishing it. I could make up a million excuses about time, interest level, distractions, etc… but it’s not worth it. The reality is that I simply don’t finish them. AND I love to read! It doesn’t make sense. When I made the decision to finish something to help me get out of my funk, I knew immediately how I wanted to achieve this. I’d been dying to re-read The Alchemist for quite some time, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
I committed to reading a portion of the book on a daily basis, because small and attainable goals help you make progress! Before I knew it, I was looking forward to the 30-40 minutes that I was able to carve out each day to simply disconnect and read. Before I knew it, I was on the last page, and already missing the characters. For those who have read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, there is nothing like chasing a personal legend through a character in a book. And for those who haven’t read this classic – please, please, please go download, borrow, or buy it, and start reading immediately.
The pure satisfaction of finishing that book brought me back to life. Whether it is The Alchemist or not, if you are in any sort of a rut, grab a (short) book and finish it. There’s a sense of accomplishment that will hopefully spark some life deep inside you. So I guess the only question that remains is, which book will you finish first?