A service trip organization I’m a part of consists of a 16 hour car ride to New Orleans, of which strangers in a van play Hot Seat. To play, someone is placed in “the hot seat” and is asked a variety of questions. The person on hot seat must answer any question asked, uncensored as it may be.
It’s a personal favorite of mine. I’m known to be the one to get quite raunchy without hesitation, but those aren’t my favorite questions. My favorites are the ones that matter, the ones that make you sit back and reflect on who you are as a person and whether you can share what you think.
What makes you get up in the morning?
What makes you smile?
For what do you live?
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
It’s easy to throw these questions around to people. I do it all the time. Answering them yourself? That’s a a harder task. In fact, that might just be one of my biggest weaknesses.
While I ask others to be open about themselves, I am not always keen to return the favor so easily. The fact is, I’m very self critical and often compare myself to unreachable standards. Letting others know what really goes on in my mind only intensifies these feelings.
I’m an over-thinker. I analyze everything multiple times a day until I give up and just pick something to get the thought out of my head. I cause myself more stress than I should and it’s taxing.
I’m often too relaxed. I do my best to avoid stress and let things that should matter skim through my mind in an attempt to mask my other weaknesses. Ironically, it’s come back to bite me a few times in the past.
However, I’m a man of perspective. My weaknesses can be a burden at times, but they do provide an important aspect on life: opportunity
While I am very self-critical and have such high standards, I am very determined and have developed an incredible work ethic over the years, a strength I am take huge pride in.
While I over think everything, I am capable of coming up with several different perspectives on the same issue, from a variety of different contexts. Ideas and solutions come easy for me.
While I can be too relaxed, maintaining a level head has gotten me through very rough, high-stress situations. Being laid-back has provided me with a rational mind through multiple pressing deadlines as a student or a dinner rush from hell as a server, for example.
From weaknesses come strengths. In an ideal world, double your strengths to cover the losses your weaknesses provide. However, weak points will still be there no matter how much you mask them. Instead, take a step back, look at your weaknesses, and find an opportunity.
Then, make it work.