Every trait of character that is not “average” stands out. If this is valuable in terms of what “society” think is valuable others might call it a strength or virtue. Far more often people will be irritated about what they think is not normal or valuable. People will call this a weakness. They will tell you to adapt: “When will you finally stop being…”, “You have to get rid of…”, “You wont´t be successful with…” etc…
Everyone has heard this. Everyone has struggled, wondering if they might be right. Maybe they are? Sometimes your “weakness” might really be a bad habit you better get rid of. But before going down that road, at least think about the following:
Since this “weakness” is what obviously makes you special PLUS it is something that comes natural to you – can´t you use this for your benefit? Think hacking your weakness Ninja Style (or more correct Judo style):
Example given: In terms of the average Joe my father is waaaaay to selfless. He hears “You have to think more about yourself!” all the time. No. These people are wrong. It is one of his biggest virtues. He actually enjoys putting himself second and truly caring about helping others. So more or less by accident he got into a job where he could fully exploit this virtue, being admired and loving what he did. Would anyone have told Albert Schweitzer to please stop being too selfless?
I myself was always told “You are to erratic. You need to learn to stick to one thing.” Until someone gave me a whole new perspective: What others call erratic, is the ability to dive into various topics deeply within an instant. While others stick to their more or less straight career all their lifes, I strive thinking about energy-saving, online-shops, papersaving-paper bins, children books, comedic sketches and more within one day. A virtue that enables a broad view that helps as a consultant, entrepreneur and being creative – or being myself so to say. When was the last time someone told Richard Branson to stop being so erratic?
Funny last example: A friend of mine was in between jobs and constantly surfing the web and facebook regarding all things soccer. His sister whom I also know told me about this. “He has to stop doing this, or he never will succeed!” He is now working for the social media department of a sports channel. And he loves living true to his weakness / strength.
So: What others criticize as your biggest weakness, just might be your biggest strength.