How To: deal with your weaknesses

you are who you are.

From living in a first world European country, commonly commuting and keeping up with my daily routines, I often notice how immersed in luxury we’ve become. Ancient man’s fears and challenges were on how to stay alive against bears and mammoths and the cold (or the heat! if they lived in my country). Nowadays, Danger has changed.

Our worst enemy seems to have become whatever still lies unknown within ourselves. Our anxieties of the present, fears of the future, worries about the past. They’re constantly nagging at us, and we do not always know how to take hold of them from the horns and control them. This terrifies us. This is our greatest weakness. It comes in many forms, in different people. Some people are afraid of being too outspoken, others of being too modest. Others are super aware of how people will judge them, while some are too indifferent to it.

We’re all different. But we’re all weak.

Yes: You . are . weak .

Let it sink in. Do not fight it, do not deny it. Breathe, let it sink deeper. Hug it like a pillow, no matter how painful. See? You’re still alive! You have those weaknesses. Few, many. It is irrelevant! The sooner you’re aware of what they are, the better. I am no professional psychologist or any form of doctor. But here is my advice:

1 — know your weaknesses

2 — admit them. Not just to yourself, but to others.

Tyrion Lannister (you cannot not know who he is!) says to ‘’never forget who you are’’. because ‘’the rest of the world will not . Wear it like armor, so it can never be used to hurt you’’.

People ask for facts. Here’s one:

One of my weaknesses is that I suffer from mild anxiety disorder. Pretty mild, but still. I get short-breath quite often, and at different periods — various and random, as far as i can tell — I suffer from ‘oxygen hunger’. Sometimes I make weird funny noises with my throat, or jerk my head quite spontaneously. I don’t know how to control it. I just feel the need to do it, like the need to scratch your back.

I’m not saying I’ve got the worse condition out there. By far not ! I think i wouldn’t even classify with the Top 5,000,000 souls to be pitied in this world. But still, this is something I’m aware of, and i’m pretty sure — socially-speaking — others are too. It is not very hard to hear someone making funny noises with his throat, or jerking his head for no apparent reason, without thinking ‘what’s the hell is this guy?’ (if not make fun of him!) Well, that’s me. And there is one of the things I cannot control in my life. There you go: a weakness.

But what i and what you can control, is what to do about it

Some weeks ago, at work, a colleague came into our office and commented about how i had just jerked my head. I looked at him and calmly and with a tone of self-mocking attitude replied: ‘yes, i do it quite often’. My tone was the same as if I was speaking about how often I play football or watch a movie.

Another fact is that my father died when i was 18 years old. (died, not ‘passed away’. Please stop making up expressions to avoid saying words such as these. People die everyday, so it must be one of the most commonly ‘actioned’ verbs in the universe). Between the workplace and everyday social life, it is very easy for the subject to come up. It can be through a random conversation I’m having with friends or acquaintances about parenting or dads. It could come up during a movie I’m watching with my wife, whereby a father dies and I empathize with the character’s loss. The fact remains that in front of such (or similar) situations it is very tempting to decide to avoid confrontation by leaving the conversation or holding back tears, respectively.

No. Don’t.

If an opportunity comes where you have the option to either remain quiet/leave or else raise your voice and say (in my case): ‘I remember my father used to say that, Alla jahfirlu!’ (a native expression which makes it obvious the subject is dead). Then please, take the last option. Keep your head held high, feel proud of who you are. My father’s death in 2004 is part of my experience, part of who i am.

I just revealed some of my weaknesses to you. Not because i like them, neither because i should be boastful about them. What i am boastful about, however, is the fact that I am not shy to admit them. They are part of me like your weaknesses are part of you.

You do not have to shy away from your weaknesses. They form part of who you are.


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