As human beings, we all have flaws.On the flip side, we each have strengths as well. For some, it could be an ability to jump high; for others, an ability to memorize long lists of information or analyze and disseminate large amounts of information.
The strengths we can have are infinite.
What happens, however, when your strengths end up becoming your weaknesses? The very qualities that prime you for success at a job can end up coming back to bite you in other areas, or even in the very field that you are pursuing.
Take, for example, a person going into business or international relations. In such a job, it is advantageous to be an extrovert, skilled in the art of handling different social situations. Naturally, the reason lies in the fact that such occupations require someone who knows how to handle different employees in many different social contexts, and can easily establish relationships with very powerful and influential people around the world.
Now, you may ask: how could such strength backfire into liability?
The person in question may be outgoing to the point that he or she spends a majority of his or her time talking and interacting with others. As a result, the person will not have enough time to study particular business or diplomatic techniques that are not naturally known.
To provide a more authentic testimony, I will use myself as an example. As someone who is majoring in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology, I need to be able to handle and process large amounts of information about biochemical processes.It is not just a matter of rote memorization about A causing B – it is a matter of why A causes B and how that A-to-B process relates to bodily functions as a whole. As a result, I have to analyze and investigate deeply in order to stay on top of my BCMB classes.My analytical ability is extremely helpful in a field such as BCMB, but outside of class, it ends up becoming a large social liability.
Without realizing it, I find myself over analyzing the movements and subtle actions of others. I see the small shuffling of the shoes, the way a person walks, the gaze of their eyes. I notice the seemingly random scratching of their nose or neck, the change in the tone of their voice and the differences in their interactions with others and myself.As a result, I end up becoming obsessed with how people might be thinking of me. I lose track of time, and spend hours going over past scenarios in my mind when I might have offended or did wrong to them.
In those lost hours, I could have been reading and prepping for upcoming exams, or doing homework. It has proven to be a major obstacle for me in the past, causing slips in my academic and social life.
This summer, I spent weeks in such a delusional state thinking of why several people treated me in cruel ways.
I don't want to give off the impression that people like me, or those that have their strengths turn into weaknesses, should be pitied. Instead, its time to recognize the good and the bad that comes with everything that we do.
For me, even though my skill may have drawbacks, I should still do my best and keep my priorities clear. In the end, life is tough on everyone. It's not just you who is enduring trials.
Jan Urbano is a senior in biological sciences. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.