How to embrace your flaws and turn them into strengths

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We all have flaws—even the best of us, even the people you look up to.

The thing is that those of us who succeed refuse to let their flaws drag them down. Instead, they managed to turn these flaws into strengths.

With enough will, anyone can do this. So instead of hating yourself for the many flaws you have, it’s time you embrace some of them and see if you can actually turn them into strengths.

Why embracing your flaws is so powerful

1) You will live a more authentic life

If we keep trying to change and improve ourselves based on what society sees as “right” or “normal” or “beautiful”, the inevitable end result is that we’ll conform.

We become just like everyone else, without the rough edges that make us unique.

And that’s just a sad life.

We’re all born unique—and our flaws are part of what makes us who we are. So as long as we are not harming anyone by being ourselves, then we should instead strive to accept ourselves in full.

2) You will stop hating yourself

If you spend your life always trying to correct your “flaws”, especially if it’s to fit in or to win people’s adoration, then you’ll always be miserable. Always.

When you live a life hiding in a closet, it doesn’t matter if people shoved you in there or if you locked yourself in—when you see people outside of it, happy and free, you will resent them.

And you will hate yourself too, because deep down inside you can’t help but feel like you could have been like them but you just lack the willpower and courage.

You might think that you’re trying to perfect yourself by getting rid of your “flaws”… but you’re not. You’re actually denying yourself, all for the sake of a vain endeavor.

By embracing your flaws, you’re allowing yourself to relax and enjoy this one life you’re given.

3) You will slowly gain respect—from yourself and others

Before you can even begin to gain respect from others, you must first learn to respect yourself. And that’s what you’re doing when you embrace your flaws.

Most of us immediately assume that it’s shameful to have flaws like, say, having a stutter, a quick temper, or simply being slow to learn. But on the contrary, it’s more about how we actually deal with these flaws than the actual flaws.

When we pretend we don’t have them, or act insecure about them, we’re showing that we don’t love ourselves enough.

But by embracing our flaws—by accepting that we have a stutter, or that we’re slow to learn—and being upfront about them, we’re telling people that we aren’t ashamed of who we are.

And through that, we earn people’s respect.

How to embrace your flaws and turn them into strengths

Step 1: Acknowledge your flaws

Since you’re reading this article, you probably already know that you have your flaws.

But acknowledging your flaws goes beyond simply telling yourself “Okay fine, I’m not perfect” or “Sure, I’m not the best in everything, but…”

You must also take a closer look at your flaws and allow yourself to be comfortable (or uncomfortable) with them.

You actually have to be able to openly say “Yeah, these are my flaws and I own them 100%!”

What to do:

Find some quiet time and list down the things that you perceive as your weaknesses. Don’t get petty with this, however—list down the ones that you think are actually relevant to your life.

To make it more effective, don’t go too crazy. Limit your list to at least five weaknesses at first.

Here’s my list for reference:

  • I procrastinate on my big goal (which is starting a business)
  • I’m a bit bossy
  • I’m too sensitive to the point that it’s affecting my relationships

Everyone has flaws. So write yours down, look at them, and tell yourself “These are my flaws, and I embrace them fully.”

Doing this step alone will have a tremendous effect on how you view yourself and your flaws.

Step 2: Acknowledge your strengths

If you are to face and acknowledge your weaknesses, it’s necessary that you also try to acknowledge your strengths. If you don’t do this, you can easily end up completely crushing your self-esteem.

You also need to see both your good and your bad together to truly grasp who you are as a person—not just yourself as a “good” person or a “bad” one, but as a complete and very human being with both.

And who knows, by knowing your strengths, you might be able to see your weaknesses in a different way—that they’re just “misguided” strengths waiting to be transformed.

What to do:

Write a list of your strengths. But unlike the flaws, you can write as many strengths as you want!

Step 3: Have a compassionate relationship with yourself

Here’s the thing: most of our shortcomings and the things that hold us back stem from our own complicated inner relationship with ourselves.

And if you have a goal to turn your flaws into strengths, then, you must first be at peace with yourself and treat yourself with compassion.

There’s no other way to do it. Self-compassion is a must!

There are people who think that to become “better”, we must be hard on ourselves. But the same pressure that can turn coals into diamonds can crush houses into dust.

We should thus be careful about just how much pressure we put on ourselves.

This can be a bit tricky to figure out, and it’s almost impossible to do this without guidance at first.

What to do:

If you want to learn how to treat yourself so you can turn flaws into strengths, the first step you should do is watch Rudá Iandê’s free video on Love and Intimacy.

The FREE masterclass highlights the transformative power of having a good relationship with oneself.

After watching his mind blowing free video, I learned how everything is connected to the self, and while it’s good to try to improve what’s on the outside, it’s impossible without loving what’s on the inside first.

Give it a try. It dramatically improved my relationship with myself, and I’m sure it will have the same transformative effects on you.

Step 4: Develop a healthier view of success

If you’re like me, you’ve probably thought that having flaws would turn you into a loser—that you’ll never be able to find love, earn respect, create a career, and other things that make one a “success”.

And this is probably the reason you’re beating yourself up for having flaws.

You’ve probably said to yourself:

“You wake up too late. You’ll never achieve your dreams!”

“You’re so fat. You’ll never be in a relationship!”

“You stutter and zone out a lot. You’ll never be promoted!”

Change this right now. Thinking like this does you no good…and in fact, it can be very dangerous.

What to do:

You can start by questioning how we as a society view success.

Really ponder on it. Spend one afternoon questioning everything you know about success.

Ask yourself, for example, why we think that a lonely, divorced billionaire is more successful than the happily married man living in a two-bedroom apartment.

Or why we think that we have to wake up at 4am in order to be considered a person with self-discipline.

It will hopefully make you realize that success has different forms and that your flaws can actually be your assets.

Step 5: Know which flaws you need to change

Not all flaws are created equal.

Addiction or being a cheater are definitely flaws, for example, and these are the kinds of flaws that you should try to get rid of through self-help and therapy if you want to become a better person.

And yet, at the same time, having a big nose or being a bit too energetic or being fat can also be considered flaws, and these are “flaws” that would be good to accept as part of who you are.

Trying to figure out which flaws you should get rid of and which ones you should just accept isn’t the easiest thing to do in the world (not at first, at least).

It requires you to truly sit down and try to question yourself, as well as the things you’ve been considering flaws or weaknesses.

After all, sometimes we think something is a weakness even if it’s objectively harmless… and sometimes we consider something a strength even if it’s harmful for everyone involved.

What to do:

Go back to the list you made in Step 1.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which of these are actually strengths disguised as flaws.
  • Which of these are actually harmful to myself and others (and therefore needs to be changed).
  • Which of these are actually unique traits that society has conditioned me to see as “flaws”? How can I turn them into strengths?

Step 6: Design a life where your “flaws” can be turned into superpowers

As mentioned, not all flaws can be turned into strengths. So yes, work on changing some of them, accepting some of them AND turning a few ones into superpowers.

Let’s focus on the ones you must embrace.

If you’ve always been sensitive, ask yourself “What kind of life should I lead so I can actually make use of my sensitivity?”

Maybe you should consider delving into the arts. Sensitive people often find a lot of joy and fulfillment in expressing themselves through music, poetry, and painting.

Maybe you can shift careers and start looking for jobs that see sensitivity as a strength—jobs like guidance counseling, coaching, or writing.

And maybe you should find a partner who appreciates your sensitivity instead of shunning you and calling you “toxic” or “demanding” because of it.

It might require some trial and error—some people spend decades cultivating a life that’s accommodating to their “flaws”—but as long as you’re trying, you’ll eventually get there. And the reward will be sweet.

Step 7: Be your own advocate

We can’t always rely on others to stand up for us, or to understand us. That’s why it’s important for us to exert control over our own space.

When you have people trying to make fun of you for your “flaws”, rather than feeling sorry for yourself and just accepting that they’re right… stop and question yourself.

Why, exactly, are they making fun of your “flaws”?

If you think about it, whenever people make fun of others unprovoked, it’s because they’re trying to compensate for something.

People who are truly confident won’t attack people unless they’ve been struck first. They don’t start fights, but end them.

So stand tall and proud—those people are probably just trying to project their own insecurities on you. So piss them off and be unapologetically proud of your flaws.

And once you’ve turned your flaws into strengths (by embracing your flaws fully and actually finding a life that treats your “flaws” as superpowers), make noise. Say it loud and proud. Write a book about it, talk about it in your speeches, share your story to your grandkids.

The world needs a kinder, more compassionate view on “flaws”, and so once you find it, you must continue guarding your light and share it with others.

Final thoughts

It’s not easy to embrace your flaws and to turn those flaws into strengths? Even more so.

As I’ve mentioned in the article, there are some flaws that are irredeemable and need fixing, and then there are flaws that are completely harmless.

Turning your flaws into strengths is less about actually looking at the good side of all your bad traits and more about acknowledging that not all of your “flaws” are actually flaws. Rather, they’re just traits that make you unique!

And it’s in the act of accepting these harmless so-called flaws as part of your being that you empower yourself. In doing so you help strengthen your self-esteem, and in strengthening your self-esteem you make it easier for you to accept yourself.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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