Made Vibrant

Learning To See Your Flaws As Strengths

Caroline ZookCaroline Zook Caroline ZookCaroline Zook

Written by

Caroline Zook

Learning To See Your Flaws As Strengths

Guys, last week I was in. a. funk.

Do you know the feeling I’m talking about? Uninspired. Unmotivated. UN-everything.

It happens every couple of months or so for me, but when it hits, man-oh-man am I a picnic to be around! [Sarcasm Alert]

The problem with being an (admittedly) highly emotional person is that when your emotions feel out of whack, it affects nearly every aspect of your life: Your relationships, your work, your overall energy.

Thankfully, I know myself well enough now to know when The Funk is starting to creep in, and to fight The Funk I intentionally take some extra time for myself. (ps. Someone needs to start a band called Fight The Funk. You’re welcome.)

During that time to myself, I do my best to shut out the noise, reconnect with my core, and listen to what my emotions are telling me.

So, last week, I took a few days off of social media. I stopped doing my daily lettering practice. I let my emails pile up. And instead of spending time sending all my energy outward, I did my best to focus on sending my energy inward.

And this is the part where I tell you it worked, right?!

Wrong. ?

By the end of the week, I wasn’t feeling more clarity or peace. Instead, I was starting to feel guilty for needing so much. So much time, so much solitude, so much attention.

And, if I’m being honest, I was starting to feel a bit ashamed too. Ashamed that I’m such a sensitive person. Embarrassed that my actions, productivity and overall behavior are dictated so much by my mood and emotions. I felt sorry for my partner, Jason, and for my roommates who had to bear witness to a version of myself that most certainly did NOT feel vibrant.

“Why can’t I just snap out of it,” I would think to myself, a thought that only sent my mood further down the spiral, by the way.

But, just when I was feeling beyond frustrated by my inability to shake The Funk, I stumbled across this article titled: Are you a sensitive entrepreneur? How to live more and stress less. (I clicked on that link faster than you can say soulful creative!)

In the article, Racheal, an entrepreneur and yogi, talks about how she’s had to cope with anxiety in a world of family members and colleagues telling her to “toughen up” or “get a thicker skin.” This paragraph in particular is what finally flipped on the light bulb for me:

“These days I’ve found a sweet spot for living with my anxiety. I actually have come to appreciate and honor this part of myself. Attempting to dull it or numb it out is NOT that answer {for me}. I’ve come to realize that I’m simply more sensitive to certain energies and must live + work in a way that allows me to be my best self without apology.

My anxiety is my personal internal monitoring system that lets me know when my life is out of balance, when I’m not living in alignment with my values + desires, or when I’m saying YES to things that aren’t in my best interest.”

This was so important for me to read because Racheal has come to embrace her sensitivity AND the anxiety that it brings her because she’s able to see that it also brings her value. The thing that makes it hard to cope sometimes is also the same thing that keeps her true to herself.

And she won’t apologize for it.

Her words felt like the exact courage I needed just when I was getting down on myself. And it also brought me back to a perspective-changing insight that struck me years ago, one that I want to share with you:

Our level of commitment to ourselves is of no consequence without accountability.

Including all of mine. Including all of yours.

Being so incredibly sensitive to the energy around me, to my own mood, etc., YES, it can sometimes feel like a burden. It can be inconvenient. It can cause tension in my relationships. (Jason, if you’re reading this, I know it’s not easy to navigate my minefield of emotions but I’m grateful for the love and effort you bring to the table every day!)

BUT it is also the same personality trait that makes me compassionate, empathetic and able to appreciate depth. And those are things I take pride in.

We ALL have things about ourselves that we consider flaws.

Things we wish were different sometimes. Things we think we want to change.

But, for every trait that we consider a flaw, I’m willing to bet that same trait is responsible for an asset too. I bet it can be traced to something we hold dear about ourselves, and something that others hold dear about us too:

What makes a person sensitive can also be what makes them compassionate and deep

What makes a person competitive can also be what makes them driven and strong-willed

What makes a person indecisive can also be what makes them open-minded

My challenge to you this week is this: find a flip side to one of your flaws.

Take something that might make you feel judged or weak or ashamed, and see if you can’t find a way to also see that thing as a strength.

I want you to also do that for someone else in your life. Maybe it’s an annoyance you have with your partner or spouse that you can start to see from a different perspective. Maybe it’s a flaw you’ve seen in a friend or your mother or that coworker across the hall.

Part of walking through life gracefully is accepting ourselves fully and in turn accepting the fullness of the people we love. That doesn’t mean that flaws don’t exist; it only means we have to try and see them in a different light.

Hoping this perspective brings you more peace in your relationship with yourself and with others.

And if you too are in a funk for any reason, take it from me, feeling guilty for being who you are will only make it worse. Give yourself space and grace and permission to feel what you feel, and then remember: this too shall pass. ?

Wishing you all a happy and productive week!

Learning To See Your Flaws As Strengths

(Big Fat Takeaway)

IT IT

This article written by

Caroline Zook

Artist, designer + writer passionate about helping soulful creatives grow into their brightest selves. Lover of bright colors + even brighter people! One half of the crazy duo running these parts!

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