In Korean Zen, monks are given one Koan or question to work with their entire lives. This question shapes and challenges them. And over the years, it becomes a powerful force for change and growth.
Most of us have our own version of this question that comes in the form of our biggest flaw. And even though many of us have spent a lot of time trying to get rid of these flaws, we should stop. Because it’s not going to work and losing our flaws would only make us less amazing.
Why You Need Your Biggest Flaw
One of my biggest flaws is anger. I’ve let myself get frustrated too easily and I’ve flown off of one too many handles. Another flaw I have is self-doubt. I’ve spent hours of my life fighting with questions like: ‘Am I worth it?’ and ‘Do I deserve this?’ Both of which are debilitating to ask and even more unsatisfying to answer.
There have been many times I wished these flaws would go away, but they haven’t. I’ve gotten better at dealing with them, but they’re still there and I think they always will be.
Then after years of trying to destroy them, I finally realized how they’ve helped me –
- Because of my anger, I’ve learned how to communicate more effectively and deal with difficult emotions.
- Because of my self-doubt, I’ve learned how to act without being certain and how to help others when they falter.
Once I saw this, I realized I needed to change my perspective on my flaws. I needed to learn to live with them and so I started imagining my flaws as big nasty zits.
How To Live With Big Nasty Zits (aka Flaws)
If you’ve ever had a big nasty zit, you know there’s no great way to get rid of it. You can pop it but that only makes it red and irritated. Sure, it’s kind of grossly satisfying but it doesn’t solve the problem.
You can try to cover it up, but it never works. People always notice. They may have to get close to you before they do, but eventually they see it.
The only effective way to deal with a big nasty zit is to live with it. To accept it as part of your life. To own up to your zit and maybe even make some jokes about it, so people know you don’t take yourself too seriously.
Your biggest flaw is no different. Destroying it doesn’t work and hiding it only leads to problems. So instead, the best thing is to just accept your biggest flaw. I know it’s hard because it’s embarrassing, but you’ll get over it, I promise.
So please for your sake and those you love, let you zit flag fly. Learning to acknowledge and work with your biggest flaws is an essential step on the path being a great leader and an extraordinary human.
Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter