Knowing Your Achilles

The Greek legend of Achilles is one I learned in high school. As the story goes, this hero was dipped head first while being held by the ankle in the River Styx by his mother Thetis at birth. The purpose was to make him immortal, however the ankle his mother held remained untouched by the water and therefore was vulnerable to harm. Ultimately, it was an arrow to this mortal ankle that lead to the demise of Achilles.

To this day “Achilles Heel” is used as a metaphor for vulnerability. Ultimately as I see it mortality was his weakness. As mortal human beings we all come with weaknesses.


“Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


I have become increasingly invested in personal development of myself, which in turn has extended to understanding the development of other people. By personal development I mean the components that comprise who we are and how we are perceived to be as individuals. One of the tasks I knew I had to do in order to understand who I really was involved a series of self-assessments. Preparing for a major job interview was one of the reasons it became impertinent to my understanding of myself to identify my strengths and weakness. You know, that infamous question. However I looked past what an unbeatable answer may have been that would land me a job, or at least in hoping that it would. Instead I interviewed myself with my nonjudgmental self. I had to know what really are my strengths and weaknesses and if, how and why I would want to change them.

Finally after Identifying strengths and weaknesses by making lists, I recognized some things were just plain fear of failure, or the unknown, that I am not as bad as I imagined, that some points overlapped as strengths and that some “weaknesses” I was okay with. See, I feel as though this list will always change not just for me but also for anyone who wants to be the best form of themselves.

If you develop the mindset that weaknesses aren’t really weaknesses, you can break through your limitations and fears.

The best way to do this is to get to know yourself a little better. Don’t worry about how you compare to others. This is all about you in your unique form.

I challenge you to try this:

First: Draw out a Venn diagram or make lists. Identify your weaknesses, what are they? Think of how they have impacted your life.

Second: What are your strengths? Think of instances where they have worked for you and when they have not.

Third: Determine if your so-called weaknesses are really holding you back. Identify any common theme between them.

Fourth: What are you going to do about it? Figure out how to move your weaknesses into the strengths column. How can you make small changes now to improve on them?

In another post I will go over some of the methods that have worked for me to be able to overcome some weaknesses. Remember I am still working on some of these as well. If you have anything to add to this post please feel free to comment below or make a suggestion in my suggestions or share with me page.


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