The Secret To Turning Your Weaknesses Into Strengths

The Secret To Turning Your Weaknesses Into Strengths

Jun 19

I stumbled upon a fascinating TED talk by Eleanor Longden.

Eleanor suffers from schizophrenia. In the video she shares how she overcame her debilitating illness by accepting her voices.

She calls herself a voice-hearer which, after watching the video, sounds like a superpower to me.

If you have time definitely check out the six and a half minute video.

If not, below are some highlights along with a great lesson learned from the video that you can apply to your own life.

The Power of Hearing Voices

Eleanor’s problems began when she told a friend about the different voices she was hearing in her head.

Her friend told her to get help.

She did, and that began her dismal journey down a road of medication, hospital admissions, hopelessness and despair.

Eleanor said the low point was when she attempted to drill a hole in her head to get the voices out.

Her voices were intolerable until she found a way to make peace with them.

She came to realize that her voices were a meaningful response to painful life events, particularly childhood events.

Eleanor now understands her voices are not her enemies but a source of insight into solvable emotional problems.

Turn Your Weaknesses Into Allies

I don’t know about you but I frequently berate myself about my weaknesses.

After watching the TED video I realized my attitude around my weaknesses did nothing but make me weaker.

Eleanor is an inspiring example of how to change the relationship with the funky parts of ourselves.

After listening to herself and others insist there was no hope for her, she switched it up.

She asked questions, experimented and opened up instead of staying closed down.

She made counter-intuitive choices that allowed her make her weaknesses work for her instead of against her.

She embraced the voices and they became her ally’s.

Once, one of her voices gave her all the answers to an exam she was taking.


They also serve as an alert. If Eleanor gets stressed or out of balance the voices become more pronounced.

My lower back is my weak spot. When I’m not treating myself well it’s the first part of my body to start yelling at me.

I used to feel sorry for myself having a weak back. But now it keeps me in check and makes it easier for me to stay strong and physically healthy.

Another weakness I’ve always struggled with is how sensitive I am. Other’s would tell me to lighten up mimicking what I’d say to myself in my head.

Now I realize my sensitivity can be powerful. It allows me to tune into to people and find compassion where other’s might not see it.

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

I challenge you to look at something you consider a weakness and ask yourself, “How can this become one of my strengths and help make me and the world around me better?”

It’s kind of cool to realize your weaknesses could actually be a unique gift you can offer the world.

Eleanor is using hers to help people who have suffered like she has.

So what’s your weakness? How can you turn it into a strength?
If you can’t see how a weakness could be a strength, share it with us anyway. Someone else might be able to see what you can’t. :)



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