In Chinese medicine practitioners address weak yang by first strengthening yin.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but the reasoning is pretty simple –
Focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses and then work on your weaknesses from a place of strength.
The other thing that sounds counter-intuitive but is actually very wise, is that a ‘weakness’ is often considered to be a ‘strength’ that is simply out of whack.
So in the case of weak yang, it might be that yang aggression is exaggerated. What starts out as confident assertiveness to get a job done (strong yang) has become reactive aggressiveness (weak yang). You might get angry, impatient and defensive. Physically this might manifest as a racing heart-beat and the associated stress of a ‘fight’ response.
The treatment/cure for this situation, in the holistic Chinese approach, would be to strengthen yin qualities, for example deliberation and intuition, and by doing so, take some of the heat/anger/weak yang out of the behaviour. Yin and yang are thus balanced (and so, hopefully, is health and happiness).
On the other hand if someone was overly passive, indecisive and lacking in confidence they could be considered to have weak yin. This could manifest as depression and anxiety or an immune system illness. Strengthening self-esteem and logical thinking (yang) would assist in bringing the yin qualities of careful reflection and confident intuition back into balance.
Ok, so I’m no Chinese medical practitioner or even an amateur expert in the field, but I reckon it all comes down to ‘playing to your strengths’.
Far too often we focus on what we do ‘wrong’ rather than concentrating on what we do well. We berate ourselves and fixate on improving THAT thing we find most difficult.
This may be the general idea if you are talking about improving your ‘weaker’ side when doing yoga balance postures (because the whole idea IS balance), or even doing dance poses. But a choreographer will always play to a dancer’s strengths and a card player should know his strong suit.
And balance doesn’t have to be about ‘levelling up’ your weaknesses to match your strengths, but bringing acceptance to those things we struggle with, while achieving success in those areas in which we are strong.
So here a few tips when it comes to playing to your strengths:
1) Make a list of the things you really can’t/don’t like doing (can’t and don’t like will usually be closely related of course). Can you get someone else to do these things for you (within reason right)? Cross off at least a couple of things that you really can’t/don’t want to do and outsource or make alternatives.
2) Make a list of the things you really can/love doing. Work out how to allocate more time for these things. Especially focus on at least a couple of things you REALLY LOVE but still find a little challenging. These will be things that you can do in order to ‘find your flow’ – your sense of time will disappear and soon you will have fully mastered your flow activities. In the process you’ll renew your creativity and a sense of confidence to tackle those things you find a little more difficult.
3) Now what you are left with are the things you either haven’t listed (but still need doing) or that are left-over from your picks in the first two lists. They could be a bit boring or simply things you need more skills to take on effectively. Make the decision to bring acceptance to the things you find less fulfilling if they need to be done and decide to challenge (and train) yourself to take on the other things as best you can. They could turn into future strengths, or just support you in making the most of your real strengths (eg learning basic graphic design skills will help you with make the most of your real talent for writing if you want to be a successful blogger).
Playing to your strengths is not about ignoring your character flaws, because we can all work on these!
Finding, and playing to your strengths can be a way to address your weaknesses, not by obsessing about turning them into strengths, but so they simply become a less important part of who (you think) you are!
Tell us your top strengths (go on gush) and are there weaknesses you could be focusing less on (go on own up)?
Now here is my crow pose – nothing to crow about! Arm balances are a bit of a yoga ‘weakness’ for me, and that’s fine until the one day I find I can actually do them. It will happen if I focus on balance!
And speaking of yoga, congratulations to the lovely Renee – Mummy, Wife, Me – I’d love to send you a copy of Mother Om, written by the gorgeous Leonie Percy of Yoga Mamata, just for commenting on my recent review of the book.
Linking up with Essentially Jess for another week of IBOT.