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What doesn't kill you - will it make you stronger?

A friend gave me this T-shirt last week. What doesn't kill you will make you stronger. EXCEPT FOR BEARS, BEARS WILL KILL YOU. We laughed! But before I share, I want to say something on behalf of the black bear we saw on the trail in Lassen National Park last weekend. Most bears are chill and want to be left alone to eat their berries and grubs.

I recently watched In Search of Greatness, a documentary featuring Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player, Jerry Rice, the best wide receiver ever in the NFL, and Pele - possibly the most recognized name on the planet.

Each of these athletes talked about doing hard things and a weakness that helped drive them to greatness. Gretzky was not the biggest or strongest on the ice, so he learned to play smart. Jerry Rice never was stand out running the 40, so he learned to run routes precisely, and the QB knew where to throw the ball before Rice was there to receive it. Pele studied Karate for two years to learn to fall and get right up to continue the play "futbol" while others remained on the turf. Each of them called their adjustments "creativity."

I thought of my weaknesses and how I have dealt with anxiety since before people openly talked about it. And despite the fears, I pushed through leadership, conflicts, celebrations, hirings, firings, interviews, bosses, subordinates, and socials. My fears in all situations helped me pause, reflect, and be deliberate. The result was well-thought-out strategies that appeared spontaneous. The anxiety made me creative, wiser, and work smarter. We are all different, but I would bet that each of us has worked through a challenge that has made us more intelligent. So, how have your weaknesses helped you?

(Note: Anxiety is hard. If you suffer from anxiety, please speak to a wellness specialist or someone you trust.)


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