Posted by: Edward | December 21, 2009

Weakness is Strength… when you learn from it

Every so often I hear about how someone isn’t qualified to help others because they have had personal problems. This doesn’t make any sense. Largely they are qualified to help BECAUSE of their history of problems.

Who has been the most successful at helping alcoholics recover? Other alcoholics.

Have I had personal problems? You bet I have. Chances are if you have a problem, I’ve already had it. I’ve had depression issues, phobia issues, relationship issues, career issues, self-esteem issues, school issues, etc. I’m not hiding these things. My failings are my resume.

Of course merely having problems isn’t ENOUGH to qualify someone to help you. The next thing they need to have done is LEARNED from it. What have they learned about coping with, or solving the problem that you have? Even someone only slightly ahead of you on the recovery curve can help you.

Next, they have to be able to communicate their learnings to you. It doesn’t matter how clever their solution for your problem is, if they are unable to explain it to you in a way you can use.

Last, they have to be willing to help you with your issues. Some people found their issues so traumatic at the time, that even though they have solved them now they aren’t willing to think or talk about them. And I respect that decision, but I don’t expect them to be able to help me.

Everything that I’m good at now, is because I used to be bad at it. Heck, when I was a baby I didn’t know how to talk, walk, or go to the bathroom by myself. Chances are… this is true of you as well.

PS

If you feel that what I’ve learned from my resume of failings could help you, direct any and all inquiries to coaching [at] edwardewilson [dot] com.

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Responses

  1. Regarding the willingness to help others: I found that many ‘friends’ avoided me during my bad years but expected me to help them in THEIR bad times, stating that I could help them because I’d already been through similar things.

    For those who can’t spot malingers easily, the people I’ve mentioned fall into that category – they do not WANT to change, they were using me as an excuse not to make the effort. And, big surprise, the times I did try to help them they took me for granted and then didn’t change at all. Hence why I am ironiically a great listener but am fed up of hearing about other people.


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