Using Strengths to Help Overcome Weaknesses

Only courageous hearts can endure the bitterness of truth.

Psychotherapists sometimes do a brief exercise with new clients, asking them to write two short lists: one list with 10 things they don’t like about themselves; another list with 10 things they do like about themselves. Can you guess which list is easier to write? In 12-step recovery it’s the same. As we work the 12-steps, taking inventory (Steps Four and Ten) can end up as exclusively focused on problematic issues, negative concerns, and personal deficits. However, this does not need to be the sole focus of a self-assessment. Inventories in business and finance include not just weaknesses but strengths; and strengths are then assessed as ways to deal with weaknesses. Why should our lives be any different? In recovery, strengths (such as a strong social support network, good organizational skills, a strong work ethic, and an altruistic tendency) can all be utilized when addressing personal weaknesses.

Just for Today
Reflect on your strengths and how you might use them as tools of your recovery.