As a minimalist, I am exposed to my strengths and weaknesses daily as I apply my ideas to my lifestyle and find new strategies to test. However, it is often the ideas I put into long-term practice that have shown me the most about myself.
“A true test of character
isn’t how you are on your best days
but how you act on your worst days.”
Twenty-one words never held so much power than these have for me. Just like tests and trials, we find our strengths and weaknesses when we apply what we have learned. In my journey with minimalism, I have uncovered many strengths and weaknesses that I can work with. I am sure there are many more, but I will get to them as I expand my horizons.
An important concept I have learned is that we often assume our ideals as our character and our strengths. For example, I would like to consider myself an very environmentally-conscious person. The truth is, that is only what I aspire to be. When it gets down to it, I did let those cans land in the regular garbage rather than recycle them. I did let the water run too long while I brushed my teeth. The truth is, I value the environmentally-conscious lifestyle, but I have not made it a foundation of my lifestyle yet.
So all assumptions set aside, I can use my responses, habit patterns/tendencies, and reflections to gauge what my true strengths and weaknesses are. I have found that reflection helps me focus on the specific strengths and weaknesses because writing something down lets me see my thoughts. I encourage you to try this exercise because you will not only get real with yourself, but also find areas to grow and improve on. It is important to remember that writing down strengths and weaknesses is not about bashing yourself, but celebrating growth!
My Strengths as a Minimalist:
- Finding new ideas to try
- Reflecting in my bullet journal (see: bullet journal)
- Remembering needs over wants
- Applying positive past experiences as encouragement
- Fast and efficient downsizing
- Not attaching myself to stuff I need to get rid of
My Weaknesses as a Minimalist:
- Committing to too many ideas all at once
- Letting my doubts/failures get to me
- Trying to be perfect
- Letting frustration get to me before I find a solution
A list of strengths and weaknesses is bound to change over time. What was once a weakness may become a strength after a lot of determination and patience to grow in tough categories. The beauty is that our strengths tend to stay with us, while we can develop our weaknesses into strengths. I know that my list of weaknesses is a flexible list; it will not change overnight, but eventually I will take those points and reverse them for my personal growth. As long as we focus on growth, weaknesses become opportunities for change. How exciting! Take it as a challenge, an adventure, or a goal to take control of the life you want to live as a minimalist. Pass it on!