I had a flaw...a fatal flaw, if you will, that was keeping me from moving forward in the direction I wanted to go. The problem was, I couldn't figure out what that flaw actually was. I knew it had to be something major that I did unconsciously, but what was it and and how did I go about finding out?
I really don't want to know what it is. And you probably won't, either. These things are painful; no one really wants to look squarely in the face of their flaws. But if I were to continue to grow and make progress in my life, I had to find out. The process wasn't much fun, and it took a couple of weeks, but I finally got my answer. During the course of my journey, I learned a few things that might help you figure out what's holding you back from having the life you want and, no doubt, work hard at.
1. Whatever you think your flaw is, it isn't that at at all. Nope. Not it. Most of us have a little voice in our head that tells us we're stupid, or selfish, or mean (etc). That voice loves to sing the same song over and over. You know the lyric by heart. Perhaps you remember when you first heard it. Maybe it was after something happened at work, or at school when you were a kid. But whatever that "little voice inside your head" is telling you, please believe that it's not your fatal flaw, So, armed with with information, box it up and prepare to toss it out.
2. Find an "Outside Authority." You don't know what your flaw is so how do you find out? You call in The Big Guns...an outside authority. This can make you feel pretty vulnerable; it did me, but facing the hard truth about yourself isn't a day at the beach. So who is this OA (outside authority)? Start with who it isn't. It isn't any of the people who blindly love us: Mom, Dad, our favorite elderly aunt, the dog, all kids under the age of 7....and certainly not Grandma. Although these loving humans probably can see your flaw, they aren't able to tell you what it is. So don't even ask. Here's who you do ask: Someone who knows you well, preferably for at least five years; The person you'd let visit you in the hospital when you're at your absolute worst; Someone who listens, really listens; Someone who's seen you do the same thing over and over again (while expecting to get a different result each time) but who can also articulate it. This requires the ability for them to be able to speak openly, honestly, and with feelings. This is a skill not everyone has. OK, so you've got a list of possible OAs or BGs (Big Guns). Now whittle that list down to the very best choice.
3. Please Protect Yourself. Now consider the question you're going to ask them. You don't want to know WHY you do it. They probably don't know unless they're a psychologist or a psychic. You also don't want to know how to fix it. That's not their job either. All you need is information, an observation. In their opinion what is your flaw, when specifically have they seen it in action, and how do they think it affects the events in your life? That's it. That's what you need to know.
4. Wait for that wince. They will, no doubt, grimace and ask if you really want to know. You do. Then they may ask for some time to ponder your request. Give them the time they need (within reason). If they can't figure it out within a few minutes...or even an hour...they probably aren't the person to ask. Then, after they tell you, you will also wince and grimace...because you'll know (at a gut level) that they're correct. But, guess what? After the initial shock wears off, you'll feel better. I know I did. If you've asked the right person, you'll know it instinctively because you won't feel angry, attacked, or defensive. It'll feel more like a huge weight has been lifted. Why? Because once you know what your "fatal" flaw is, you can work on fixing it and it won't be fatal any longer. It's a little like a rebirth...or being under construction. It's an opportunity to begin anew. This time, armed with knowledge and a fresh sense of direction.
I'm looking forward to moving past my flaw and to growing; to become the best version of myself that I can be. And I will forever be thankful to my OA for being so kind, honest, and supportive of me in my quest to find my "fatal" flaw. I know that, now, I can hop forward towards being that better version of myself...and with a more optimistic outlook about my future.