Convert weaknesses and threats into strengths and opportunities

The Augustinian Recollect Antonio Carrón reflects in this article about the weaknesses, threats, strengths and opportunities of each person, taking this method of business analysis to the personal level

One of the methodologies that we usually use when we want to analyze a situation or an institution is the one known as SWOT, an acronym derived from Weaknesses, Threats, Strengths and Opportunities. Basically, it consists in reflecting on those elements that can suppose a weakness (internal analysis) or threat (external analysis) and which are the basis of strengths (internal analysis) and opportunities (external analysis). Normally the four elements are seen separately and from an objective reading, taking into account the reality of the moment in which the analysis is carried out. Undoubtedly, this technique offers us a vision at an institutional or personal level that is very illuminating and from which proposals for improvement can be suggested.

A specific way of approaching this analysis consists of starting from the elements that we could call “negative” (in this case the weaknesses and threats) and seeing them as a call to change perspectives transforming them into strengths and opportunities. It is a perspective that connects very well with what we know as resilience, that ability to adapt to a disturbing agent or an adverse state or situation. In general, we all want to have in our lives many more strengths and opportunities than weaknesses and threats. But why not change the perspective and read those weaknesses and threats as opportunities to emerge strengthened? In a way, is it not necessary to overcome difficulties in order to grow? Are the goals reached when they are achieved easily or when they are the result of effort and sacrifice?

Perhaps one of the big mistakes that society has made today is the culture of the super protection of children, preventing them from going through difficulties and always seeking to enjoy an illusory state of happiness and clear roads. That ideal world, that crystal ball, sooner or later ends up breaking. And, if a person is not prepared to deal with weaknesses and threats, it will be difficult for them to manage in this world. Weaknesses and threats are not negative, they help us to renew ourselves, to improve ourselves, to innovate, to be entrepreneurs, to grow and, ultimately, to live.

Another aspect to take into account is that of finding in society, in the family, in organizations or institutions, or in ourselves mistakes, things that we do not like. The human being is not perfect and, for that reason, makes mistakes, experiences pain and is capable of hurting others. But this does not turn humanity into something bad, hence a pessimistic outlook on life is not generated, but rather a need for continuous search, for continuous improvement. And, for this, it is necessary to have references, firm foundations, a path that helps reach the goal.

To clarify this question a bit more, the text of Saint Paul 2 Cor 12: 9-10 may be illuminating: “The Lord answered me:” My grace is enough for you, because my power triumphs in weakness “. Rather, I will glory with all my heart in my weakness, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. Therefore, I am pleased with my weaknesses, with the reproaches, with the privations, with the persecutions and with the anguish endured for the love of Christ; because when I am weak, then I am strong. “Said in our world today, the apparent contradiction of being strong from weakness does not seem to make much sense. But, if we think about it well, only from the recognition of our condition as limited beings, only from the recognition of our mistakes, only from asking for forgiveness and accepting it, is it possible to grow.

Recognize our weaknesses and threats, deal with them, work from them, take them as a foundation to find new ways, new opportunities, is the true way to consolidate strengths in our lives. And St. Paul gave us the key to the Fortress with a capital letter. Because, in Christ, when I am weak, then I am strong. Because when we allow ourselves to be molded by Him, it is when we truly grow. Because with Him and from Him, everything makes sense.

Antonio Carrón OAR

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