Education Week: Recognize and overcome weaknesses that are holding you back

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LDS author and founder of Lifemission4u.com, Randal A. Wright, discussed the importance of overcoming weakness Tuesday, August 16 during Education Week.

“When a man makes war on his own weaknesses he engages in the holiest war that mortals ever wage,” Wright quoted from author and civic leader Bryant S. Hinckley. “The reward that comes from victory in this struggle is the most enduring, most satisfying and the most exquisite that man ever experience.”

Randal A. Wright speaks on overcoming weaknesses at his 2016 Education Week class. (Maddie Driggs)

In Wright’s experience, individuals use defense mechanisms throughout life. Sometimes these mechanisms can mask weaknesses and areas in need of improvement. This is when the mechanisms become a problem, according to Wright.

“We must recognize our weaknesses and have a strong desire to change,” Wright said. “We can’t just have a little desire.”

Everyone has come up short in the eyes of someone else, Wright shared. It isn’t always important to worry about that, but it is important to consider when these things are right and when others are trying to help according to Wright.

Taking time and recognizing what we’re good at helps us recognize our weaknesses to overcome them better, Wright said. Sometimes the mistakes we make hurt us spiritually, but we don’t recognize that cost.

To begin the process of addressing one’s weaknesses, Wright suggested narrowing in on one weakness specifically and asking why it exists.

“We come with natural born tendencies,” Wright said. “There are some things that we just naturally need to get over.”

Many weaknesses can be from past experiences or even past tragedies. Wright shared several instances where he witnessed firsthand family members or friends who were hit by vehicles and died or were severely injured.

Wright always worried something may have happened to his siblings when they weren’t home early in the evening because of this trauma. This continued into his marriage where he would worry about his wife when she returned home later than expected. While this may have seemed unnecessary or even out of line Wright attributes it to trauma in his past.

Traumas, natural tendencies and any other cause of weakness do not have to be restraining. Wright shared Ether 12:27  which states “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”

Wright ended with an example of the late prophet Gordon B. Hinckley. He feels one of President Hinckley’s weaknesses may have been impatience, however it may have been this weakness that lead him to build so many temples in such a short period of time.

Wright views Hinckley’s story as an excellent example of creating a strength from weakness, something he believes everyone is capable of.

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