In the past, we may have spoken about weakness and faults with ourselves. We have yet to discuss knowing our weak spot or spots. And what is a weak spot exactly, as defined for this article?
A weak spot is: a place in your life that “goes” first when stress happens.
So let’s say you just started yoga a week ago or something like that. Bam, someone dies or you get a nasty cold. Well, you aren’t going to let college slip or take a ton of time off work necessarily. You’re going to skip that yoga class.
But why is it important to know your weak spot(s)?
For one, we’re always going to have stress. Sometimes it’s expected and sometimes it completely blindsides us. And sometimes there’s a hidden stress within an expected one. But when stuff like this happens, it’s important that we realize what taxes us the most, what we can compromise with, and what we have to just let go for a week or two.
If we don’t know what our weak spot is though, a few things could happen.
We could end up trying to do everything all at once. This only increases stress and leads to burnout. Which is all the rage right now.
We could also end up doing nothing at all and sitting in a great pity party. We stop eating well, we stop going to the gym, we start skipping school or work. One thing after another crumbles and before we know it, we’re sitting and binge-watching a TV series and eating junk food.
All the cracks and all the weak spots break all the way through. Leaving us with a life that’s fallen apart.
But that’s extreme, ish. It’s easy for it to happen but it doesn’t normally go from one extreme to another. There’s normally an unhealthy balance in the middle.
There are a few steps for identifying a “weak spot” in your life.
- Have you just started the activity?
- Does it tax you physically, mentally, or emotionally more than anything else?
- Do you dread it/dislike it?
- Does it require a tremendous amount of effort and focus?
- Do you know better?
That last one seems a little silly, so we’ll start there. Sometimes everything seems fine. We seem like we can do the thing in question. We seem able to tackle it. Everything seems fine. Except in our head we just know better. For instance, this morning I could have gone to the gym early like usual except I knew better. I was a little more tired than usual. I wasn’t feeling perfect. And I was distracted. So that means I was setting myself up for an injury, getting sick, or something else.
Tomorrow’s a different day but for today, I know that I shouldn’t go to the gym. Especially since now, four hours later I have a sore throat.
Now, just because an activity requires effort or focus doesn’t mean it should be counted out. To me, it’s important to have an activity that requires one or the other and a lot of willpower no matter the stress. However, I get really wary of activities that require both effort and focus. Why? Because I know one of those things will more than likely give out on me. It’s a recipe for getting hurt in one way or another.
This also includes our second point. If there’s an activity that is extremely hard on a good day, requires all your focus, and demands that you bring everything, it’s a good idea to take a break from that for just a bit while you make your way through the hardest parts of whatever process you’re dealing with. That might be a week or it might be a month.
Also, have you just started the activity? This is a minimal loss kind of deal. If you’ve just added something to your plate, it’s going to be a weak spot. The habits won’t be as strongly embedded in you, you might not feel like it as much, and yadda yadda. That’s a good thing though because clearing your plate of that one thing is going to open up room to chill even if it’s for a week or two. Just be sure to add it back on!
And if there’s any activity that you dread or dislike, this might be a good time to take a break from it. I personally don’t think you should do anything that you hate however we all go through rough spots with what we include in our lives. Sometimes a forced break is just what the doctor prescribed.
Now for the easy part.
Once you identify your weak spots, understand that they are the first things to go when you get stressed. You don’t have to cut them all out and you don’t have to cut them out completely. What you do have to do is give yourself the leeway to do so. It’s okay to not go to that class. It’s okay to eat out tonight. It’s okay to sleep in today. It’s even okay to call off work and rest all day.
We live in a go, go, go and now, now, now kind of world. Which is fine. But that means that we need to understand that at some point we have to throw the glove down and decide what’s what. It’s up to us to say enough. And it’s important that we know where we can cut ourselves slack and where we cannot well before something happens that makes us feel guilty for “abandoning” our responsibilities and healthy habits.
Remember, go a little easier on yourself. Don’t force yourself into or out of anything. Figure out what’s natural. Figure out what’s fair to you and others. But most importantly, learn your your weak spots and respect them for what they are. They serve a purpose and your devotion and commitment to that activity are not reflected by them being the first or second things to get cut out.