Uncover the dormant strength behind the deficit
Inspired in the wisdom of
Professor, Fire artist and inventor, actor and comedian
And Grace Hannoy, writer of the movie When we Grow up
Note: This exercise, by no means intends to use a Google search as a replacement for a therapeutic process, and academic research, neither has it ignored the roots and history of the deficit.
Step 1: Make a list
List the characteristics and symptoms associated to this deficit/condition. For example: I always write letters in the wrong order, I have difficulties remembering the names of people.
Step 2: Do a Google search to find out if there is a known name for the condition
Use a simple verbiage such as “What is it called when (name characteristic here)”
Step 3: Make a list of your results
Make a list of names, diagnoses, conditions associated to the characteristics retrieved by your search.
Step 4: Do another Google search. This time, research about strengths of people who have this condition
Step 5: Do another Google search. This time, research about historical characters with the same deficit
Step 6: Make a list of times, memories and situations in which you felt confident at something or where you felt you were doing what was right for you
Step 7: Make a list of things that you always wanted to do
Step 8: Make a list of things you don’t feel as confident or good at but would love to be
Step 9: Make a list of things people tell you are good at
Step 10: Integrate it all in a chart like the one in the example below
Step 11: Read and Feel
Make sure your mind is clear and neutral before taking step. Start by reading the content of the chart and see how you feel as you read each word. Highlight any word that produces a strong feeling, this could be joy, aversion, fear, embarrassment, etc.
In the example above, the person decided to use colors to differentiate the type of feelings produced. Red was for negative emotions and yellow was for positive. This is an option but I suggest not to stick to "fear" vs "joy" duality because we are trying to find out what generates a feeling period. Fear and joy are just definitions that mean different things for different people; what you are afraid of or what you hesitate the most may be something that would caused you great joy if you attempted it and overcame the "negative" feeling associated to it.
Step 12. Transform feelings into actions. Relax, read the hightlighted items and for each of them think of an action that you can take towards exploring this item. Maybe you will get 1 or 2 or maybe you will visualize a way of integrating 2 or more items like in the example above
Step 13: Choose one of this actions and take it. That is the last step in this exercise but the first one in exploring your hidden your dormant strengths and aspirations.
Here is an example: The person who created the chart above may have always wanted to do a presentation at a stand-up comedy show. He is afraid of signing for it, so he decides to stake action towards something that scares him less. He decides to take a survival class that focuses on reading maps; during the trip he gets lost, fells down and breaks his leg; he hated the whole experience but his family and friends laughed hysterically when he was telling them what happened. He decides that he will go for the thing that initially scared him the most; he signs up for a stand-up comedy show. As he is filling out the online application, he notices that one of the requirements is to submit a script for his presentation. Writing is the thing he hesitates the most! this is actually his deficit but he still decides to take action so he starts by seeking help of writers and professionals. In his search, he gets introduced to a writer who also likes comedy and they get along pretty well. His new friend invites him to a show in two months. This show does not require a script but does require the story to be align with the theme: anecdotes in the wilderness. All of the sudden he makes the connection! he will use the story of getting lost and injured when taking the reading maps class in which he learned nothing but how to make his family and friends crack-up every time he narrated what happened.