My greatest strength – my new blog series continues. And the many wonderful responses regarding the first post illustrate how important honesty and authenticity are. Always and perhaps especially now. Thank you!
Indre Zetzsche and her wonderful blog M i Ma are always at the top of my weekly reading list. I appreciate her wise words and nuanced thoughts so much and her openness and honesty abou my question really touched me:
“I was asked about my greatest strengths and weaknesses only in job interviews so far and so for a moment just the qualities came to my mind which are beneficial in working life, like my creativity or my decisiveness. But that doesn’t go far enough. I think my greatest strength is what I call my “tenacity” and which is called “resilience” in psychology: the ability to cope with crises by having recourse to my own capabilities.
My life was not always bright. Until I became a mother for the first time at the age of 20, it was quite cloudy now and then, as to speak in meteorologic parlance.
In particular, my youth really came with all the topics to write a story of failure: divorce, anorexia, early school leaving and experiences of violence. It could have gone terribly wrong. But somehow I’ve always been able to pull myself up by my bootstraps – maybe because I could entrust myself to others.
For example I couldn´t have done my study but for two professors who had firmly believed in me. I didn´t have faith in myself. I always felt wrong amongst the „academics´ kids“ and I was always on guard, because I feared that someone would expel me from the building stating that I didn´t belong here. On the other hand, I couldn´t imagine that these two great women could be profoundly wrong. If they believed in me and my skills, there had to be something. This has helped me to overcome setbacks and fears. For example, I was horrified and almost in panic to talk in front of large groups of people. These jitters lasted quite a long time: Only since six years, I don´t need acupuncture two weeks before a speaking performance.”
Cover photo: Katharina Küllmer