May 9, 2013 by
Categories: Acceptance

DumbbellI cringe when I hear the word weak. It has such a negative connotation…a connotation of failure and unworthiness.

I wish that it were the case that hearing that word would be a rare occurrence. But it’s not. In fact, I hear it frequently  both inside and outside of the therapy room.

We use that word to describe ourselves most often but sometimes we hurl it out to highlight the failings of someone else.  Either way, it packs a potent punch.

At the core of this concept of weakness is the implication of some inability or failure. Something that we cannot do yet should be able to do.

It is often perceived that we/others are weak when we…


Express emotion (especially for you men out there).

Cave in to some external pressure.

Fail to succeed at something.

Are unable to physically and/or mentally do something.

And trust me that was a very short list of what we (humans) perceive weakness to be.

The funny thing about this word is that it’s purpose is solely to describe unworthiness. We all fail at things and I think that it’s okay to say that…what an interesting life it would be if there were no failure!

Unworthiness though hits at something a little deeper…the meaning in our lives.

The feeling of being unworthy is so unpleasant and sometimes so devastating. Our words are powerful…when we use them to describe ourselves and others.

This is one of those posts where I don’t have an answer or a final direction but it’s something that I have been thinking about as an individual and as a therapist.


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5 Thoughts About Weak.

  • Jessica
    May 9, 2013 at 9:18 pm Reply

    I love that your photo on this post is a weight- that’s something I usually associate with strength. I used to hate going to the military gym with my husband, because everyone in there always seems to be in better shape than me. I felt weak by comparison. When I admitted that to him, he told me that I get respect points for just being there. “Everyone starts somewhere. If someone is out of shape, they get even more respect for owning up and doing something about it.”

    I think we call others weak when we fail to recognize where they are starting from, or feel jaded and angry that we had to start from a much tougher spot. I think we call ourselves weak when we don’t feel worthy of something; weakness is one justification of why we supposedly don’t deserve it. If we really believed we deserve it, we’d be out there getting it.

  • Jessica
    May 11, 2013 at 2:28 am Reply

    Getting started, I think, is the hardest part. It requires some hope or confidence, which is hard to scrape up if you’re feeling unworthy. I used to think that confidence was something that we could ‘give’ to other people, or that I could ‘build’ confidence by having successes. Now, especially when it comes to getting started, I think that confidence is really more of a decision to put enough faith in yourself to try your hardest, even if you aren’t convinced things will turn out. It’s not so much about believing you will succeed; it’s more about believing you’ll be okay no matter what happens.

    When it comes to recognizing how far we’ve come, I forget to do this most of the time. I recently got a good tip though: when you’re feeling at the end of your rope, look back to your hopes/dreams/goals from five years ago. Now think- how far have you come? What hurdles and challenges did you face to get where you are now? And what does that say about your ability to keep movin’ on now? When I think about it this way, I do start feeling confident.

  • Jessica
    May 11, 2013 at 2:31 am Reply

    Also, thank you for the awesome blog. I love CI, you guys share a lot of wisdom and inspiration.

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