Weakness to strength

School was far from a doddle for me. My end of year reports were never a surprise to my Mum, ‘if Sharron would concentrate in class and not distract the other students she would do much better’. My sister who is 15 months older than me (so obviously won every race growing up as her legs were longer and had a clear unfair advantage) was the opposite and always the teachers’ favourite.

My sister, who is one of my favourite people on the planet, is my chalk as I am her cheese. At school (and now) she didn’t have to think as hard as me and she would still work things out quicker. God has made us to be different. My sister loved nothing more than reading a book, while I loved people and would talk to anyone, sadly there wasn’t a mark in school for that. I couldn’t spell and still can’t (thank you Jesus for spell check). I’m dyslexic but didn’t find out until I was 25. I went through school feeling really stupid, because academia came so hard to me. But now I am grateful, as it taught me to work hard. By the time I was doing GCSEs I had knuckled down and I worked three times harder than my sister even though she came out with better grades than me.

I know now I was never meant to be an academic, instead my job is to help people to achieve their potential, which involves a lot of talking (hence my school reports). While my sister is an exceptional accountant and couldn’t do her job to the level that she does, without her academic ability. Does it mean my sister is better than me, and I am stupid? No. It means we are not the same and that we have different strengths and abilities. What I find easy she finds hard, what I find hard she finds easy. For all of us, there are things we find straightforward and things we find difficult. We tend to focus on our weaknesses but if we flip them around they usually point to our strengths. Therefore, it’s important for us to know our strengths and weaknesses, to understand our potential and to begin to believe in ourselves. As without time in a chrysalis, the caterpillar would never become a butterfly.

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