What the Israelites saw, from high on the ridge, was an intimidating giant. In reality, the very thing that gave the giant his size was also the source of his greatest weakness. There is an important lesson in that for battles with all kinds of giants. The powerful and the strong are not always what they seem.
– Malcolm Gladwell; David and Goliath.
In the pursuit of greatness and relevance, we are tempted to look at the things we don’t have, we find it easy to give ourselves 1001 excuses why we feel it will not work. Sometimes the oppositions we are up against seem so daunting that we feel we have no chance against them.
The truth however is the things we consider our greatest disadvantages are often great advantages except that we do not see them that way. This syndrome is referred to as holding realities in defective form or perspective paralysis (don’t bother checking google, they are my words). It simply means looking at what you have the wrong way or focusing only on the disadvantages or demerits of what you have.
Practical example; We were always made to believe that David was disadvantaged in the battle against Goliath, but taking a critical look at the story, the things we point out as David’s disadvantages like his small size, inexperience, Goliaths size and experience were what turned out to be his advantage.
The problem often time and why we find it easy to be victims of perspective paralysis is that we are quick to believe general statements and assumptions without recourse to data. Another reason is that we are quick to think that there is only way to go against an opposition. We end up combining a strong belief in our limitations with a strong belief in the opposition’s strength which is unfair and a sure recipe for failure.
The truth is that within what you call your weaknesses are your greatest strengths, all you need do is leverage on them and stop holding them in defective states in your mind.
To the budding entrepreneur and business owners, many of us are quick to assume that what is standing between us and our idea is funding. While I believe that money is very important, your lack of access to funding should not be held as a disadvantage, it is actually an advantage. An opportunity to learn what the greatest business schools might not teach you; resourcefulness, grit, consistency.
Research shows that more startups fail because of a lack of a market need for their product than due to lack of funding. While 42 percent failed for the former, only 29 percent failed because they ran out of cash. The report states that; running out of cash does not cause a startup’s failure, it’s merely a symptom of another issue. Excluding instances of “stupid spending” or the inability to raise capital in the first place, startups tend to run out of cash when a CEO has overlooked all other indicators of failure. “Unfortunately, sometimes it’s the only ‘symptom’ that the leadership sees,” .
There is such thing as the advantage of disadvantages!