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What’s Your Achilles’ Heel?

The derivation of the expression “Achilles’ heel” dates back to an ancient legend. The story goes that Achilles’ mother Thetis dipped him into the river Styx to make him invulnerable. One of his heels was not covered by the water though, and as a consequence he was later killed by an arrow wound to the heel that was exposed. The expression – Achilles’ heel – is used till this day as a metaphor for vulnerability.

We all have vulnerabilities and they often become exposed when we are in conflict. If another person knows our areas of vulnerability she or he may precipitate conflict by purposely wounding our Achilles’ heel. Sometimes, of course, there is no intent such that our Achilles’ heel may be struck inadvertently too. As with other times people intentionally or not intentionally trigger us with something they say or do – or do not say or do – it helps to reflect on what is happening before responding.

This week’s ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) blog asks you to consider your Achilles’ heel. That is, what areas of vulnerability lead to conflict for you? The following questions are geared to helping readers gain a better understanding about the exposure you experience in that regard.

  • What would you say is your Achilles’ heel – an area of vulnerability that is likely to result in conflict when touched?
  • Why is that the case?
  • What feels wounded when someone touches it? How does it feel?
  • In what ways do you expose it? How do you appear, act, etc. at these times?
  • How do you try to hide it? How do you appear, act, etc. at these times?
  • What don’t you know about your Achilles’ heel?
  • What helps diminish the impact on you when someone comes close to your Achilles’ heel?
  • How may you strengthen your heel as to feel less vulnerable?
  • What may you gain from doing so? What may you lose?
  • How will you show up differently to the other person and those observing you if you strengthen your Achilles’ heel?

What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?

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