When I was a teenager, and even in my early twenties, I used to think I was a weak person, because things like a discarded tissue or Band-Aid, or someone sneezing/coughing near me could instantly reduce me to a human-shaped bag of cortisol with all the mobility and logical reasoning of a beached sea cucumber.
It seemed simple enough logic; things that didn’t even bother other people could decimate me, therefore I must be weaker than them.
Then I thought about Superman. This bloke has superhuman strength, x-ray vision, he’s invulnerable to bullets, and he can fly unaided. Pretty incredible by anyone’s standards. Yet this mere rock, Kryptonite, can render him helpless. Does that make him weak? Of course not, he’s still amazing, he just happens to have this one specific weakness.
Likewise, having a specific thing that we find frightening or challenging doesn’t mean we are weak. On the contrary, the fact that we deal with such unpleasant stressors speaks to our strength.
And just like Superman, having a sensitivity or a phobia of something does not negate all the awesome things about us. Even superheroes have chinks in their armour. Our weaknesses may be a part of who we are, but that doesn’t mean they define us.