Monthly Archives: September 2017

The Number One Reason We Prevent Our Own Progress (and what you can do about it) Part Four

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Last week we examined how authenticity and accepting our weaknesses feeds into one another and how we could benefit from this. We also took a look at a nifty exercise that helped you to be more compassionate towards yourself when it comes to your weaknesses. This week we explore why accepting our weaknesses needn’t mean resigning yourself to them and how to continue improving, even overcoming them in time.

 

Why Accepting Your Weaknesses Doesn’t Mean Resigning Yourself to Them

 

Whilst it is important to fully accept our weaknesses this needn’t mean resigning yourself to them. I worked on my vanity by starting to go out without make up on and today I don’t place value upon myself based on my appearance.

 

Whilst it may sound like a contradiction to both accept your weaknesses and then work upon improving them, in fact it is quite the opposite. When we accept who we are completely, flaws and all, we are then in a perfect position to work on improving ourselves, because we are doing so from a self-compassionate and loving place – the ideal environment for genuine growth.

 

Though some may choose to berate themselves for their weaknesses with the aim of eradicating them, this is often ineffective because they are essentially rejecting themselves and creating self-loathing which psychologically creates a helpless mentality – needless to say this is not conducive to inspiring real growth.

 

How to Work Upon Improving Your Weaknesses

 

One of the best ways of improving in the area of our weaknesses is to analyze it a little. Don’t worry it’s easy enough to do, just follow the two simple steps below…

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The Number One Reason We Prevent Our Own Progress (and what you can do about it) Part Three

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So far we have looked at the benefits to accepting our weaknesses and the psychological reasons we reject them. This week we explore how authenticity and accepting our weaknesses feeds into one another and how we can benefit from this. We’ll also take a look at a nifty exercise that will enable you to be more compassionate towards yourself when it comes to your weaknesses.

 

Authenticity and Accepting Your Weaknesses

 

When we fail to accept our weaknesses it naturally undermines our authenticity. After all, how can we be true to who we are if we are unaware of our weaknesses, which is part of who we are? True authenticity involves self-awareness and means both knowing and accepting ourselves completely, including our weaknesses.

 

When I failed to accept my weaknesses it raised my stress levels. It was subtle enough for me not to notice, but, when I accepted my flaws, I noticed a distinct difference. I felt lighter and more care free.

 

I realized that without even being aware, I was different around different groups of friends, causing me anxiety that one day I would be ‘found out’ as the odd one out. This is what not accepting our flaws does – it contributes to in-authenticity and causes us to wear masks, preventing us from establishing true intimacy with those we are close to and adding to our feeling of isolation.

 

In accepting our weaknesses we are free to drop the masks we wear and just be ourselves, increasing both authenticity and intimacy with those we care about.

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The Number One Reason We Prevent Our Own Progress (and what you can do about it) Part Two

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Last week we looked at the benefits of accepting our weaknesses, this week we explore the psychological reasons we reject our weaknesses and explain what can be done to counteract this.

 

The Psychological Reasons We Reject Our Weaknesses

 

Humiliation

 

We immediately do anything to avoid humiliation. Humiliation can therefore have a big impact in terms of failing to accept our weaknesses. For instance, if we are in a team at work and are a senior staff member, the last thing we wish to do is accept we are bad at teamwork.

 

We can overcome this by accepting the truth that whenever we admit our flaws invariably we endear ourselves to others and often gain their respect, rather than inviting further criticism or put downs.

 

Shame

 

Sometimes when we behave in ways that are bad (like screaming at someone) we psychologically distance ourselves from our actions to avoid feeling shame.

 

Shame tells us we are something wrong as opposed to guilt, which is much more healthy an emotion and tells us we have done something wrong.

 

The trick here is to reassert that although we have done something wrong we are not unlovable or worthless. The redeeming thing about this approach is that it allows us to rectify the wrongdoing by apologizing, seeking to right the wrong and restoring the relationship or situation if possible whilst still retaining a sense of our inherent worth.

 

Competitiveness

 

In today’s corporate world of work and with the media portraying everyone having ‘the perfect life’ competitiveness is rife. Whenever we compare ourselves to others or are competitive and wanting to be the best, we naturally distance ourselves from our shortcomings.

 

Being a type A personality and very goal orientated I suffered with comparing myself to others. To remedy this I needed to realize that everyone is on their own journey. Once you accept that we all have different strengths and weaknesses and there is no better or worse – just different – you will be well on your way to taking ownership of your weaknesses.

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The Number One Reason We Prevent Our Own Progress (and what you can do about it) Part One

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When I was growing up I was bullied and frequently used to be called ugly. One of the coping mechanisms I adopted was to place a great deal of importance on my appearance. In reality I over compensated and became quite vain. For years I was blind to my own vanity until I began to accept myself, including my weaknesses.

 

What I soon discovered was that, in acknowledging my own vanity, I had empowered myself to overcome it. Like so many of us I had resisted acknowledging my weaknesses because it felt safer that way; it was scary to accept that there was a disconnect between my perception of myself and the reality of how I thought and behaved.

 

But once I did everything changed. I was able to examine why I was vain and see if my vanity served any psychological need. I was able to explore how I could fulfill the psychological need it served in a more healthy way.

 

By analyzing myself and my weaknesses in this way, I was able to overcome them; something I could never have done if I had been unwilling to accept my weaknesses in the first place.

 

In this series I will reveal how not accepting our weaknesses causes so many of to remain stuck, damaging our personal development and preventing us from stepping into our full potential.

 

Throughout the series I will walk you through the process step by step – all that is required from you is the courage to be completely honest and the self-esteem to know your innate worth despite your flaws.

 

Benefits of Accepting Your Weaknesses

 

When you know your weaknesses, you can play to your strengths more. For example, if you suffer from social anxiety when in big groups or at parties you could arrange intimate gatherings with friends instead so that you will be more at ease and able to invest more into your friendships.

 

This isn’t to say that you should avoid big groups or parties and accept your weakness as absolute but rather that if you decide you want to work on your social anxiety (insert any weakness) you can work on it gradually, thereby placing less immediate pressure on yourself. Hence, once we accept our weaknesses we are empowered to work on them, thereby improving – and even overcoming them – in time.

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