accepting our weaknesses

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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Why your friends can be a lifeline when you receive criticism

Whenever I receive criticism it always helps – once I’ve digested things mind you – to talk it through with a friend. It’s important when considering which friend to talk it through with that you choose carefully. Someone too blunt and it can make your ego even more sensitive whilst a cheerleader friend will not necessarily tell you the complete truth and might sugar coat things.

 

This is why I always choose one of my good friends who isn’t afraid to tell me the truth but does so in a very sensitive and diplomatic way. She knows me well enough to know that I will carefully consider what she says, neither dismissing it out of hand nor taking it on board as true automatically.

 

I also always wait to share my feelings with her until I have processed the criticism fully so that I am not overly sensitive or angry about what has been said (which could easily slant the conversation). Sharing your feelings in this way is brave but when discussed with a trusted friend much insight into the validity of the criticism can be gained, increasing your self-awareness and allowing you the opportunity to practice receiving criticism gracefully. When sharing your feelings it also allows you the opportunity to feel loved and accepted no matter whether the criticism is true or false. This love and acceptance shown by friends despite our weaknesses gives us a deep sense of connection, allowing us to better acknowledge and accept our weaknesses for ourselves – which is the first step towards being able to effectively work on them.

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