Say the word out loud, and taste it. It’s probably not your favourite word, right? As men, we are trained by society from birth to form an image of ourselves as perfect, flawless, without weaknesses. The general idea is that a real man has no weaknesses, a real man doesn’t need anybody else.
In my opinion, this is total bullshit. Thinking like this keeps men right where they are, without any possibility for improvement. In my opinion a real modern man is not afraid of his weaknesses, and has no need to hide them either. This gives him the strength for real, lasting change, and is the foundation for sincere personal development and real growth. A real man deals with his weaknesses and becomes stronger in the process.
It all might sound well and good in theory but what do you need to do in practice? Good question—I propose a simple 4-step process that that gets you going and keeps you going; miss a step and you either don’t overcome your weakness, or you’ll seriously cripple your efforts going forward.
Here are the steps, with some additional thoughtsg:
1. Find your weakness.
If you don’t know what your weakness is, there is no way to do anything about it. Finding yours can be done in a number of ways, but you have to be open to doing so.
- Keep track of your training results—a good way of finding training-related weaknesses. Are your squat results not keeping up with your running results? Is your bench press weight declining? Do you exercise less? Etc.
- Ask your friends/wife/girlfriend. For this one you really need to be open and able to trust the people you ask. Don’t ask people you don’t feel comfortable with; that’s a recipe for disaster!
- Get a scale and keep track of your body measurements. Why not periodically take the Reintegrate 101 tests?
- Record your spendings and net asset value. Are you getting richer or poorer as times goes on?
Basically, what you cannot measure you cannot improve, and if you can measure it but choose not to, you are at the mercy of your beliefs.
2. Accept it.
Okay, so you found a weakness—now comes a tricky part. You have to accept what you found. It doesn’t matter what you find if you choose to ignore it, which means not accepting that weakness sincerely. Signs to look out for that tell you that you’re not accepting what you find include arguments such as:
- “It doesn’t really matter.”
- “Everybody does it.”
- “No wonder, it’s because…”
If you find those signs it’s time for some serious contemplation. If you don’t accept your weakness, there is no way you will ever make any permanent change to overcome it.
3. Love it.
This step might seems strange—isn’t it enough to accept the weakness? For the singular weakness it might be, but we are shooting for something bigger; continuous incremental Improvements. If you don’t love the fact you found a weakness and celebrate it you are much less likely to go look for another one. Don’t skip this step. Learn to be happy about finding weaknesses, Toyota is great at doing this in their factories. When they find a problem they are exited with the prospect of becoming better.
4. Break it.
When you have come this far, you most likely know exactly what to do: you know your weakness, so accept it, and love it enough to be excited about what to do. Now it’s time to be merciless—break the back of your weakness, move on and never look back!
By following this simple process, I can guarantee that your success rate with self-growth will go up. Just remember that skipping a step is not an option, as it will seriously water down the next step.
Any questions? What will you do?Featured photo credit: Concrete crack via Shutterstock