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Don’t Live A Life Of Endless Excuses, Personal Weaknesses Are What Urges Us To Be Stronger

Don’t Live A Life Of Endless Excuses, Personal Weaknesses Are What Urges Us To Be Stronger

How many times have you caught yourself trying to blame everyone and everything else for your shortcomings, when in reality, you just couldn’t sum up the courage to face your weaknesses head on? In order to fulfill our goals, we don’t need to “conquer the world” and be better than everyone else. All we have to do is master ourselves and work on becoming the best version of ourselves by overcoming our weaknesses.

In working towards self-improvement, we often turn to finding inspiration in others who have made it. There is something comforting in knowing that today’s leaders in their niche were once a work-in-progress just like ourselves with many personal obstacles and struggles to face.

Looking at Richard Branson’s life right now, it may seem like he is one of those lucky ones who made it in the tough world of entrepreneurial competition, yet you would be surprised to hear the personal struggle he went through to get there. And the only competition he faced was himself.

With disabilities such as dyslexia, shyness, lack of academic education and experience, Richard Branson could have decided to give up and give in to his weaknesses, but he decided to persevere in his fight for self-betterment, and that’s what has made him the man he is now.

Let’s take a look at Richard Branson’s formula for success and how he has used his weaknesses to his advantage to make himself stronger.

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Dream big

believe-in-yourself

    Starting a career can seem daunting for most people and a lack of experience can make any goal seem unattainable. Starting out in the publishing business, Richard Branson didn’t have much experience. However, instead of letting his lack of experience stop him, he found a way to shift the focus on the goal and learned and improved himself along the way.

    Rather than being paralyzed by fear of the new, you have to keep in mind that dreams are realized by action. If you don’t set your bar high you will never know how far you can go. Therefore, before giving up, dare to dream big and work on yourself in the process.

    Surround yourself with the best people

    team

      Believing we are alone and that we have to do all the work ourselves in order to be successful won’t get us nowhere. This is something Richard Branson realized early on. In order to achieve your goals, you need to know what you are best at and to focus your energy on that, leaving other experts to do the rest. Not having advanced computer skills, Branson realized that he should assign those tasks to people much more qualified for it thus building an amazing team of experts. Without losing time or energy feeling bad about ourselves for not having certain skills, we should rather focus on cultivating our talents and work on teaming up with other exquisite individuals to uplift and complement us.

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      Make your own way

      91542-richard-branson-people-q

        Another excuse people make for not living up to their potential is their inability to follow through with formal education. Most would just give up thinking they were not meant to achieve great things in life and surrender to a mediocre life full of regrets. Not Richard Branson. After quitting school he realized that he wasn’t feeling comfortable following someone else’s rules, so he made his own. He was brave enough to follow his passion and find work that felt meaningful to him. The success that followed came as no surprise.

        This particular story from Branson’s life is probably the most powerful one since it speaks of great things being achieved through shedding new light on one’s weaknesses and transforming them, so, in order to truly live your dreams, you must embrace your weaknesses and turn them into your most powerful assets.

        Learn by actively listening

        how-to-take-advice

          If the listed challenges weren’t enough, Branson had to struggle with dyslexia as well, which makes perfect excuse for many to quit studying. Once again, he rose above it by using it to his advantage. Branson started cultivating his listening abilities instead, which was of tremendous importance to his career. Firstly, it gave him the opportunity to really hear the needs of customers which benefited his businesses greatly. Additionally, he learned how to dissect the information he was receiving from others by taking only advice he considered good and learning the rest on his own.

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          There is always a way to make the best of our flaws only if we stop regarding them as such and make them work in our favor.

          How to fail

          how to move from failure

            So often, when thinking about successful people’s careers, we tend to focus on finished products of their struggle and ignore the many failures they encountered. That is why so many of us give up trying after the first fiasco feeling disappointed with ourselves. Yet, we should remember that failures are our best teachers, as they ultimately lead us to success as Branson himself has learned through many such experiences.

            Even he has had failures, but he learned early on that they are part of the journey and that we should take our time and learn our lessons to build ourselves up and be stronger than ever.

            Have fun

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            fun-working

              In order to avoid stress from trying to juggle work and fun that many people are facing today, we could take Branson’s advice and make both equally enjoyable.

              The trick is to choose the profession we are passionate about. Then we would gradually lose the line between work and play as both become fun and make us feel great. Additionally, by doing the work we enjoy, our confidence level increases making us more eager to face our weaknesses. Branson has set great example for all of us by finding creative ways to overcome shyness and fear of public speaking. He learned how to make it more fun and natural by imagining he was speaking to a friend. Branson decided once again to not let his shortcomings stand between him and his dreams teaching us that anything is possible when we start embracing our personal weaknesses and realize they are actually our best motivators.

              Featured photo credit: kris krüg via flickr.com

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              Ana Erkic

              Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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              Last Updated on December 2, 2018

              7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

              7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

              When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

              You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

              1. Connecting them with each other

              Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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              It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

              2. Connect with their emotions

              Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

              For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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              3. Keep going back to the beginning

              Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

              On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

              4. Link to your audience’s motivation

              After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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              Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

              5. Entertain them

              While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

              Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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              6. Appeal to loyalty

              Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

              In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

              7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

              Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

              Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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