Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

      Advertising

      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.

          Advertising

          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

            Advertising

            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

              More by this author

              Ana Erkic

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

              Who Says All Introverts Hate Socializing? Here’s The Truth About Introvert And Extrovert Every Time You Drink A Beer, Remember To Drink The Same Amount Of Water You’re Exceptionally Creative If You See The Correct Image (Only 1/100 People Can Do This!) If You Have These 6 Struggles, You’re Highly Intelligent 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy

              Trending in Communication

              1 12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now 2 How to Use the 5 Minute Journal to Invest in Your Happiness 3 What’s the Purpose of Life? A Guide to Live with Meaning 4 Why Happiness is a Choice (And a Smart One to Make) 5 How to Survive a Midlife Crisis (The Definitive Guide for Men)

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising
              Advertising

              Last Updated on January 16, 2020

              12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

              12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

              The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

              However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

              “Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

              Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

              1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

              When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

              Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

              2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

              That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

              Advertising

              Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

              3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

              If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

              For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

              People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

              This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

              4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

              Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

              Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

              Advertising

              Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

              Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

              “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

              5. Crack a smile.

              If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

              Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

              6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

              Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

              And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

              Advertising

              7. Groom yourself.

              This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

              A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

              8. Dress nicely.

              Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

              While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

              9. Do activities you enjoy.

              Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

              You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

              10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

              Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

              Advertising

              Why?

              Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

              Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

              Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

              11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

              Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

              Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

              12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

              Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

              The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

              Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

              Reference

              Read Next