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

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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 November 18, 2021

              10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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              10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

              We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

              A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

              So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

              • honest
              • reliable
              • competent
              • kind and compassionate
              • capable of taking the blame
              • able to persevere
              • modest and humble
              • pacific and can control anger.

              The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

              1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

              All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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              But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

              2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

              How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

              I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

              “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

              Abigail Van Buren

              3. How does this person take the blame?

              Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

              4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

              You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

              5. Read their emails.

              Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

              • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
              • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
              • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
              • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
              • Too many question marks can show anger
              • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

              6. Watch out for the show offs.

              Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

              7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

              A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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              Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

              8. Their empathy score is high.

              Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

              People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

              9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

              We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

              “One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

              Stendhal

               10. Avoid toxic people.

              These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

              • Envy or jealousy
              • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
              • Complaining about their own lack of success
              • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
              • Obsession with themselves and their problems

              Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

              Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

              Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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