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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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              Last Updated on September 18, 2020

              13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

              13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

              For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

              “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

              “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

              Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

              You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

              Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

              1. Take a step back and evaluate

              When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

              1. What is the problem?
              2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
              3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
              4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
              5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

              Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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              2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

              If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

              At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

              Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

              3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

              Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

              4. Process your thoughts/emotions

              Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

              1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
              2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
              3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
              4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

              5. Acknowledge your thoughts

              Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

              By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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              Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

              6. Give yourself a break

              If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

              7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

              A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

              Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

              After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

              8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

              As Helen Keller once said,

              “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

              Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

              9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

              In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

              1. What’s the situation?
              2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
              3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
              4. Take action on your next steps!

              After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

              10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

              A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

              Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

              For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

              11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

              No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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              12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

              No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

              13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

              There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

              After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

              Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

              Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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