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How to Become Successful 10 Times Easier: Don’t Focus on Improving Your Faults

How to Become Successful 10 Times Easier: Don’t Focus on Improving Your Faults

Watch enough nature documentaries, and you're bound to witness an apex predator singling out the sickest and the weakest prey. People seem to have a subconscious fascination with homing in on weaknesses in ourselves and others. Just like how we watch a lion attacks the slowest antelope, we sometimes watch as our self-doubt and negativity rip our dreams apart. We truly are our worst critics.

To be successful, you must resist the urge to focus on deficits and start capitalizing on your strengths.

Constructive feedback and a critical eye are great, but many of us spend too much time beating ourselves up over our faults. We need a paradigm shift. Concerning ourselves only with weaknesses breeds more weakness. Compulsive fault-finding is not an efficient self-improvement strategy.

Instead of spending time criticizing yourself, try to take an objective approach to understanding your personal journey. Performing a SWOT Analysis is a great way to retrain the way you think about yourself.[1]

  • S – Strengths. List areas in which you excel. What types of work do you find most rewarding, and what training do you have? If you are not sure about this, think about the types of things that others often ask you to do.
  • W – Weaknesses. What types of work do you dread doing? Are there things that you consistently avoid or put off until the last minute? Take note of training and skill deficiencies that you may have.
  • O – Opportunities. Name specific ways that you can work to grow. Do you have access to professional help? Can you take courses or get training to make your strengths stand out and overcome your weaknesses?
  • T – Threats. Insecurities, physical and mental health, and external forces such as cash flow can threaten your ability to focus and become the best version of yourself.

We all need to take stock of where we are in order to achieve success. Personal SWOT analysis can help us do that without becoming so bogged down in our weaknesses that we forget about all the great things we can do. Below is an example of how a personal SWOT analysis might look for an individual trying to land freelance marketing jobs.

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    By identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, our imaginary marketer can apply this knowledge to self-improvement and focus on his or her assets while maintaining realistic expectations. Notice that this person's opportunities didn't only include possible solutions to weaknesses, but also capitalized on strengths.

    Become an asset-based thinker to maximize your strengths.

    Develop a growth mindset and recognize that successful people are always striving for improvement.[2] You do have to consider weaknesses, but in some cases, you might be able to delegate tasks that aren't your strong suit to other people. For example, our freelance marketer who is a whiz at design but awful with social media could learn to navigate various social media platforms. He or she could also outsource the social media work to another person and focus solely on design.

    If you take a myopic approach to your life and focus only on weakness, you will only grow in the areas where you have identified a problem. When too much of your focus goes toward problems, you cripple your ability to fully make use of your strengths.

    For example, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series has delighted fans from many countries around the world. J.K. Rowling, while brilliant, doesn't speak all 68 languages into which her work has been translated.[3] It wouldn't be a good use of her time to try to learn all those languages either. It is much more efficient for her to focus on the craft of writing and outsource the translations to many different translators.

    Of course, being multi-lingual is an excellent skill, and you shouldn't be afraid to learn new things. It's just that sometimes that cost of the skill you need to learn is too high to make it beneficial for you to learn it. Let someone else use their strengths in concert with your own so that you can both be happier and more productive.

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    Being successful is about working smarter and remembering these 5 things:

    1. Identify the things that you want to achieve.

    Set goals to define a path for yourself.[4]

    You have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. You decide that you would like to run your own business and break away from your 9 to 5 job in the next year.

    2. Figure out how your strengths can help you reach your goals.

    Those strengths that you defined with your SWOT analysis can serve as a road map for your future.

    Perhaps you are a gifted metalworker. You do some research and decide that you should go into business making art from metal. You decide that in the next six months you'd like to pull together the resources to leave your job and be a blacksmith full-time.

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    3. Focus on the skills that you need grow to develop your strengths.

    Instead of stressing out about the things you don't do well, put most of your energy into refining your unique talents.[5]

    Starting your own metalworking business is going to require you to learn some new things. You'll have to figure out where you can get materials to do this sort of work, and you'll need to learn how to build up a client base. In addition to practicing your metalworking, you'll have to spend some time networking. You have to do all of these things so that can afford to grow your metalworking skills.

    4. You may encounter obstacles along the way, and that's when you know which weaknesses to work on first.

    Weaknesses that interfere with your ability to achieve your goals need to be tackled head-on. You might do this through acquiring new skill sets or finding a colleague with strengths in areas that challenge you.[6]

    Imagine that your business is doing so well that you have to file quarterly taxes. You balk at this because you don't understand the tax code. Rather than waste time on taxes that you could spend crafting beautiful sculptures with your specialized skills, you hire a CPA. The CPA has a different set of specialized skills and knows how to make sure you comply with tax laws and get the maximum number of deductions.

    5. Always focus on enhancing your strengths.

    There are things that you can do better than anyone else. If you can find out what those things are, you can spend time working to make your best even better.[7]

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    You are already excellent at working with one kind of metal. To enhance your strengths, you might practice with different materials or find a mentor who can teach you new techniques. In this case, not knowing how to work with certain types of metal isn't really a weakness – it's just untapped potential.

    Don't let yourself drown in deficiencies.

    When you dwell on the negative, you don't give yourself a chance to shine. By becoming an asset-based thinker and appreciating your strengths, you can find success more easily. Instead of going down rabbit-holes to take on work that requires a specialist or beating yourself up over unchangeable aspects of your character, focus on maximizing your talents. Not only will you be more successful, but you'll be a lot happier too.

    Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

    Reference

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    Angelina Phebus

    Writer, Yoga Instructor (RYT 200)

    Foods That Can Suppress Appetite And Help With Weight Loss Quality or Quantity? Why Don’t You Sleep On It What it Feels Like To Be The Child of Your Children? Pick Your Job Based On What You Love To Do, Not How Much You Have Invested In. How to Become Successful 10 Times Easier: Don’t Focus on Improving Your Faults

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    Last Updated on August 15, 2018

    How to Be a Leader That Everyone Respects, Not Fears

    How to Be a Leader That Everyone Respects, Not Fears

    When it comes to discussing today’s job force and environment, people tend to focus on Millennials and the different ways in which they work. There is much conversation regarding work ethic, entitlement, and general opinions. But the truth is that the job force has undergone plenty of changes, one of which surrounds the idea of “The Boss.”

    No longer is the man in charge an illusive figure-head in the corner office. In fact, the boss isn’t always a man. More so, the idea of giving orders and simply being the one who delegates has been replaced by a more collaborative approach – the idea of a Leader, rather than a Boss.

    Video Summary

    A true leader opens up communication with their members.

    The idea of being able to collaborate with a leader and feel they truly have an “open door policy” is not just a hip thought, it’s a helpful one. Studies show that when employees voice their concerns freely, organizations see increased retention and stronger performance.[1]

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    Unfortunately though, if people are working beneath a leader who induces fear of speaking out or working together, employees become afraid to speak up and instead find ways to justify their silence. This only makes things worse. Sure, HR exists to help employees speak up when they feel like they can’t, but if you’re encouraged to make suggestions anonymously, doesn’t that just enforce the idea that it isn’t safe to speak up openly?

    If you happen to be the leader, you may be thinking you don’t fall into this category of scary bosses because your employees come to you; you are already serving as a cooperative leader and not a dictator. But the truth is that despite the issues your employees may come to you with, there may still be a handful they don’t feel comfortable bringing to you.

    Instead of becoming the leader you want to be, be what your team needs.

    Thankfully, there are ways to change your habits when it comes to being the leader your team needs you to be. And if you aren’t a manager or a boss, you can still try to find ways to incorporate these things into your daily actions to inspire your boss to follow suite.

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    “Very few managers are leaders [2]. The difference between the two? A manager is someone who has people reporting to him. A leader is someone who people will follow, even if they don’t report to him. What separates the two is the trust and respect of his people.” – Ekaterina Walter

    The following sections will highlight the behaviors needed to display to your team that you are truly a leader who wants to stand beside your team, not just give the commands.

    Show your team you’re human.

    It’s 100% okay to make mistakes. You’re only human. It’s 110% okay to admit to those mistakes when you realize them. When you admit you were wrong or that you are not satisfied with something you did, it doesn’t make you look weak, or like you aren’t worthy of your position in the company. In fact, it shows your team how strong you are and how much you trust them.

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    “Build a team around you that complements you – and each other – in knowledge, skill sets, and capabilities. Don’t try to do everything. Let your team members drive certain projects and outcomes. That will make them feel valued and will make you look good. But always have their back when something doesn’t go according to plan.” – Ekaterina Walter [3]

    Utilize each team member’s talent.

    You hired everyone on your team because you knew they were the right fit for the job. This meant you accepted that they were capable and willing. If you want your team to trust you, then you need to trust them. When you’re trying to be one with your team, it can become difficult to delegate, because you don’t want them to think you’re being too bossy…but you are the boss.

    Being a leader just means you have leadership traits and you’re respected and followed. It doesn’t mean you have to be the “cool boss” [4] who does all the work and lets the employees slack off.

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    Be fair to everyone no matter what.

    Every company has policy and procedures, and there’s a reason they are rules, not suggestions. Working as a team and respecting each other also means the employees respect the rules. Again, if you are leading by example, this will most likely not be an issue. But if you do notice someone foregoing the dress code or not arriving to work on time, don’t allow it to become a habit.

    Separate friendship and professionalism.

    When you are a leader rather than a boss, you may find yourself having casual conversations with your team. While this is excellent and helps to build trust, it’s important to know when to separate friendship and professionalism. If an employee does something wrong or something which negatively impacts the businesses, don’t assume you can approach them in front of the team simply because you all get along. Know when to have conversations behind closed doors.

    Remember, your team needs you and you need your team too.

    Even if you feel you already do everything you can to be respected and appreciated, sit back and truly reflect on whether that’s true. There is always room for improvement. After all, if you were perfect, you wouldn’t need that team of yours.

    Reference

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