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The 4-Step Process to Overcome Any Weakness

The 4-Step Process to Overcome Any Weakness

Weakness.

Say the word out loud, and taste it. It’s probably not your favourite word, right? As men, we are trained by society from birth to form an image of ourselves as perfect, flawless, without weaknesses. The general idea is that a real man has no weaknesses, a real man doesn’t need anybody else.

In my opinion, this is total bullshit. Thinking like this keeps men right where they are, without any possibility for improvement. In my opinion a real modern man is not afraid of his weaknesses, and has no need to hide them either. This gives him the strength for real, lasting change, and is the foundation for sincere personal development and real growth. A real man deals with his weaknesses and becomes stronger in the process.

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It all might sound well and good in theory but what do you need to do in practice? Good question—I propose a simple 4-step process that that gets you going and keeps you going; miss a step and you either don’t overcome your weakness, or you’ll seriously cripple your efforts going forward.

Here are the steps, with some additional thoughtsg:

1. Find your weakness.

If you don’t know what your weakness is, there is no way to do anything about it. Finding yours can be done in a number of ways, but you have to be open to doing so.

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  • Keep track of your training results—a good way of finding training-related weaknesses. Are your squat results not keeping up with your running results? Is your bench press weight declining? Do you exercise less? Etc.
  • Ask your friends/wife/girlfriend. For this one you really need to be open and able to trust the people you ask. Don’t ask people you don’t feel comfortable with; that’s a recipe for disaster!
  • Get a scale and keep track of your body measurements. Why not periodically take the Reintegrate 101 tests?
  • Record your spendings and net asset value. Are you getting richer or poorer as times goes on?

Basically, what you cannot measure you cannot improve, and if you can measure it but choose not to, you are at the mercy of your beliefs.

2. Accept it.

Okay, so you found a weakness—now comes a tricky part. You have to accept what you found. It doesn’t matter what you find if you choose to ignore it, which means not accepting that weakness sincerely. Signs to look out for that tell you that you’re not accepting what you find include arguments such as:

  • “It doesn’t really matter.”
  • “Everybody does it.”
  • “No wonder, it’s because…”

If you find those signs it’s time for some serious contemplation. If you don’t accept your weakness, there is no way you will ever make any permanent change to overcome it.

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3. Love it.

This step might seems strange—isn’t it enough to accept the weakness? For the singular weakness it might be, but we are shooting for something bigger; continuous incremental Improvements. If you don’t love the fact you found a weakness and celebrate it you are much less likely to go look for another one. Don’t skip this step. Learn to be happy about finding weaknesses, Toyota is great at doing this in their factories. When they find a problem they are exited with the prospect of becoming better.

4. Break it.

When you have come this far, you most likely know exactly what to do: you know your weakness, so accept it, and love it enough to be excited about what to do. Now it’s time to be merciless—break the back of your weakness, move on and never look back!

Conclusion

By following this simple process, I can guarantee that your success rate with self-growth will go up. Just remember that skipping a step is not an option, as it will seriously water down the next step.

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Any questions? What will you do?

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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