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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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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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