Summer is here and that means things are about to slow down, way down, probably including you. January feels like ancient history now, doesn’t it? Chances are the zest and vigor you felt at the start of the year has waned and you may not even remember what you put on your list of resolutions. My memory certainly is a bit foggy. But my fantastic, fellow untemplaters, it’s all the more time for us to seize the summer doldrums to our advantage. Let’s learn how to get rid of weaknesses like a stealthy ninja and thrive while everyone else is checked out.
You are your own weakest link. Now do something about it!
Everybody has weaknesses, but we don’t like to admit them. Bad habits are hard to break. Expressing vulnerability goes against our carnal, survival instincts. For example, as a writer, I don’t like to mention that one of my weaknesses is communication. I think I’m fairly good at communicating in written form, but I’m slow. Most professional writers would crush me in terms of time. Plus, as an introvert, spoken communication can be an awkward struggle for me – I definitely lack finesse when talking to strangers and rather suck at small talk. But I’m working on it.
Whatever your biggest weaknesses are, it’s okay to feel frustrated and embarrassed. That’s totally normal and believe me, you’re not alone. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have the same weaknesses as you. But don’t worry about them or the people who are better than you. It’s time to focus on yourself. Look inward.
Think about several areas for improvement you’d like to work on. Next, recognize that you’re ultimately responsible for overcoming your own weaknesses. You are the weakest link in your journey for improvement. Even if you are lucky enough to find support, this is ultimately your own battle; no one else can fight for you.
10 Stealthy ninja strategies to overcome weaknesses
What can you do to to attack your weaknesses like a stealthy ninja? Here’s your attack plan.
1. Get some clarity. Know yourself and own yourself. Accept you have weaknesses and make up your mind that you want to do something about them. Stop ignoring the ugly stuff. Hone in on specific areas of your character, lifestyle and skills you want to improve. Got too many weaknesses? Name your weakest link and attack that first.
2. Stop nagging. The annoying thing about weaknesses is they have a tendency to come up again and again. They nag, you nag, even your closest loved ones probably nag you about your weaknesses too. So stop it already! Nagging is awful to you and those around you.
3. Check for snake bites. Some weaknesses are a lot worse than others, but think of each of them like a snake. If you allow a snake to live, it will keep on biting you; maybe even end up killing you because you let it. Check for “bites” coming from your current habits that are causing your injury and holding you back. Ask your significant other to give you a thorough exam of honest insights because you may not even be aware of bites in hard to reach places. Brace yourself for some things you probably don’t want to hear. But remember that constructive criticism comes from people who really care.
4. Cut the grass often. If you let a yard of grass grow tall and wild, it’s almost impossible to see snakes that are hiding right in front of you. But if you cut the grass low, not only can you see the snakes slithering around in the field, you can distinguish their heads from their tails. Just remember that grass will continue to grow after you cut it. Getting rid of weaknesses isn’t a one time deal. It takes regular maintenance to keep your mental yard in good condition and an active eye to keep it snake free.
5. Eliminate triggers. One of the first ways to get rid of any pest is to eliminate it’s food source. Identify the triggers for your weaknesses and start to remove them one by one. If you want to eat healthier, stop buying sugary sweets and junk food. Don’t even go down those aisles in the grocery store. If you want to save money, don’t go to the mall or subscribe to tempting email offers from retailers. Don’t allow snakes to thrive. Cut off every food source.
6. Revisit your low points. Have you ever had a day when you felt like you hit rock bottom? Don’t try to suppress those memories. Shove them in your own face so you never forget what they felt like. Say for example you’re trying to cut back on drinking. Think about your worst hangover – if you have a picture of yourself miserable and in pain, even better – think about how much better you feel now versus on that day.
7. Solve for why. Dig down to the roots of your weaknesses. Sometimes eliminating known triggers in step 5 isn’t enough, especially if you consciously or subconsciously find new ones to take their place. Solve for why – why do you have this weakness? Why do you keep repeating it? Why haven’t you overcome your weaknesses yet? Why do you want to change? Why is self improvement important to you?
8. Squash the hatchlings. Weaknesses can multiply if you leave them unattended. If you come across a snake’s nest in your yard, don’t let any of the hatchlings escape. Destroy the nest and everything with it. Eliminate related thoughts and behaviors. Let go of negative thoughts and fill your mind with positive energy.
9. Burn and resow. A roadtrip to Yosemite taught me that fire, one of our most destructive forces, is also one of our greatest tools. Wildfires can be temporarily destructive, but they bring new life. Naturally occurring low-intensity wildfires remove low-growing underbrush, clean the forest floor of debris, open forests up to sunlight and help nourish the soil. If your weaknesses are caused by a negative environment or bad relationships, change your surroundings and start fresh.
10. Learn constantly. Stay vigorous. To make habit change effective, get in touch with your thought processes and fundamental beliefs. Learn constantly. In this day and age, you can’t afford to just run in place. We have to move forward. Feed your mind and stay vigorous. Be patient with yourself, but not to the point that you wind up procrastinating. Reward yourself for your efforts and believe that you can accomplish anything with enough endurance and agility!
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Untemplaters, what are some of your vices or bad habits that you’re looking to eliminate? What are the new habits your looking to replace them with? What’s your best advice on how to get rid of weaknesses?
Michael @ Financially Alert says
Great post, Sydney! Nice to read to reinvigorate the Summer slump months. I think #7 (solving for why) is the key to permanently moving past a weakness.
Fascinating thoughts, Sydney. As someone who tends to focus upon maximizing my strengths rather than minimizing my weaknesses, I found this post very entertaining and informative.
I would venture a guess that you are far more self-aware than the average person. I am in that same boat, and I often struggle with being too hard on myself.
Currently, I am stuck in a rut with sweets. Since Fat Tuesday, I have been tempted by a never-ceasing stream of delicious baked confections. With summer weather finally here in Chicagoland, I have been getting out and enjoying more physical activity. Once I launch my marathon training in the next few days, I think I will get back on track and have greater willpower to resist junk food.