How to overcome personal weaknesses September 21, 2020 – Posted in: strategy – Tags: fear, personal weaknesses
I recently talked about the relation of fear and pain. I talked about how to overcome personal weaknesses and about how fear often comes before a painful experience and acts like a signal to show us areas where we can grow.
By understanding fear, we can not only learn what our personal weaknesses are, but we can use fear to improve and overcome our personal weaknesses.
Sometimes pain can come without the warning of fear. For example in war, we can imagine someone could get snipped without ever knowing that his life is in danger beforehand.
But oftentimes, fear comes before pain and acts as a preservation mechanism for us to avoid bodily or emotional harm. For example, a warrior might feel fear before charging into the front lines of battle.
Lets talk about how fear relates to pain and how it can lead to our stagnation or to our growth.
What are your personal weaknesses?
Now there is something you should know and this is that the fear of pain can both serve and harm you. Ultimately, its our self awareness which decides which of these two it will be.
Ideally, fear should serve and protect us when our well being is in danger by alerting us to dangerous situations. For example, the warrior charging head first into battle should be aware that he can lose his life. In feeling fear, he will consider new ways of protecting his life.
However, oftentimes we use our fear as an excuse to not grow and progress in our personal weaknesses. Like a public speaker who is too afraid to talk in front of an audience, fear can be an excuse to stay in our shell and protect ourselves from uncomfortable situations.
We can use fear as an excuse in so many areas of our lives. We might cancel a workout because we don’t want to feel pain, discomfort, or soreness. Or we might sleep until noon because we fear failure in our business and sleeping acts as an escape. All this of course ironically makes failure more likely.
From a certain point of view, we ultimately have two types of fear. If we want to know how to overcome our personal weaknesses we need to be able to distinguish the difference.
Legitimate fear versus excuse fear
The first fear is legitimate and can actually protect and serve us. The second kind only serves to keep us feeling comfortable, secure, and small.
Why do we have feelings that limit us? What is the function of this? There must be some logical reason that the brain accepts this excuse driven fear. It must still serve us in some way other then keeping us small and limited.
Fear can be a great tool for the enlightened mind. This is because if we have mastered our emotions, especially our negative ones like fear, we can actually use it to our advantage.
Here is how.
You see if we view our fear as a trigger rather then a limitation, anytime we feel fear, we can turn inwards and learn about our own shortcomings.
We can realise that our fear is simply an excuse for us to keep from expanding and becoming more.
In psychology we know of loss aversion in that the pain of losing is about twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining.
Holding on to what we have is easy and doesn’t require anymore investment of our time, energy, or effort. But becoming more requires certain levels of discomfort, energy, intelligence, and risk. This is why we don’t want to face our fear. Because its the harder option.
Fear: An indicator as to what your personal weaknesses can be
But even fear of discomfort can serve us. For example, anytime we feel triggered by fear we can use this as a signal as to areas of life where we can grow.
Herein lies the power.
In fact, excuse type fear is the greates indicator about areas where we can grow. Whether we have a fear of public speaking, social situations, approaching the opposite sex, trust, or vulnerability issues, the fear is the gauge of our weakness.
With this in mind we can come to the realisation that all fear can serve us if we can understand it. Legitimate fear like fear in battle can save your life. Excuse type fear can act as a flashing beacon as to your personal limitations and weaknesses.
Now I know that working on ourselves and confronting excuse type fear can be difficult and even debilitating. But once we have identified the fear as a roadblock to progress it’s our personal choice on how to address it.
We don’t need to become fearless in a single day but we do need to recognise it for what it is work on these deficient areas. The simple act of understanding many of our fears as limitations rather then as crutches is an extremely powerful step in the right direction.