“Our strength grows out of our weakness.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
We all have weaknesses that limit us. They hold us back from achieving our full potential. They tether us with a cord of complacency and compliance. Yet, as you might already know, achieving anything worthwhile in life involves overcoming the weaknesses that have once held you back. It involves taking the reigns of your life and charging forward in the right direction, with the ability to surmount any obstacle.
However, as ideal as that sounds, many of us know how difficult it is to overcome some of the limitations that have set us back our entire lives. Our weaknesses, our fears and our mental blockades help to keep us from enjoying the life that we know we’re meant to live. But who can blame us? In the past, when we’ve shot for the stars, we came crashing down in a heap of failure and pain. How can we wrap our minds around moving past that?
I know that failure hurts. Believe me. I have failed more times than I’d like to admit. But I also know what it’s like to overcome the weaknesses that once set me back. We are only as good as the state of being of our minds, and when we see limitations in life, we easily materialize those things into reality. It’s true that what we think, we become, as Buddha once poignantly so put it.
What I’ve come to learn over the years is that, as much as it might hurt at the time, and as painful as our weaknesses might seem, there’s a grand design to it. There’s a reason for those weaknesses. They’re meant to serve you rather than to limit. Because once you overcome those things, that’s when real progress is made in life. That’s when you really begin to grow and mature as a human being.
So how do we get rid of these so-called weaknesses that have dominated your life? How do we go about undoing years, or even decades, of internal struggle that’s held you back from realizing your full potential? Well, when you think about it, weaknesses are really another word for our fears. We are only as weak as our minds are frayed. If we think we can’t do something, or we know that there is one specific thing that’s surely going to hold us back, it most certainly will.
The mind is a powerful tool. It can either be used as a platform for growth, or it can be used to hold us back from achieving our dreams. We are only as weak as our minds are fearful. Our experiences shape us into who we are, and oftentimes, we can’t see beyond that. The values and beliefs systems that we all have are an inherent part of our lives developed over decades and decades. God knows it’s hard to change any of that.
Yet, as much as it hurts to alter our lives or change who we are, if we don’t extricate ourselves from the limiting beliefs, fears and the weaknesses that we often fail to overcome in life, we can’t make any progress. We can’t move forward by leaps and bounds when we’re stuck living in the past. We can’t see the proverbial forest through the trees when we can’t move the leaves that are covering our eyes away.
How To Overcome Your Weaknesses
I won’t sit here and tell you that it’s easy to overcome your weaknesses. We’re weak for very specific reasons. Experiences that have shaped us have had a grave impact on our lives. It’s hard to overcome something that’s become such an integral part of your life. It’s hard to suddenly wake up one day and not harbor those weaknesses.
Clearly, it’s not easy to overcome a weakness. Nor, is it easy to break a bad habit or achieve a big goal. But people still do it every single day. It’s about mental toughness. It’s about not allowing all the little things that are happening and going on in your life to get you down. It’s about quite literally seeing the forest through the trees.
If you want something bad enough, you’ll do it. If your weaknesses are making the difference between your current life and living the life of your dreams, then it quite literally is a matter of life and death. Maybe not a physical death. But an emotional or spiritual or mental death, which is all the same in my opinion.
Step #1 — Be Honest With Yourself
The first step in overcoming your weaknesses is simply to be honest with yourself. The truth is that most of us lie to ourselves on a daily basis. We sugarcoat and mask the reality of a situation because it’s too difficult to mentally deal with certain things. We’re not weak — we’re just lazy or tired or angry or anything else for that matter. How could we possibly be weak?
The ego is a very powerful thing. How we behave in front of others is often strikingly different than how we behave on our own. In our own minds, we are weak and afraid. Some of us more than others. But all of us in some capacity or another. No one is as confident as they might seem to be.
However, the way that people do overcome things like weaknesses and fears is by being honest with themselves. The truth will set you free, so to speak. You’ve heard it before. There’s a reason why that saying has become such a cliche. Your first step is to be honest with yourself.
What are you afraid of? What weakness has held you back for much of your adult life? Write it down. You can shred the paper after you’re done. But write it down. It all starts there. If you’re serious about this process, write this down in descriptive detail. Don’t hold back. Put it all out there. Really feel that weakness come to life as the ink hits the paper.
Step #2 — Where Does It Stem From?
Okay, so you know what your weaknesses are. You know what you’re afraid of. But where does it come from? Each of us is shaped and molded by our experiences. What we experience in life creates our values and belief systems. We’re weak for a reason. We’re afraid for a reason. Maybe multiple reasons.
So dig deep. Where does it all stem from? When was that weakness born? Can you pinpoint the specific location in time? Did you fail at something? Did something traumatic happen to you that shaped that weakness? What was it? Where did it come from? Can you even remember it?
Sometimes, the mind hides the fear and the weakness because of the sheer amount of pain that it causes to reveal the truth. But if you’ve already written it down and you know what it is, then figuring out where it came from shouldn’t be too much more difficult. However, recounting the origins might be hard in some aspect. More so than you might realize.
You simply have to figure it out. Figure out where it came from and how it happened. We are the product of all of our experiences, and we are all unique in that aspect. There’s nothing wrong with that. Be proud of who you are. It’s okay if you experienced pain or failure. It’s made you into the beautiful human being that you are.
Step #3 — What Are Your Reasons?
Now that you know the weakness and where it originated, you need to find a powerful reason to overcome it. Without a powerful reason, you can kiss your chances goodbye. In effect, overcoming your weakness is like accomplishing any goal. Simply put, you can’t do it without a powerful reason.
What are powerful reasons? Clearly, they’re not superficial. Money, cars, fame, houses and so on won’t help you to do it. What’s powerful are things like love, family, freedom, security and so on. That’s what you need to discover on your own. What are your reasons for wanting to do anything in life?
The more powerful the reason, the more likely you’ll be to overcome that weakness. Dig deep and think about it. Maybe your weaknesses have held you back in life, financially speaking. Maybe you’ve been too afraid to start your own business or do something else outside of your comfort zone. And you feel trapped.
The only way to extricate yourself is to discover a reason that’s so powerful that no excuse will get in your way. That’s how winners are made. They don’t make excuses. They overcome weaknesses, fears, limitations and so on. They do it with their mind, first and foremost. So write down your powerful reasons. Be as descriptive as possible.
Step #4 — What’s Your Plan?
You need a plan to overcome your weaknesses. Don’t just stop now. What are you going to do to follow through? Consider this. Habits, which are very much an intimate part of our lives, similar to the limbs that are attached to our bodies, take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form, with an average formation of 66 days.
However, the truth is that the habits we have, have been a part of our lives for years and decades. Any mental or emotional weakness that developed in our lives, has influenced the habits that we have. We procrastinate because we don’t want to be honest or deal with the simple truths that have formed the very foundation and bedrock of our weaknesses, for example.
If you want to overcome something that’s become a viable part of who you are, you need a plan. How will you tackle your weaknesses now that you know what they are? How will your powerful reasons allow you to see things through this time around and not sugarcoat or ignore things one moment longer?
Without a plan, you’re wasting away, flapping in the wings of a torrential storm that will continue to brew in your life. Make a rock solid plan and move past that. Do a little bit every single day to move you closer and closer to your goal of overcoming something that’s held you back for too long.
Step #5 — Seek Support
There are people out there willing to listen and lend a helping hand whenever we reach out. They’re there to help you walk through the pain and overcome that which has held you back for much of your life. There are people out there who’ve been through similar situations and learned how to overcome their fears and weaknesses.
Seek their help. Ask for their support. We’re often too afraid to reach out. We’re too afraid to reveal the truth to others. But don’t be. Don’t allow your ego to shroud the truth one moment longer. If your reasons for wanting to overcome those limiting things in your life are strong enough, you’ll reach out right now.
It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be afraid. But it’s not okay to continue to suffer the mental or emotional torment for one moment longer. No, you have to seek the help and support of others. Personally or professionally. There’s simply nothing wrong with it. You’re human. You’re fallible. No one is perfect. No one.
Although it’s hard to look past what other people think, you shouldn’t be as concerned about other people as much as you are with your self. That’s what’s important. There are a lot of people out there that will talk about you behind your back no matter what you do. And to your face they’ll be nice. Ignore those people.
Ignore everyone else. Worry about handling your own issues. Keep your side of the street clean. Don’t worry about what’s happening on the other side. Just worry about you and push through all the pain and the hurt and the weaknesses until you figure it out. Just don’t give up on your self because things didn’t go according to plan the first time around. You’ll figure it out and overcome even the most debilitating weaknesses as long as you don’t give up.