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Bundle 3: Embrace your limitations

Some candidates feel concerned about their deficiencies, shortcomings, faults, and limitations.  Other candidates are oblivious to their limitations.  This set of exercises helps individuals address these limitations and improve their self-esteem.

Exercise

1.1 Determine some of your faults or limitations—especially faults or limitations that you would like to overcome but tend to avoid.  To help you complete this task:

  • in the Working Document, locate the questionnaire that is labelled Your limitations
  • On a scale from 1 to 5, indicate the degree to which each statement is relevant to you—and thus represents a problem you would like to address
  • Identify the 5 to 10 statements or limitations that are most relevant to you.

Exercise

1.2  You will notice that a word precedes each of these 5 to 10 statements.  If possible, convert these words to a more specific term—a term that describe your faults or limitations more precisely.  For example

  • you might replace “drugs” with “marijuana”
  • you could replace “numbers” with “statistics”
  • you might replace “computers” with “spreadsheets”, and so forth.

Exercise

1.3  When alone:

  • repeat one of these specific words, such as “spreadsheets”, about 40 times in 40 seconds aloud
  • over the next few weeks, apply the same procedure to the other words.

Did you know:  After people repeat a word that symbolises one of the worries 40 times aloud, this word is not as likely to elicit unpleasant emotions.  Instead, they associate the term with the arbitrary sound of this word.  This issue, therefore, is not as likely to upset these individuals.

Exercise

1.4  Read some material, or watch videos, that might be able to help you address these concerns in the future.  To access this material, you could click the link that corresponds to each term in the following table or uncover other sources of information yourself.  If possible:

  • in the Working Document, record about three insights you gained from these materials
  • over time, gradually collect more insights
  • in the Working Document, record two actions you might initiate in the future that could help you address these concerns
  • update this repository of actions over time.
FaultPossible materials
Anxiety
Depression 
Motivation 
Food 
Weight 
Drugs 
Anger 
Lonely 
Shy 
Awkward
Writing
English 
Numbers
Computers

To illustrate, if one of your limitations revolves around your capacity to use spreadsheets, you could

  • start to read a manual or course about Excel
  • record some of the insights you learned from this manual or course
  • decide how you could utilise these insights in a project you plan to complete soon

Exercise

1.5  Once a week, from this repository of actions, indicate one action that might be helpful but stressful to initiate.  Perceive this action as an opportunity to challenge yourself rather than as a task you need to complete proficiently.  Before you initiate this action, complete at least one of the remaining exercises in this bundle.

Did you know: If people deliberately challenge themselves and initiate activities that feel important but stressful, they become more resilient over time.  They experience a rush of adrenaline rather than a surge of cortisol—the hormone that evokes feelings of fear and anxiety.

Exercise

1.6 Before you initiate an action that could be stressful, you could attempt to acknowledge one of your faults or limitations to someone else.  Describe a specific concern rather than an overarching problem, such as  

  • “I often feel nervous when I use spreadsheets” rather than “I often feel nervous when I use computers”
  • “I experience anxiety in large meetings” rather than “I experience anxiety”

Then, express your commitment to resolve this specific concern.  For example, you might reveal that

  • “So, I am now using an Excel manual to learn skills that I can apply to my work”
  • “I have arranged a mentor"

Did you know: After people disclose their concerns about themselves, their self-esteem and wellbeing actually improve.  They do not feel the need to suppress these doubts about themselves—a habit that merely amplifies these concerns.

Exercise

1.7 Before you initiate an action that could be stressful, you could implement this simple mental exercise.  Specifically

  • in a quiet location, close your eyes
  • while seated, imagine a person in your life, such as a child, towards whom you feel compassion
  • for a minute or longer, experience these feelings of compassion
  • then, for another minute or longer, attempt to project the same feelings onto you

That is, imagine feeling compassion towards yourself.  After all

  • you have experienced some challenges in life
  • like everyone, you have tried but you are not perfect
  • like everyone, you have experienced the disappointment in failing to achieve a goal
  • like everyone, you have committed mistakes you regret now

Finally, reassure yourself with some comforting phrases that include your name and the word “you”.  You might, for example, repeat to yourself

  • “Mary, you can inspire yourself to commence this project”
  • “Mary, you will be fine, even if this project is not as successful as you hoped”

Did you know:  When people feel compassion towards themselves, they do not become complacent.  Instead, they become more inspired, enthusiastic, and resilient. 

Did you know:  People are more comforted by statements that include their name

Exercise

1.8 Before you initiate an action that could be stressful, you could attempt to foster a sense of power.  For example, you could

  • remember a time in which you felt powerful or important
  • flex your arm muscles and maintain this pose over a minute or so
  • listen to music that helps you feel strong—such as a hard rock song

Did you know:  When people experience a sense of power, they are more likely to excel in stressful circumstances.