Hi my name is Jacques and I suck!
When I was 16 years old I vividly remember telling the people around me that I was going to have another growth spurt… it still hasn’t come and I am still 5ft 7.
I spent the better part of my twenties talking sh#t about the epic business ideas I had and how they were going to revolutionise my bank account… in total I spent over 3000 dollars on ads, branding & sh#t talking… the idea’s never happened.
I used to laugh about other peoples relationships and think to myself, “My relationship is so much better.” I convinced myself it would never/ could never end… I got my ass dumped to the curb about a year later and spent the better part of 6 months nursing my ego back to health.
I smell if I exercise for more than 5 minutes; I have hairy feet (must be a hobbit), I suck at accounting/business sense in general (Paulo is way better when it comes to business) & the extent of my education is a college diploma in outdoor leadership.
I am short; I have a pathetic excuse for a beard, I have one black nipple (not really a limitation though.. just funny) & at one point in my life I considered killing myself! Why am I telling you all of my limitations and failures?
Why am I telling you what I suck at?
Because no matter who you are, be it Mrs Chen at the corner store or Kanye West talking sh*t at the grammies. You have limitations, you have failings & you suck at a lot of things! That my friend, is life & in this blog I explain why your limitations can lead to your success.
Only if you are willing to embrace them! Only if you are willing to share them & only if you are willing to stop giving a F#ck about the judgment you may or may not receive.
Embrace your Limitations in Three Steps
001 - I SUCK! Admitting Weakness to the World.
We all suck! You may suck at certain things that I can do incredibly well & I probably suck at a lot of things that you can do exceptionally well. ‘Sucking’ is part of life & we all have our own unique ‘sucks’… did I just turn ‘Sucks’ into a Noun? … Maybe I suck at writing!
Sucking by itself is a part of life and is quite harmless really. When it comes to sucking you have two choices; learn how to not suck or don’t pursue that path, activity or action any further. Sucking becomes harmful because we all have this thing called an ego & our ego convinces us that we must impress others over ourselves.
That sounds crazy right! Why would we want to put our own happiness and fulfilment to the side while we focus our energy on impressing other people? It’s crazy but in today’s society other peoples opinions have more sway than ever before… thanks internet!
See Also - Why do we fear Success?
Step One is simple, Embrace the fact that you suck at a lot of things & then admit it. Tell the world ‘I SUCK!’ You don’t need to do what I did and confess a bunch of your sucks (weaknesses) to the world, start simple.
Start by being honest about your limitations & weaknesses during conversation, honest about everything regardless of how damaging it may feel to your ego. Here’s an example;
You’re manager asks you to complete a task which you know you suck at but you want to impress her on your first day. In this situation you have two choices;
-Be honest and tell your boss that this is not your area of expertise but you are willing to learn with her guidance.
-Alternatively, ‘fake it till you make it’ & potentially end up making a much bigger mess.
In this situation you may get away with ‘faking it’ which will boost your ego, but in time this method is not sustainable. As much as it hurts your pride, begin admitting the things you suck at or need help with. Start at work and then apply your honesty to every aspect of your life.
You will notice two incredible things start to happen when you are honest about you’re limitations.
-The more you talk about your limitations and weaknesses the less you will worry about what others think of you. People will actually respect you more for your honesty and confidence in your failings. That confidence will turn into trust & trust will lead to better opportunities in; love, life & work.
-You will become far more productive! The more you identify you’re personal limitations the easier it will be for you to focus on the things you are great at. You will start completing tasks rather than getting halfway through only to realise … You suck!
Step One is to admit that you suck! Admit your weaknesses to the world!
002 - Identify your Permanent Limitations
Born in 1942 to a regular English family and diagnosed with ALS (A severe form of Motor Neurone Disease) early in his college life. Stephen Hawking was told that his chances of living past the age of 30 were slim to none, he defied those odds living to the age of 76.
He also went on to become arguably the most influential figure in modern science, with ground breaking work in the field of physics. Stephen Hawking was an icon to the world and although he was severely limited he was able to focus his energy on one of his greatest strengths, his mind.
Instead of dwelling on his extreme limitations, Hawking chose to instead focus on his greatest strengths. firstly he had to identify and come to terms with his limitations.
See Also - Gratitude. The Cure to Entitlement.
We all have limitations that we can’t change, from permanent disabilities to dysfunctional childhoods. Some of the most successful human beings have come from nothing because they have been able to embrace their personal & unchangeable limitations.
You’re own permanent limitations may not be as extreme as Stephen Hawking’s but you will still certainly have some of your own. Your limitations may include; your height, your sex, your age, your location, your life in poverty, the fact you come from a wealthy family, a serious illness or you may in fact be disabled in some form.
You need to list down every single possible limitation you have and then identify whether you can do anything about those limitations. If there is nothing you can do about a limitation then place it under your list of permanent limitations. Here’s a permanent limitation we all have… TIME!
Step two is easy but requires some honesty with yourself. Identify all your permanent limitations.
003 - Decide which Limitations you can turn into Strengths.
Tony Robbins is one of the most influential philosophers and human performance coaches in the world & he came from next to nothing. A dysfunctional family and an abusive mother were limitations that he had to live with as a child.
Tony vividly remembers the daily abuse he and his siblings dealt with, including being chased out of the house by his own mother as she threatened him with a knife. Did he let these limitations hold him back? No, he turned them into strengths and energy to pursue a significant purpose.
Some of the things you suck at can become strengths & some of your permanent limitations can also be harnessed as a strength. In many cases your permanent limitations will give you far more motivation and fuel to pursue your dreams and life’s purpose.
Step three involves more personal discovery and that scary word, decision. From your list of limitations decide on a few that you want to make your strengths, but be critical on yourself. If you have a limitation that you know is not worth pursuing then forget about it, focus on the limitations that will benefit you and the world if you transfer them into strengths.
When it comes to the permanent limitations — the ones you cannot change — you have a decision to make. Dwell on them and allow these limitations to be an excuse for your failures or harness these limitations and use them to fuel your dreams and desires.
In step three you need to decide which limitations you can turn into strengths and decide which limitations you want to embrace as your own personal ‘sucks.’
004 - Double Down on Your Strengths
Once the world knows what you suck at and once you can clearly identify the areas in life that you cannot improve on you have just one more step. Double down on your biggest strengths!
Focus your energy like a laser beam at the skills, talents and attributes that make you strong. Find a significant purpose that you can apply your strengths to and then WORK! Learn and educate yourself continuously to bolster your strengths.
If you are an amazing cook then become a master! Read, listen and watch all of the cooking shows you can. Attend classes, cook everyday, volunteer in kitchens, start as a dish boy & work your way up until you own a restaurant.
Once you own your restaurant don’t stop learning! Stay humble, keep grinding and take your strengths to a new level, watch as your restaurant goes from ‘the local’ to one of the best in the world.
Not all of us are cooks but this example can be applied to any area that you may be strong in. Maybe you are a; professional computer hacker, a boxer, a photographer, a writer, a doctor, a childcare professional, an urban planner, architect or bartender.
Whatever you enjoy, whatever you consider a strength, double down on it and work your ass off to make it your life’s purpose. You can choose to be average at the things you love, the things you are great at or… You can choose to be the best!
Embrace your limitations & double down on your strengths!
You Suck! I Suck! We all Suck… at some things! But all of us! Every single damn one of us has a choice to make… Dwell on what makes us sh#t and lie about it to the world or F#CKING EMBRACE IT and double down on our strengths!
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Life is Great. Travel is Better.
Paulo & Jacques.