This brings us to the five principles of mental conduct that lay the groundwork for your most unlimited creative thinking. If you put these principles into practice, you will discover you have begun to eliminate the clouds of counterproductive thinking that obstruct your vision, which paves the way for you to begin consciously creating a new life.
Identify Your Fears and Weaknesses and Conquer Them
Don’t Be Afraid of Your Weaknesses
Most of us have an innate desire to be “good” people. If you look around at your associates, you may find it difficult to find a person who says, “Yeah, I’m a mean, ornery, bad person, and I like myself that way.” More likely what you’ll find are people who, in spite of what faults they have, defend their self-image of being a good person, of being “right,” and of deserving some respect. In fact, maybe this describes you.
That’s to be expected because we all are a mixture of strengths and weaknesses. And most of us live life as though we’re “on stage”, performing roles of mother, father, breadwinner, employee, employer, student, and so on. As we perform, the strengths and weaknesses of our performances are constantly being evaluated, usually by ourselves, and certainly by others. We have certain qualities called “strengths” that tend to lead us into greater harmony and peace; and we have other qualities called “weaknesses” that tend to undermine or sabotage the good we try to do.
Because we are performance oriented, we have a natural tendency to show or emphasize our strengths, and gloss over or ignore our weaknesses. We do this for survival, we assume. It is part of “putting our best face forward,” which we think gives us higher performance ratings. And we generally believe that higher performance ratings mean a better life. But do they really? Do we gain anything by assessing only one part of ourselves?
Again, ask yourself “Who am I?” To really put your best face forward, you must be willing to look as hard at your weaknesses as you do your strengths and say, “I am a mixture of both.” Why? So you can eliminate the weaknesses. How? By looking carefully at yourself and getting to know yourself. Take a piece of paper and pencil and actually list your strengths and weaknesses. List ten of each. See how easy or difficult this task is. See how well you really know yourself. But bear in mind that you must be careful in assessing your strengths and weaknesses.
If you were given a bag filled with real and synthetic diamonds and told to separate the real ones, your first task would be to gain complete knowledge of the qualities of the real diamonds as well as the characteristics of the synthetic ones. As you went about this task you wouldn’t impose emotional value judgments on either kind. You wouldn’t say, “This wonderful, beautiful, real diamond goes in this pile,” and “This disgusting, terrible, phony synthetic goes in that pile.” No; it would be an objective, clinical undertaking designed only to create a group of real diamonds.
However, this objectivity may not always be so easy. When a surgeon operates on a patient, he cannot be fearful of the amount of blood or hesitate to use his knife and cut through tissue. His objective is to reach that malignancy or make the adjustment that will make his patient well again. Let’s take this example one step further and imagine that you are not only the surgeon but also the patient. Of course it’s scary. But you must have the courage to operate on yourself with the same objectivity to rid yourself of that which can harm you. And what is the result? You feel a sense of peace because now you are well and whole.
So, look clinically at your strengths and weaknesses. You don’t need to make value judgments on yourself. When you find your strengths, decide to keep them, but do not become overly confident or egotistical. When you find your weaknesses, determine to eliminate them, but do not fall in a mire of depression, dejection, or self-condemnation.
How do you know when you have eliminated your weaknesses? When you are no longer dominated by them. For instance, if a former alcoholic refuses to drink, but is afraid to look at a bottle, to some extent she is still being held by the disease. When she can look at the bottle and say, “I am cured, and I am not afraid of you,” she is no longer dominated by the disease. Just so, when you no longer fear you’ll fall prey to your weaknesses, you feel your true strength.
By Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim
Seven Steps to Inner Power (pg 22),
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