Working With Your Flaws Like a Pro

Hot air balloons in the sky.

Tips on how to deal with your faults, failings and negative behaviors. How to handle the things you really don’t like about yourself.

Sometimes a hard look in the mirror reveals something really unflattering.

You thought you were beyond being insecure or acting on some low rent motivation or being petty, greedy or judgmental.

But suddenly you’ve been shown up, unmasked and revealed. What happens next is quite important in determining whether you handle your defects like a pro or resort to dimming the lights and sweeping it all back into some dark corner.

Tips of the trade: developing relentless curiosity.

I counsel people. I work one on one with people through this website, but I also have another life as a business consultant, where I use the same skills—and interestingly, deal with many of the same issues, only framed differently. Because people are people, after all. Many of the same patterns that hold people back from personal or spiritual growth are the same ones that trip them up in other areas of life.

Here are some insights that will help you improve your ability to guide and counsel yourself like a pro.

When you behave in ways that a) you believe are beneath you or b) result in cringe-worthy situations or outcomes…take a minute to rejoice at your good fortune.

People spend a truly astounding amount of energy and effort hiding their defects, their low rent motives, their juvenile dependence on external validation, their last-era emotional reflexes, coping mechanisms that haven’t been updated since they were three—hiding these not from others, but from themselves.

They carry an image of a better, more evolved person in their heads, so when the not-at-all-better and not-at-all-evolved program surfaces in a way that can be seen and recognized, the Clean Up Crew gets to work without delay.

Clean Up tactics include blaming others or circumstances. Justification. Rationalization. Distraction. Indignation.

When people come to me for a consultation, they present their most evolved self. Even as they are describing their difficulties or frustrations, they are still doing it using their Evolved Persona, and it’s usually very important to them that I see them that way. It’s totally understandable.

It takes a while, but after some time they finally break character. Sometimes it’s because of stress and sometimes it’s because they are really relaxed and feel safe, but either way, the defective part, the maladjusted program, steps forward and asserts dominance, takes center stage and acts out. That is a huge breakthrough. Now we have something to work with.

Have you ever had a serious problem with your car or your computer that seems to disappear every time you take it in to be fixed? Your car engine warning lights keep coming on, but when you take it to the mechanic, you can’t get it to happen. Your car looks perfectly fine and he can’t find any problems. So frustrating!

So my first pro tip is to recognize the incredible opportunity presented to you when your unevolved or faulty aspects rear their disheveled heads and break through into your conscious awareness. Resist deploying your Clean Up Crew, turn up the lights, grab your magnifying glass. Now you have something tangible to work with.

People don’t want to show this part of themselves to me, because they instinctively believe I will judge them. I’ll look at that misshapen, grotty aspect of them and think, “I thought you were so together, but look at you! You’re so…(insert withering proclamation of your choice).”

My reaction is excitement and intense curiosity, not revulsion. When you are intensely curious about something, it’s not possible to be judgmental. You want to go further into it, know all about it. You’re too focused on learning about it to spare any attention judging it.

Relentless curiosity requires you to be detached and objective. I can’t stress how important this attribute of curiosity is. Being curious is being inherently okay with whatever you find, which means you can be totally honest with yourself and not feel the need to turn away, shrink away, from anything you learn about yourself. What an incredible gift! This is how I approach people I work with, and also how I’ve always regarded myself. I don’t know how, but I developed this attitude spontaneously, from a very young age. It allowed me to know myself fearlessly, deeply, honestly.

My second tip is to develop a relentless curiosity about yourself. So many amazing things will happen from this one change in perspective. I could tell you all about them, but I’d rather you get on board, develop this quality, and then tell me about the positive chain reaction you experience.

Wrap up

Be on the lookout for Clean Up Crew tactics: blame, justification, rationalization, distraction. When you see yourself employing these, take a step back and take a closer look. Is there something you are trying really hard not to look at head on, take responsibility for?

When your defects break through and you actually become aware of them, embrace this as a tremendous opportunity. You finally have something tangible to work with. Your homunculus has materialized! Time to get a really good look before he slinks back into the shadows.

Develop a relentless curiously about yourself, one that is so powerful and unyielding that it leaves no room for guilt, shame, judgement or dishonesty. Don’t shrink from any aspect of yourself.

More Basic Human

does childhood trauma damage your soul

Spirituality, Meditation, Psychology and the Effects of Child Abuse

Does being abused as a child damage your soul? Is it possible that the current received wisdom of psychology is incorrect? I don’t think of…


What’s Your Ratio? Spiritual Consumption vs Practice

Are you serious about spiritual evolution, personal growth, deprogramming the mind, mastering your thoughts, emotions and focus? This bad habit may be holding you back.

Crystal balls hanging.

Dreaming You Are Asleep

Finally, morning came. And why not? Who needs the night to stretch on and one when there isn’t a moment of sleep in it? My…

motivation and forgiveness

Forgive yourself…in advance

Moving from insight to consistent action isn’t easy. Want to change your life, work on a project, create something? You’re going to need more than…

Reflection in eyeglasses.

Feeling Guilty About Things Other People Do

So, there are several different components to this bit of programming that you’ll want to investigate further and become aware of. This is a pattern…

Person looking through a hole.

Observation: your greatest ally

Should. The word seems innocuous enough, but when you find yourself using it in the context of your spiritual work, it’s a cue to stop…

Mastering the mind

Deprogramming Childhood Survival Programs

Dealing with “duality” persona programs. One is created in early childhood and the second is created when you are older, maybe even a young adult,…

Dew on a spider web.

Inquisitive vs Acquisitive: Inquiring Minds Want to Know

The mind is not your enemy, unless its actions and mechanisms remain unexamined. Becoming intimately familiar with the levels, processes and different modes of functioning…

Dog wearing glasses looking at a laptop.

Reader Q&A: I Need To Break My Internet Addiction

Whether it’s news or cat videos, you may find you just can’t stop. Are you addicted to the internet?  Let’s step into our reader’s experience…

Boredom and distraction on the spiritual path

Most people have no idea how their minds actually work. If you aren’t using your mind intentionally, something else will use it for you. When…

Room filled with furniture.

Everything Must Go!

Yes, I hear you. You’ve got stuff you need to think about. Work issues, practical issues, it’s not all just emotional stuff rattling around in…

mastering emotions and thoughts

What’s You and Not You

Today let’s investigate what’s you, and what’s not you. What’s yours and what’s not yours. These are topics we work on at length in the…

Peerless Series

Are you at the mercy of your thoughts, emotions and programming?

The Peerless Series covers getting centered, grounded and cultivating personal agency. Take a 15 week journey with me…I’ll give you practical guidance and effective techniques to master your mind & emotions, one lesson at a time.

This is the fundamental beginners series that underpins all intermediate and advanced series.

tell me more about Peerless

Mastery Series

I’ll give you the tools, perspectives and techniques to stop being a passenger and get in the driver’s seat.

Weekly audio lessons cover a range of topics, from mood management, attitude adjustment, getting the upper hand with thought loops, meditations to remove deep programming, busting out of cherished ruts and more.

If you haven’t taken the Peerless Series, I recommend you do because you’ll have a solid foundation for this course, but it’s not required.

learn more about Mastery