Working With Your Flaws Like a Pro

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

Developing relentless curiosity

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

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.

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