The Ugly Truth & How To Keep It Real

Truth Torn PaperSometimes, no, a lot of times, the facts are right before you, but consciously or unconsciously you choose to ignore them. It may be that you tend to ignore information that does not fit with how you see or want to see things. Or it may be a matter of being over-optimistic, sometimes being too stubborn to accept contradictory information.

That used to be a great weakness of mine, being over-optimistic to the extent of simply ignoring information that did not fit with how I wanted things to be. Sometimes, even when I recognised such inconvenient truths I went ahead thinking that out of sheer will I could change things and make them work out.

Couple that with my misapplied “positive thinking” mentality at the time and you cn guess where things were headed. Often this took a lot of effort and sometimes things even seemed to work out. But the success was often short-lived as those inconvenient truths reared their ugly heads again, to my frustration.

So I would try again and again and again. I was never the type to give up. This inevitably took its tool over time. You can only hit your head so many times against a brick wall without getting injured. The injury did come.

Consequences of ignoring the truth can be harsh

Sometimes it was financial injury in the form of business losses or money wasted on something or someone. Sometimes it was emotional injury, disappointment, rejection, dejection, shame. Sometimes it was simply time wasted. Many times it was all of them.

My personality type did not help either. My type of personality, INTJ in Myers Briggs or strong on Dominance in DiSC personality types, is known to not think things through in great detail and act on hunches or intuition more. We are notorious for ignoring things that do not fit into our thinking and views.

Over time I have come to be very aware of this and thus learnt to compensate for it and be more careful in analysing things before I take a leap. I often take a step back before taking action, or when things are not working out I analyse a little more than I would like to so I do not miss anything. I accept information that is not convenient to my plans or that is uncomfortable more. The mistakes are fewer now.

Understand your weaknesses

That is the great thing about knowing your weaknesses, you learn how to overcome them or deal with them. I don’t agree at all with most motivational gurus and coaches that say you should simply focus on your strengths. It is important to also understand and handle your weaknesses, sometimes more than your strengths because they represent your blind-side. Your blind-side is what makes you you vulnerable, it is your Achilles’ heel. It must be dealt with or it can cost you dearly.

So I listen a little more. I analyse a little more. Where I need an extra ear or extra eye from someone stronger in my weak areas I get the help. I ask for advice.

But there are some people who are opposites to me. For example, they are the kind of people who will over-analyse things and never take action. They want everything to be perfect before they act. Such people would do well to take a little more risk. To plan less and execute more. To team up with people who are less risk averse.

Balance is key

Balance. That is the key. You must balance your behaviour. Understand and utilise your strengths, but also understand and minimise your weaknesses. Both sides of the equation must be balanced.

Sometimes though, it is wise to give up. When you have given it your utmost best and tried and tried again and things still do not work out, there is no shame in letting go.

The trick is to learn your lessons. If you learn from the experience, then it is not failure at all. It is s stepping stone. You can apply those lessons to another venture.

Foregt your “sunk costs”

Remember the finance principle of sunk costs. Just because you have spent so much money in a business venture or spent so much time in a relationship it does not mean you need to hang on forever. Those are sunk costs and should not influence your future decision as to whether to carry on or not.

The only thing that should influence that decision is your prospects of future success. That requires careful analysis and understanding of both past and future behaviour.

Focus on the future

The future is all that matters, not the past. But apply your learning from the past. Live according to the present truth of your situation and not according to what you would like to believe it to be.

Live according to the truth.

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