Being Brave Enough to Admit Your Own Deficits

Being Brave Enough to Admit Your Own DeficitsBy Dr. Barbara Seifert, CPC 

“I’m terrible at interviewing for staff and I’m very disorganized. I suck.” Those were words I never fully expected to hear from a business owner I was working with; she had come to me for help to streamline her business which was taking off. However, this owner was not fully ready to take on the extra work. As we were exploring what was standing in her way, she blurted out those words.

While this business owner was feeling frustrated and in a state of chaos, I thought the admission of those words was a brilliant breakthrough to ending this state. I mean, how many business leaders would admit their deficits and without placing blame elsewhere? From my experience, not many. But I think that it is exactly what’s needed in order to move forward. When we try to do too many tasks in our business without asking for help – no, admitting we need help that is when we are open to making positive changes.

As a society, we are so focused on success that we overlook (hide) the fact that we all have deficits in some way; by hiding we reinforce them as being ‘painful’ or ‘shameful.’ This is what leads to poor self-esteem and “stuckness.” What a wonderful thought if we would be more open to our own failures – not the perceived ones – and admit them; I have one of my graduate students who gave an example that her organization encourages this type of openness, which starts with their CEO admitting an epic failure in his career. He relayed that this failure actually advanced his career which led to his current position. How refreshing!

Hiding our deficits only leads to brain chemicals getting released consistently, resulting in negative thoughts and mood. The bad news is that things could get worse and you could live in total negativity and going nowhere, like my client. But the great news is that you have a choice to use your deficits as a springboard to getting focused, having more motivation, and feeling accomplished. The key is in altering the brain chemicals mentioned and activating more positive parts of your brain, namely your prefrontal cortex (the executive center). Yes, it is proven that we can reprogram our brain by focusing on things we’ve done well, a time when we were successful, or seeing a flower outside your window.

Here are 5 quick tips to honor your deficits and use them in a positive way:

  1. Acknowledgement – bring any and all areas that are stumbling blocks to the open actually releases them – your brain can’t hold onto them any longer.
  2. Forgive – you must forgive yourself and practice more self-love.
  3. Mindfulness – focus on one thing that brings you pleasure and you know you’re good at and keep doing it – this will release dopamine, which is your happy ‘drug’.
  4. Set goals – the brain likes challenges so setting goals increases your motivation.
  5. Action – doing strengthens the neocortex and ‘fires’ up the areas for happiness and satisfaction – the more you do, the more satisfied you become to go after the next goal and the next.

We can look at our deficits as ‘bad’ or we can look at them as ‘good’ – the choice is your for how you think about them. Remember, what you think, becomes.

Dr. Barbara Seifert, CPC is the President of Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting in Orlando, Florida. She helps individuals to take charge of their careers, find the work they love and enhance their professional development to reach their peak performance. She works with small business owners & solopreneurs who want to achieve measurable and life-long improvements in their performance so they can make more money, have greater satisfaction and achieve personal and professional success. She also coaches in organizations to enhance employee engagement and for leadership development. Dr. Seifert is an adjunct professor, a certified professional coach, a certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming practitioner and a Certified Law of Attraction coach. She is a coauthor of the book, Contagious Optimism and a Premier Career and Business Coach for the Association of Talent Development.  You can learn more by visiting and Your Career Success Blog at, which was named one of the Top 100 Life Coaching Blogs to Follow in 2013.

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