Monday, August 1, 2011


2: Understand Your Negative Traits

Todays answers will take 3/4 to 1 hour to complete

Yesterday, we assessed ourselves earnestly. We rated ourselves on a scale of 1-10, on how we saw ourselves against our ideal, highest vision of ourselves. We explored ourselves thoroughly, looking deep inside and sieving through the traits deep inside us in the process.
Last but not least, we identified 5-7 traits which we want to work on, moving ahead.

All of us wrote down different traits. Abrasiveness. Desire for approval. Being quick to judge others. Laziness. Selfishness. Poor
time management. Procrastination. Low confidence. Being critical. Being negative. Emotional stinginess. Self-hate. Being fearful. Being high strung. Shyness. Anti-social. Aloofness. Skepticism. Cynicism. Arrogance. Insecurity. Lack of self-discipline. Indecisiveness. Being disorganized. Weak communication skills. Judgmental. Presumptuous. Greedy. Self-centeredness. Impatience. Lack of focus.

While we may not be proud of these traits, it’s important to acknowledge them first and foremost, which is the point of the last step of yesterday’s exercise. Because awareness is the first step towards growth. As long as we refuse to acknowledge a certain trait, say arrogance, we can never improve in that area, even if we may be the most arrogant person in the world.
So what do we do with these negative traits, after identifying them?

The first thing I want you to know is that you shouldn’t reject them. Meaning – Say you hate that you are lazy, self-conceited, and disorganized. Rather than hate these traits about yourself, and beat yourself up over them, accept that you have these traits. Accept that you are lazy. Accept that you’re self-conceited. And accept that you’re disorganized. Accept that these make up who you are currently, and these are not things you’re proud of.

The reason why I say that is because resistance will only cause internal conflict, which prevents you from truly improving. The age old saying of “What you resist will persist” is very true in this case. The more you deny that you are X trait, say, lazy, the lazier you’ll become. The more you deny that you’re self-conceited, the more self-conceited you’ll become. And the more you deny that you’re disorganized, the more disorganized you’ll be. That’s because denying doesn’t solve the problem – it only makes you think the problem is not there, which further aggravates it.

What should we do about our negative traits? The first step is to understand them. Understand why we think we possess this X trait. Understand why this trait bothers us so, so that we have a clear reason for change. Then from there, have an immediate plan to change things around.
Which is what we’re doing for today’s task. Today, we’ll look into our undesired traits, such that we can begin the first step to becoming the better us.

Your Task: Understand Your Negative Traits

Take out a new piece of paper.
From the list of 5-7 traits you wrote on Day 1: Assess Yourself, pick out 3 key traits you want to work on this month.

Write down the 3 traits on your paper.

For example, if you have biggest issues with being presumptive, being fearful of taking action, and being fearful of criticism, your 3 traits will probably look like this: (1) Presumptuousness (2) Fear of taking action (3) Fear of criticism.
Feel free to pick more than 3 if you want! 3 is the minimum.
Rank them in order of 1-3, with #1 being the top trait you want to work on.

Starting with the first trait, answer the following:
Why do you think you are ?
Taking an example for Presumptuousness:
Why am I ? Because I think I know better than others. I often assume things about other people (and events), which later turn out to be untrue. I judge people based on certain actions they do, even though these actions may not be indicative of their full character/personality.

Why do you want to change this trait?
Continuing from example on Presumptuousness:
Why do I want to change this trait? Because it causes issues, such as having conflicts with people, creating unhappiness in others, assuming things only to realize they are wrong later on, and so on. These are things I want to avoid, because they are unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. They create problems which can be avoided if I’m not presumptuous in the first place.
What is one baby step you can do today to change this?
Continuing from example on Presumptuousness:
What is 1 baby step I can do today to change this? I will ask more questions rather than assume things – i.e. going by the motif of “When in doubt, ask”. I’ll give others the benefit of the doubt even if things go wrong. I’ll start to think positively, rather than negatively, of everyone I see today.
Repeat step #3 for the other 2 traits.
Schedule the action steps (your answers to step #3.3) in your August calendar.
Do this if the steps cannot be actioned on today.
This ensures what you plan gets translated into reality and commits you to action.
Again, feel free to write as much as you want! The more, the better.
Day 2 Reflection for 30BBM
Is there anything you learned today?

This can be about yourself, other people, or other things in life.
This can be related/unrelated to the task, inspired by answers by other participants, inspired by the discussions in the community, due to something that happened in your life today that’s outside of 30BBM.
If so, what is it? Write it down.
Share Your Answers!

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