Do you get depressed when you meet an obstacle, and toss in the towel? Are your goals unrealistic, making them impossible to reach? Or do you start projects, but don't finish them? These weaknesses oftentimes derail your goals.

Dr. Cloud, a noted Christian psychologist, explains on his CD, "Quarantine Your Weaknesses": "We are meant to be successful in life. In order to do that, our personal weaknesses need to be isolated from our strengths as we head towards our goals."

However, the most common reaction to our shortcomings is to try harder. Let's say, for instance, it's difficult for you to finish what you start. Oftentimes, we delude ourselves by saying," I know the boss complains about my late reports, but if I try harder this time, I know I can finish, and turn it in on time." But patterns always rear their ugly head, and block our most sincere desires. Once more our report is late, and we suffer the consequences.

Willpower alone will not solve shortcomings.

How many goals have been aborted because we failed to address the gravity of our weaknesses? How many dreams have been postponed due to our patterns of failure?

In Dr. Cloud's CD, "Quarantine Your Weakness", he suggest something quite contrary to most success programs out there.

Here are three tools you can use to protect your goals from your flaws:

1. Successful People Take Their Weaknesses Seriously

Request objectivity from friends, co-workers, and others. What pattern of behaviors do they observe which in turns effect your performance goals? Observe yourself. What habits do you think get in the way of your success? Keep digging and the answers will surface.

Count the cost. What have you lost due to these weaknesses? A promotion? Money? Have you sabotaged a relationship or friendship? There is a high price to pay when we let our faults control our lives.

Successful people identify their weaknesses and take them very seriously. You need to see just how certain patterns of behaviors undermine your efforts of reaching your goals.

A client of mine, Jackie, shared her "aha" moment. "Lately, I noticed when setbacks come, my first reaction is to feel helpless. For a while, it seems like there are no alternatives to solve the situation, and I hear a small voice in my head whisper,'This too overwhelming!' Now that I know this is my Achilles heel, what can I do?" The next step answers that question.

2. Have a Strategy in Place

Ingrained patterns of behavior die a very slow death. So expect self-limiting habits to pop up from time to time while you're paving the road to success. Have a strategy ready. There are many ways to "quarantine your weaknesses" as you work towards your goals.

For example, Jackie can join a weekly support group to help her view problems more objectivity, and help her brainstorm possible solutions. The group can also help her process her feelings. As she internalizes these experiences, Jackie will feel less helpless when obstacles come. Having a plan in place shows wisdom, as we work on our weaknesses.

3. Find a Mentor

I really believe in mentorship. Many of us need exposure to new ways of doing things to solve old issues. Moreover, we may need to be held accountable for doing the right things long enough for the desired outcome. A mentor can do that.

Sharon shared her example. "Theresa became my partner teacher two years ago. In order to be an effective teacher, there has to be some organization. Well, this was not my strong suit as a teacher, and it caused me a lot of frustration. Since Theresa taught in the morning I was able to observe her teaching style. It became immediately apparent she had an organizational gift.

For example, she had an effective classroom management plan. The students knew what was expected of them, and how Theresa would award desired behavior. Her students quickly learned the daily routine. They knew where to sit, what to do after an assignment, and how to communicate their needs without disrupting the class.

Her lessons were well planned. All materials she needed for her lessons was at hand. She didn't waste time fumbling for materials like I did while teaching.

Luckily, Theresa was very generous to me. She shared her filing systems, and critiqued my teaching when I asked her to. She was my partner for two years, and I intentionally devoured her organized teaching style. As a result I became a more effective and creative teacher because I learned how to develop my teaching system through her."

Be open to mentorship. It is an important way to learn new skills, attitudes and strategies for success.

We are designed to use our strengths in service to others. By putting limits on our weaknesses, we are maturely taking measures to protect our dreams and goals. As we continue to do this, our success is assured.

Give these tips an earnest try!

Author's Bio: 

Rosalind Henderson is a speaker, author and Peak Performance expert. She is the director of Life Keys Inc. a resource center dedicated to helping others overcome self-defeating habits and reach thieir dreams. She has presented over 500 presentations to corporations, churches, associations and colleges. To book Rosalind for an event, view products and/or to sign up for the free ezine: The Way
to Success check out