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Fitness Coach Says Admitting Weakness Increases Resilience

Steve Magness, a performance coach who has worked with Olympians and professional athletes, has become an expert on resilience. Magness notes that admitting our weaknesses can actually increase our resilience.

Imagine being dropped in the woods with a friend or two and asked to live off the land to survive. In the U.S. military, this is part of everyone’s training. It’s called SERE: survival, evasion, resistance, and escape. Studies find that up to 96 percent of individuals experience dissociation during the training—the fog of war. Some handle it better than others.

I talked to individuals who went through this crucible, and they reported the same thing. As one soldier put it,

When there’s a difference between what you project and what you are capable of, it all crumbles under stressful situations. On the other hand, if you’re honest with yourself, and acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, what you’re capable of and what might scare you, then you can come to terms with what you’re facing and deal with it. It’s not bravado, it’s humble confidence. A little doubt keeps you sharp.

Research backs this up. We want our perception of the difficulty of a challenge and our ability to handle it to be realistic and overlap. When we go in with bravado, it backfires because at the first inkling that we may not be able to succeed, our brain freaks out.

Editor's Note: Magness does not share the Bible's perspective on bringing our weakness to the Lord, but at least he gets the need to admit our weaknesses.

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