Don't fix your weaknesses, create guardrails instead

By Victor Macias,

Published on May 5, 2023   —   1 min read

Photo by Hogarth de la Plante / Unsplash

Do NOT fix your weaknesses. It’s a waste of time that results in mediocrity. Instead, get curious, discover what they reveal about you, and create guardrails. A guardrail can be a rule, a tool, or a person to protect you from yourself.

Ray Dalio, the legendary billionaire Hedge Fund investor says,

"Instead of expecting yourself or others to change, I've found that it's often most effective to acknowledge one's weaknesses and create explicit guardrails against them."

Weaknesses uncover your blind spots. Through personality assessments, I discovered that I’m a strong creator and a poor implementor. This means I love starting projects but struggle to finish them. With this awareness, I now bring on a project manager to implement my ideas and hold me accountable for deadlines.

Weaknesses reveal what you should not be doing. What you don’t do is often more important than what you do. For example, I’m an impulsive decision-maker. Therefore, I make a rule to wait at least 24 hours before making important decisions. This guardrail protects me from making decisions before thinking them through.

How to create guardrails:

  1. Discover your weaknesses [[How to discover your weaknesses]]
  2. Create a rule (Eg. Wait at least 24 hours before making a BIG decision.)
  3. Delegate or hire someone (Understand your weaknesses and fill the gaps with technology and/or people)
  4. Automate with technology (Eg. I struggle with routine tasks like grocery shopping. I can automate by putting items I buy often on Amazon Subscribe & Save.)
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