Are You ALWAYS Getting in Your Own Way?
Ever met someone who was clearly their own worst enemy? It’s almost painful to see, isn’t it. Well, I have bad news for you regarding ‘enemies’, and some good news too. The thing is, there’s only ever been one ‘enemy’ in your life, or theirs, as this Inside-Out understanding blog post will now reveal…
Think Of An Enemy, Any Enemy
“You are your own worst enemy!”, I think to myself. About a friend, a sibling, or a colleague. Because I know that, clearly, if it wasn’t for what they thought, or did, or believed in, then their life would be so much easier. I bet you’ve thought this, too, about someone. It’s almost painful to see, isn’t it.
Well, it’s a most peculiar thing because what you’ve noticed is true for them is true for you, too. YOU are your own worst enemy. Not only that, you are your ONLY enemy. Because… there is ONLY YOU..
But, no worries, because – with understanding – you can ‘get out of your own way’, you can…
So, let’s do an experiment shall we.
I’d like you to take a few moments now to think. To think about your enemies – that exist right now or existed some time in the fabled past. Think. Let those people, those circumstances come to your mind. (Hmm, I bet you this doesn’t feel good.)
Okay, and now I’m going to pretend to be a mind reader, I’m going to list (some of) the people that you think are your greatest ‘enemies’:
- Your Siblings?
- Your Exes?
- People You Dislike?
- Goading Girls?
- Manipulative Men?
- Thoughtless Types?
- Work Colleague?
- Childhood Bully?
- Painful Memory?
Now “Dance monkeys dance”, let’s shake off all that negative vibe we’ve just built up. Ooohoohhhh, shake it all off, I have some good news for you.
- ALL these so-called enemies do is remind you what you think about yourself
- ALL these ‘enemies’ do is remind you THAT you think
Repeat, all the enemies that life could ever throw at you simply remind you what you think of yourself. What you think about life. Or, THAT YOU think. (So, these enemies are – in fact – a gift. A gift to show you who you are and what you think of yourself, what you think. Just like Abraham Lincoln would have you believe.)
I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.
– Abraham Lincoln
(And this surprising turn of events comes about because we misunderstand the true nature of the human experience. Keep reading…)
Why YOU Are Your Own Worst Enemy, Then!
…That’s the good news, then, but there’s bad news too, I’m afraid.
- You think you stink, quite a lot of the time
Yes, you really don’t think too highly of yourself. Oh, you make like you’re the bees knees in the company of others quite often, but deep down inside there’s a quiet disdain for yourself that is okay as long as it doesn’t show itself.
But it does show itself, your self-disdain. Often. Via the people you call your enemies. And you believe what you think.
(No wonder they say don’t shoot the messenger.)
Even worse news is this, though – it’s (quite literally) gonna ruin your day.
- You can’t be with your (often painful) experience of yourself, sometimes, and will do anything you can to make the pain go away.
And this despite the wise words of one Sydney Banks
If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world.
But it’s understandable this, because you quite likely think you’re living in the feeling of your circumstance, when – truly – you’re living in the feeling of your thinking in the moment.
AND… you haven’t had a direct experience that there’s nothing you need that you don’t already have. (Meaning: you don’t know you’re OKAY, as is.)
To get out of your own way means to stop taking yourself so seriously, to stop taking life seriously, and to stop wanting to control life.
The outside world is, and can only ever be, a reflection/projection of you.
Tempting as it is, then, to see enemies everywhere – people who don’t think like you do, don’t behave like you want them to behave, don’t want what you want, etc. There IS only one enemy, only one “inner voice” you listen to, only one that experiences your life (full five senses and all) – and that one enemy is YOU.
Put as simply as I can: “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm.” – African proverb [ ‘Harm’, then, is merely a reminding.]
How to ‘defeat’ such an enemy, then? With love. With noticing. With understanding. And with looking inwards, whenever you can. For when you understand the Inside-Out nature of life, when you notice, and you love what you notice – well, THAT is how you get out of your own way…
That is how you stop being your own worst enemy!
THE ENEMY: Some Next Steps To Take…
Intellectually ‘getting this’ is one thing – getting that you are your own worst enemy, and it’s an Inside-Out job. But it takes more than this to get out of your own way. Here are some steps you might want to experiment with:
- Don’t believe everything you think, especially about yourself
- Understand that you are flawed, imperfect, and that is okay
- Recognise that there is ONLY you; see that, and notice it
Or, much more simply, you could…
How to Be Happy in a Sad, Mad World
I wrote a book - about happiness - based on blog posts like the one you've just read. It's called Happiness NOW! – How to Be Happy in a Sad, Mad World, and it contains 7 simple questions, the answers to which help point you back to the "happiness within". Are you ready for Happiness NOW?...