“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” ― Winston S. Churchill
It’s easy to dismiss other people’s negative opinions or criticisms. After all, it’s obvious that there will be folks who won’t have your best interests at heart. There are plenty of ways to shut down outside enemies: from ignoring them, to completely disengaging from them. But what about the enemy within you?
Self criticism is a double-edged sword: when used wisely, it can keep you grounded and always aiming for the best. Let it defeat you however, and it can wound you deeply.
The enemy within can take many forms. It could be that tiny but nagging voice inside you, always criticizing your every move, keeping you paranoid or afraid of taking the first step. It can feel like a harmless opinion you’ve told yourself many times, such as ‘I’m not that intelligent anyway’ or ‘I won’t be wealthy’.
These may seem like safe sentences everybody has told themselves once in a while. But let it build up, and they can eventually block your potential. Allowing your enemy within to tell you that you’re NOT good enough, that you’ll NEVER be successful, is like crushing your own hopes and dreams. Are you going to let it win…?
How To Fight The Enemy Within You
“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.” ― Gautama Buddha
Your mind is more powerful than you think. But it also has limits. Thus, knowing yourself – what drives you, what ails you, and what stirs your soul – is crucial. Understanding what you can AND cannot do will help you strive for the best, while including others in your plan as well. Inasmuch as a soldier can’t defeat an army alone, you will need support to conquer the enemy within.
Find trusted friends and family members who believe in you (sometimes, more than you believe yourself). When you find a task overwhelming, let others lend you a hand. Burning yourself out will only give strength to your enemy within. You can’t fight when you’re exhausted.
Remember: NO ONE is perfect, and everybody needs help once in a while. What matters is that you don’t stop on the road you chose. Whether you’re aiming for success, or simply to be happy, rest but DO NOT quit!
Although we may never crush the enemy within, what’s important is that you battle against it everyday. Keep that double-edged sword at arm’s length. Let it remind you of where you came from, and of the people who helped you along the way. But don’t let it get close to slice your dreams.
Fight it, conquer it, and then use it.
*Infographic made by Visme and a result of collaboration with Darius Foroux, entrepreneur and writer.