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In life, we face a lot of adversity. But the greatest adversity will always come from within.
Often, we need to do things we don’t want to – in order to get the things we do. Thus, we have to stop letting seemingly external forces impact the progress we make in life. There are five major enemies that live in our own minds.
Here are five serious enemies to look out for:
5 Enemies That Live In Your Mind That Are Crushing Your Spirit
My brother once ate himself into a 2-day “fast food coma” because he got a B on his math test. I think that says a lot about the state of his self-sufficiency and need for significance.
Today, it’s normal to overreact when we fail at things. It’s so normal that people hardly try new things at all. We’d rather put up a fight avoiding failure when that same energy could be used to take risks. Achievements make us proud, and “failures” make us ponder.
But we gain something from every experience, including our greatest failures – we just don’t always know what the “gain” will be. We might not even think we gained something until a decade later. We just have to be specific with our goals and with “how” we get there.
You might think you were meant for a certain opportunity, and when you don’t get it, you might feel like you failed. However, a better opportunity could arise. You don’t want to miss it wallowing in failure, do you?
To claim failure you must quit your pursuit. To fail you must stop persisting. You can’t fail unless you quit. It sounds cliché but it’s true.
We live in a society full of dependents. We depend on our parents, our spouses, our teachers, our employers, our landlords, our health insurance providers, and even the government. The only thing worse that dependency is co-dependency. I’ll give you an example:
A parent that pads their socially awkward son’s life because it makes them feel good is hurting their son more than they can imagine. At the same time, the son who avoids ordering his own food, and getting his own place because he doesn’t want the responsibility, will one day be an incredible burden on his parents and society.
You’ve got a son who was rejected his entire life by his peers. He feels comfortable staying under the loving protection of his parents, and parents who get unlimited affection from their dependent son. The parents were neglected by their own families so they over-sponsor a son who then will grow up unable to contribute to his own children because he never became self-reliant. That’s my own family in a nutshell.
Dependency is the death of instinct. It’s ultimately why we live in such a sick, stressed, and illiterate society today. Human nature is to avoid difficulty and discomfort. We live in a system that rewards weakness while punishing strength and independence.
Difficulty and discomfort have become abnormal, while dependency becomes acceptable. However, growth requires discomfort.
Entitlement is “the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something” as defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary. The problem with entitlement is it moves us away from gratitude and toward deservedness. When we feel we earned something without putting an effort toward it, we don’t appreciate it.
By being born in America, I take “opportunity” for granted. By being healthy, I take my body for granted. However, if I was born unhealthy, or born in a third world country – I’m sure I’d do more to maintain my comfy lifestyle here.
Stress is the serial killer in your mind that can never be caught. It’s unnatural and almost always unnecessary. Awareness is unique to the individual; so what stresses each of us is going to be different. Our perceptions are based on the meaning we give our life experiences.
The meaning we give is usually based on past experiences. So stress is the greatest enemy we can ever have because it lives in the mind. It lives in perception, which is uniquely influenced by our environment.
When we don’t get what we want, we experience the enemy of “loss.” To lose something you must first own it. “Ownership” is a surface level claim to something outside of yourself and outside of your control. Ownership is extremely conditional, yet we attach our feelings and emotions to it.
It becomes a part of our identity, and when we experience “loss“, we literally feel like we lost a piece of ourselves. You can own an idea until someone creates the business first. You can own a car until someone steals it. You can own your children until they grow up and follow their own paths.
Even when we die, the Earth claims our bodies – so I guess we never really own those either.
To fight these enemies in your mind, you need to read more. There are only a few things that can expand our awareness almost instantly. Those two things are experience and reading. I prefer the latter.
Reading books about role models who have overcome similar circumstances is much easier than experiencing a circumstance and having to struggle my way through it.
Our environment has a massive impact on our perception because most of us do not cultivate the higher faculties of willpower, intuition, and reason from a young age. Many of our beliefs were given to us before we could choose them based on our own experiences.
Changing your circle of friends, your job, trying a new hobby, and even moving to a new city are all helpful with fighting these enemies in your mind.
The ancient Egyptians taught that “All is Self” and everything we see, feel, and experience is only a reflection of our own consciousness. There was no such thing as an enemy. There is only the Self.
Your experiences, your perceptions, your preferences, and your beliefs create your hardships. They are your greatest enemies. They also are your greatest friends.