We are our own worst enemies

Every day I have the choice of giving in to my fears and inhibitions or letting my self-doubt overtake me; every day I start over; a new set of choices is placed before me, and I am given the chance to decide if I will let my fear win or if I will defeat it and move forward. I know if I wish to succeed I must overcome fear and doubt and see my dreams through to the point of reality … I cannot allow anything to hold me back, especially myself.

I have found that many times what holds me back the most is myself. It seems we can be our own worst enemies, and this can happen in a variety of ways. First is expecting perfection. Some people set the standards for themselves so high it is all but impossible to achieve their goals. While it is great to strive for perfection, it is best to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. All great things take time, and just because something doesn’t happen immediately doesn’t mean it won’t happen at all. Time and effort equal success, and, as one of my college instructors use to tell me, “Practice makes better.”

Another way we can be our own enemies is by planting seeds of doubt. Sometimes we set ourselves up for failure because our fears can be so strong. Dread over an upcoming exam can cause us to fail, not because we didn’t have a chance, but because we preprogrammed ourselves before the exam – we never stood a chance because we had already failed in our mind.

Also, we give ourselves the fear that people are always watching and waiting for us to make a mistake. We allow the notion that people are going to laugh or make fun of us if we fail or fall short of perfection to lead our actions. Some may consider this peer pressure or outside influence, but truth is, this is still an internal conflict. We allow others to control us by fearing what they will think.

Everything in life requires some amount of confidence, and if we could overcome our own demons, we could no doubt succeed, but also be happier, healthier people. We’re going to fail, we’re going to fall short of expectation, but as long as we learn and grow from our failures and our shortcomings, we are still succeeding – we are still progressing. There is a difference between existing and living, and the first step is the willingness to try.