It is someone else's fault. I am unlucky.There is too much stress. I have too many exams coming up. I am not good enough.
But you know what? I hate to say it, but they are all just - excuses. More often than not, the real problem is simple.
Your own worst enemy is you. The best part, though, is that you are your own best friend and ally as well.
It becomes pretty easy at times to look outside of ourselves for the answers and the reasons, the rationalization for why things are they way they are. We always seem to find ways to mold any degree of convoluted logic to confirm just about reasoning we can conjure up.
While doing so, we fall prey to the scourges of cognitive bias and logical fallacy. Daily. And frequently it is all done in the name of our own self perception.
Conversely, how often do we look inside ourselves for our share of the problem, our responsibility in the dilemma, first and foremost? And even when we do, how often do we not only accept ownership of it but then choose to do something about it?
We all like to attribute our successes to something WE did. But the failures - oh no, not my doing, no way.
Until they are.
We are limited by our self perception and perceived self efficacy, especially when the chips are down and our comfort zone is being pushed.
We become self fulfilling prophecies built upon our self talk.
If we tell ourselves that we won't play well, or that we won't perform well, or we won't do well on the next exam or job interview, then we should expect exactly what we tell ourselves. We won't.
Your own worst enemy is you.
How can we expect to excel when we are telling ourselves all the negatives? How can we achieve greatness when we are overwhelmed by thoughts of failure? How can we perform when we choose to not challenge our comfort zones, and do so with diligence and vigilance even in the darkest moments? Worse yet, how can we attain these things when we won't choose to own the fact that it happens?
And even then, failure doesn't exist anyways. As Abraham Lincoln once said, "there is no failure, only opportunity". I couldn't agree more.
Your own worst enemy is you. Fortunately, we have the power within us to transform ourselves. It requires a choice - to re-program our self talk, to believe in our capacity, to accept ownership of it, and to take a step-wise path towards growth and transformation.
Ah but yes, that can be the hardest choice of all.
Your own best ally is you. And don't ever forget it.
Photo credits: steelight