How to Overcome Our 3 Biggest Enemies in Life

We have many enemies in our lifetime that try to keep us from our best. People oppose us. The environment opposes us. Time, circumstance, and chance all oppose us on occassion. Yet, consistently, we find that the biggest enemy to our success in life is ourselves.

These may or may not be YOUR biggest enemies, but I would wager a bet that they are MOST people’s enemies. Those enemies that try to tear us down are laziness, fear, and self-doubt.

Laziness. Ok. Pop Quiz. Raise your hand if you are lazy. Did you do it? Of course you didn’t, you were too lazy, right? All joking aside this is one of the biggest problems we face as humans. Our lack of inertia, momentum, willpower, whatever you would like to call it. What causes it? I think the word is contentment.

If you are content with what you have then you won’t try to do anything to acheive anything else. If your house is dirty and you think you should clean it, but don’t, what does that tell you? You are content to leave it dirty and are therefore lazy. 

That old enemy laziness is conquered with these weapons.

  1. Simple, plain old action. Don’t procrastinate, do it NOW!
  2. Up your standards. If you aren’t content with something then you are more likely to remedy the situation. In fact, with higher standards you will recognize the problem to begin with.
  3. Stop making excuses. ANYONE can rationalize themselves out of doing something. How about you try to rationalize yourself into DOING something?
  4. Realize that laziness makes you waste your life away. Anyone that dreams of building a life worth living talks about leaving a legacy. Well how can you leave a legacy if you accomplished nothing because you were lazy and just got by? Having a future perspective just might help you overcome your laziness.
Fear. Does fear make you fearful? It should. FDR once said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Today many people are gripped in fear. They are fearful for the future of the nation, their company, their community, their family, and the list goes on.
We are fearful of what we don’t know or understand. We are also fearful of what we can’t control. The economy is something most people can’t understand and even less people can even begin to control it.
Fear can be healthy if it saves your life. It is unhealthy when it paralyzes you and keeps you from thinking and making right decisions. 
The weapons to conquer fear are many:
  1. Courage. Look fear in the eye. Oftentimes, what we fear isn’t the reality of a thing, but the image of a thing. If we try and see our fears for what they really are we often become less afraid or lose that fear entirely. A roaring lion suddenly becomes a purring kitten.
  2. Test your fears. Overcoming fears can be compared to swimming for the first time. (Or second, or twentieth, depending on who you are.) You stick your toe in, and it is shockingly cold as first, but then you sit there for awhile with your legs in. Then step by step you get in until you are swimming underwater. You are no longer afraid because you tried it. So go ahead and try it!
  3. Learn acceptance. You can’t know everything, and you can’t control everything. Accept it! Roll with it. It is amazing how once you give into those two facts that your fears just vanish.
  4. Realize that you are good enough to succeed. Why do we try to live up to everyone else’s standards but our own? Fear won’t hold you back if you tell yourself you are good enough to be yourself. It shows that you have integrity. I can’t tell you how many people need to hear these exact words. “You have permission to be yourself.” For whatever reason, many of us were raised in such a way that we needed permission to be ourselves. The biggest thing you can do for yourself and those around you is to tell them it’s ok to be their special unique selves. Do it in words and action. You won’t know how much energy that releases until you try it.
Self-Doubt. This is the ugliest enemy of all. Primarily because it is wrapped up in the first two. It is hard to conquer this enemy without facing the other two first. This is the big boss.
Why do we suffer from self-doubt? Because we are too lazy to try and we fear that we might fail. It’s just one horrible vicious cycle that we need to break free from if we want to live life to the fullest.
Here are the big guns to conquer the big boss:
  1. Find Encouraging Friends. Don’t try to do this by yourself. When you got to face a big boss, call in the calvary. This is the #1 thing I can say about conquering self-doubt. I hate to say this, but your friends and family can be some of the biggest sources of discouragement in your life. I’m not saying ditch your family or friends. What I am saying is that everyone needs a cheerleader or two in their life that will cheer for them no matter what the circumstances.
  2. Be an encourager. We all lift each other up. No one can lift themselves up by their bootstraps. If you are lifting your friends up, they will have more self-confidence. If they have more, you will too just by being around them, and you will all gain confidence together.
  3. Be open to making mistakes. This seems to be the #1 piece of advice to any aspiring entrepreneur from entrepreneurs who made it. Everyone makes mistakes, but the more mistakes you make, the better you get. (You are learning from your mistakes, right?) People like Michael Jordan and Tigers Woods have failed just about more times than anyone. However, by failing so much they have succeeded way more than your average person.
  4. Realize that life is short, and you need to play hard. Conquering self-doubt and the rest of your enemies really comes down to perspective. Life is way too short to not play hard. We play around the game instead of playing in the game. If you are focused on actually playing in the game, self-doubt will become a distant memory. How can you doubt yourself when you eventually find yourself doing what you doubted in the first place?
I honestly believe that a whole new world awaits us once we can conquer our enemies. A world we can hardly imagine. There are plenty of enemies out there, but I certainly think these are three of our biggest. Now let’s pick up our weapons and go pick us a fight! 😉

12 thoughts on “How to Overcome Our 3 Biggest Enemies in Life”

  1. Hey Jeremy.

    I think you nailed it here. The enemies of which you speak are very real, and if you let them rule your world, then they will conquer – and you may not even be aware of it.

    What you’ve got to say is valuable and the writing style works. I’ll be subscribing and adding a link to Tumblemoose.



    PS – Thanks for your thoughtful comments @tumblemoose. I’m still looking into it…

    Tumblemoose’s last blog post..Acobox review

  2. Alright Jeremy, how long have we known each other? It seems like forever, and this blog post is so…you. I’m gonna point out a few things here, and it may seem like I’m hitting hard, but it’s only because you bring up a few good points, but yet I still think you can do better ;-)…

    I am going to be the King of Generalization for this comment. Why? Because it does work. I think that when you list the weapons for conquering the 3 biggest enemies in life, you miss the first important steps which almost everyone has to go thru: actually making the mistakes! For example:

    1. Most people don’t learn to do it NOW until they have procrastinated on something until it was too late.
    2. Most people don’t up their standards until they have felt the consequences of having lower standards.
    3. Most people don’t stop making excuses until they have realized the consequences of their excuse-making ways.
    4. Most people don’t realize that they have wasted their life away with laziness until too late.

    1. Courage: Most people don’t have courage until they have experienced fear and overcome it.
    2. Test your fears is part of #1. Here is “weapon” where you have actually showed the reader how to use it! You need to specify more “action items” – you have given the reader a listing of weapons, but not told them how to use them!
    3. Learn acceptance: Most people don’t learn how to accept until they have been rejected.
    4. Realize you are good enough to succeed: Most people don’t realize this until they have overcome failure.

    1. Find encouraging friends: This is a good action item. More of these!!
    2. Be an encourager: Most people are not good encourager unless they have meet someone else who encouraged them in good ways.
    3. Be open to making mistakes: Most people are not open to making mistakes until they have made a ton of them!
    4. Realize that life is short: Most people who haven’t realized this already, won’t realize it until too late.

    Basically what I am trying to say is that everything you stated can be condensed into 3 points:

    1. Identify your mistakes. If you can’t, there are plenty of other people who can help you.
    2. Learn from you mistakes. If you can’t accomplish this step, everything else is fruitless.
    3. Platitudes are easy to write down, read, and say to yourself “That’s good advice,” but they are step 2 or 3 in the whole process. The 1st step, figuring out how to turn platitudes into actual real-life action items that you can tangibly do, is the hard part. Once you have this down, you are well on your way to accomplishing your goals.


  3. Jason has created a central point to the information provided in that he has pointed out that no one knows the right action to take until they have experienced or found out about the wrong action(s) to take. This would mean that trial-and-error is the method to take for all activities. I think that this is the method that is used the majority of the time. It also gets the idea across that moving more quickly through the trial-and-error process(by putting out effort) is the way to move upward in a shorter period of time.

    Armen Shirvanian’s last blog post..Quality Builds On Itself

  4. Jason,

    Pretty much our entire lives. I first have to say that I love having your input here. Nobody throws out opinions like you do. And knowing your reluctance to give them I appreciate what you have to say here.

    Here are my main points:
    1. Part of this article was meant to simply get people thinking about their enemies. I realize that many people have to learn from the consequences, but if we can identify what is wrong sooner rather than later we certainly have an edge up on things.
    2. I agree. Even if we know our shortcomings we must learn from them. Learning should mean doing. I think your number two should be fix your mistakes rather than learn from your mistakes. I think the learning from them takes place in the identifying step.
    3. I love your idea about action items. I am sorry I didn’t include more. The more you focus on action the better. I can always write another post with more action items right?


  5. Thanks George! I appreciate the generousity. I will certainly be visiting your site more and will include a link for your site on here as well.


  6. Hi Armen,

    Great comment. And thanks for visiting!

    I would say that I disagree with the first conclusion and agree with the second. I think it is possible to learn from other people’s mistakes and not necessarily just your own.
    I would agree that the faster you make mistakes the faster you get better at it. With one catch. You actually have to analyze your mistakes and do things differently. Keep tweaking your actions till you get it right.

    Just to throw out a popular quote: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.”


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  8. Wow, one more GREAT post! Thank you, my friend!
    We often live our lives and do not see these enemies, and you are right, we are playing around the game. Thank you for inspiration. Time to play hard:)

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  11. Enemies? Embrace them.. have compassion for them, try and understand them, and why they do what they do, why they are who they are. Embracing your enemy is one of the hardest things you will ever do in life. Your enemy is only your enemy because the ego(our)ego becomes bruised. Take out the ego, and the affront no longer exists, rather compassion does. Once you have compassion for your enemy, go one step further, outside the box, and have compassion for those walking in the same footsteps as your enemy.. people suffering out of hate, jealousy, revenge, betrayal. When you have reached this level of compassion? You have reached a state of heightened awareness. It is a peaceful place.

    Linda Degus-barns’s last blog post..Marriage Problems and SPD……….

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