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.
- Simple, plain old action. Don’t procrastinate, do it NOW!
- 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.
- Stop making excuses. ANYONE can rationalize themselves out of doing something. How about you try to rationalize yourself into DOING something?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?