my worst enemy

I’ve noticed something. I destruct myself. When there is any chance, the slightest disbalance in my thought-constructs, I try and tip the whole tower to make it fall.

It’s a while since somebody explained me that the only one that can hurt me, is myself. That whenever I feel like somebody hurt me, the truth is that I have let the other hurt me, or rather used their words to hurt myself.
This concept works quite well for me actually. It enables me to go beyond defensiveness in communication and try to really understand the other and myself.

What I have never really considered in depth is that if I’m the only one that can hurt myself, I might also be the one that is doing it.

A bit more than a month ago I moved out of the safe space of Knowmads, my school and home for the last year. It’s been a place where I experienced an incredible lot of support, practical but way more emotional support from the people around me. I could do any weird thing I wanted and people around me would have been supporting me, and if it was to tell me that it was bullshit. (Also a form of support)

Now, I moved and started my project outside of Knowmads. (well, sort of)
I still have lots and lots of support from all sides, but there are times when I’m just with myself and challenges. And sometimes, when I don’t find a way to work with the challenge ‘in time’, this certain me comes and starts destructing myself.
I, for example, write an email. Send it out, then re-read it and find some criticism. I don’t receive an answer. And self-destruction starts.

It usually goes on for an hour or a few to the point that I find doubts in me about everything I do, how I talk, sit, walk, anything. Then I notice that it’s ridiculous, stop myself and reflect for a moment what is going on there.
(sidenote: I’m damn happy that I’m aware enough to notice and stop!)

Now, after this happened a few times the last week, I start recognizing when it happens and don’t take it that serious anymore. Instead, I start watching when it happens and how quickly this destruction crew becomes active.

What fascinates me about it is that it’s not helpful at all. For example, I’d take a problem that’s far away in the future. I’d realize that I’m unable to solve it and become unsatisfied with myself. As a reaction to that, my whole self-image in the moment becomes shattered, I become insecure and unable to solve challenges in the present. (If carried on, it would be a vicious circle)
– what is that about?

Well, I’m my own worst enemy in getting anything done with this strategy, it seems. If anybody else told me, there was a challenge ahead and that I was unable to solve it, no problem. I’d ignore it, saying that it’s too far ahead or solve it if possible. But if it’s me, it really gets to me that I’m not able to solve something immediately and on the spot.

I’m finding this conclusion interesting. But I don’t like to believe in aspects of myself that are purely negative, so let’s look at the function of this ‘worst enemy’.
It mainly questions beliefs and dogmata within myself, using foresight. ‘If you go ahead with these beliefs, see where it will lead you to, to problems you won’t be able to resolve.’ A very caring, careful attitude actually. Not wanting me to take any risks, not wanting me to see the world through the wrong glasses.
Except, it’s a matter of timing. As I’ve chosen to undertake a project, I’ve also chosen certain assumptions to work with. If now I question my assumptions at every step, I’m not moving forward much, I guess. I’d be stuck and depressed pretty soon.
So, I like to value this ‘enemy’, this loyal destruction crew maybe rather. And I would like to teach it a feeling for timing. I’ll be happy to question my assumptions, once I have finished a project. In fact, I think it’s crucial to really learn and evaluate what I’ve done. But not now! :)

Has anyone made experience with this part of yourself? I guess, it’s a common thing, isn’t it?

saludos!
Ivo

3 thoughts on “my worst enemy”

  1. Ivo, seen that, done that. Yes it’s a common thing. It’s your brain trying to keep you where you are. It’s made strong connection between some sets of neurons. And it just wants to keep repeating and reinforcing those connections. It’s a protection protocol. “neurons that fire together wire together”. To get out of it, just ignore the thoughts, since thoughts are nothing but illusions. Your thoughts are not your truth. You’re more than that. To keep on going you have to find the resistance, feel it and go fhrough it in small steps. Small steps are the things you can do NOW. And accept and embrace everything that follows. Cheers!

  2. Hi Ivo,
    Perhaps iit’s a part of the proces in your mind. Which belongs there, and is ok. However, if it creates ‘unfunded’ ‘criticism’, try to see if it is uncertainty (which is normal if you somethings outside your comfort zone) or intuition that actually helps you and you need to follow. You can and may always change direction in your path, thats part of the proces. And ‘let go’ immediatly if it concerns something in the past, which you can’t change anymore. Sure, leasons learned are ok, but unfunded (self)criticism afterwards is just uncertainty and cannot help you or change anything anymore
    So, try to define these 2 differences, know when to ‘let go’ and when there is actually something to learn.
    Hope this is clear and off any help
    Ciao
    Joep

  3. Not taking destructive self-beating feelings and thoughts that serious anymore, that’s something I also find to be helpful… ;)

    I liked your thought in the last paragraph where you write about your “worst enemy” also having the function of a guard or friend. To me that makes quite sense, yea, to warn you about potential risks you’d take if you move on with a certain mindset..
    Pointing you at points where you might be well advised to reconsider some beliefs. (Oh man, I guess I’m addressed by this because this topic and process is so familiar to me at the moment..)
    Teaching it timing :)

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