When Your Worst Enemy Is You

When Your Worst Enemy Is You
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

We all go through many experiences in life when we feel mistreated and humiliated. Often we think we have gotten over it, but we really haven’t.

When time passes and that mistreatment goes away, we start to do it to ourselves without being conscious of this.

I have to be good, humble, accommodating, because I believe that I am not worth anything and I do not deserve anything, because I think it is my job although I will never manage to measure up.

This is what goes on in the minds of many people, especially those who suffer from low self-esteem, insecurities, frustrations, fears, guilt…

If you have a really hard time finding value in yourself, accepting yourself, and recognizing that you are capable of achieving things and getting everything that others have already got and achieved, you are probably turning into your own enemy.

You can choose to be your enemy, or not

Your worst enemy is not everyone else, but rather everything in your mind. How can this be possible? How can I be my own enemy?

All the criticism that you may receive, the humiliations, the opinions, the judgment that others pass on you… You can choose if you accept it all or not.

“Your worst enemy is not the criticism that you receive, but rather that which you accept.”

-Bernardo Stamateas-

Child Looking Out Window

That power to decide rests within you. Do you really think you deserve it? Do you agree with what others are saying?

Doing something simply to be accepted by others creates low self-esteem in you and causes you to be your own enemy.

It is true that being surrounded by diverse opinions makes you doubt who you really are. This is why it is necessary for you to separate yourself from all those people so that you can reflect on who you are. Once you know this, you can face all of those opinions and judgments in a much safer way.

How can I work towards no longer being my own enemy?

  • Accept yourself and be sure of who you really are.
  • Question all negative messages that you get about you.
  • Learn to be OK with making mistakes.
  • Do not try to please everyone.

It is hard to stop being your own enemy, but this is something that rests only in your own hands. You have to be sure of who you are and not let the opinions of others tell you who you have to be.

You have to start seeing your mistakes not as a liability and source of shame, but as something to learn from so that you can do it better next time.

Everyone makes mistakes. Start realizing that there are no lessons without mistakes. We learn more from our mistakes than you think.

Who am I?

This is a very simple question, but honestly quite difficult to answer. Do you know who you really are? If so, why do others’ comments affect you so much?

You have to learn not to compare yourself to others, to trust in yourself, and not let yourself be carried away by what others might say. You are unique, one of a kind, irreplaceable, with flaws, but also with skills.

“Do you really know where your enemies are? In the world around you or inside of you? Who are you listening to? To the voice of obsession that speaks to you of fatality and failure? To the complaining, authoritative voice that judges every step that you take?”

-Bernardo Stamateas-

Have confidence, believe in yourself, and do not let yourself bend to the preferences of others. Being yourself will help you achieve the happiness that we all long for.

Your decisions are the ones that will define your life, starting today. Who is going to call the shots in your life? You or others? Be a bit selfish with yourself and distance yourself from what they say. Your life is yours, and you will decide how to live it.

Mirror Image Kissing Woman

Know that the trust that you have in yourself will enable you move on, try, experiment; whereas if you do not trust yourself, insecurities will appear.

Ask yourself where you are going with your life. Do you want to become so perfect that this ends up taking you down? The answer is not in being perfect.

Be natural, try to progress, make mistakes, learn, and live just like you are. Free yourself from everything that they are telling you, that is blocking and paralyzing you. Be free from everything and move on. You can never let yourself be your own enemy.

Illustration courtesy of Malota

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.